By Mark Bowman and John Donovan
MLB.com |@mlbbowman |
ATLANTA -- DJ LeMahieu highlighted his three-hit night with a two-run fourth-inning single that capitalized on one of the three errors third baseman Adonis Garcia committed as the Rockies claimed a 5-1 win over the Braves on Tuesday night at Turner Field.
Garcia's first two errors led to each of the four unearned runs charged to Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz, who needed 94 pitches to complete five innings. Foltynewicz hit Matt McBride with a pitch and issued a four-pitch walk to Rockies starter Chad Bettis to load the bases before LeMahieu delivered his two-run single.
"We made some mistakes behind [Foltynewicz] that lengthened the innings and caused him to throw more pitches," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "If we go out there and have a clean game defensively behind him, he might be out there pitching in the seventh. I thought his stuff was good. His secondary pitches were good. He's not experienced enough to cover those [errors] up."
Bettis allowed just one run and five hits while working five innings in his first start since July 18. The right-hander, who spent the past month on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation, kept the Braves scoreless until Nick Markakis scored Andrelton Simmons with a one-out single in the fifth inning.
"He did a great job. He picked up where he left off," Colorado manager Walt Weiss said of his starter. "He labored through the fifth. Got through it, but the fact that he hadn't been out there in a while, that's about as far as I was going to let him go."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED LeMarvelous: LeMahieu put together his 14th three-hit game of the season -- the 38th of his career -- with singles in each of his first three at-bats. The big hit came in the fourth when, with the bases loaded and two outs, he fought off an inside fastball from Foltynewicz, poking the ball to center to drive in a pair of runs. LeMahieu also had a sacrifice fly to drive in another run in the ninth. More >
Adonis' miscues: Though he had been described as a defensive liability, Garcia had committed just two errors in the 25 games he had previously started at third base this season. But the 30-year-old Cuban lived up to his reputation as he misplayed Nolan Arenado's one-out grounder in Colorado's two-run first inning. Garcia also botched Nick Hundley's grounder to begin the two-run fourth inning.
"I've learned over the years that I can't control anything after I let the ball go out of my hand," Foltynewicz said. "I've just got to focus on the next pitch instead of dwelling on what happened. Errors are going to happen. Everybody wishes they were perfect, but it's baseball. I think I did a good job a couple times of getting the next batter, but a couple times, it didn't really work out." More >
Generosity denied: Rockies right-handed reliever Tommy Kahnle issued four walks and uncorked a wild pitch while facing just five batters in the seventh inning. But the Braves were unable to take advantage as Pedro Ciriaco grounded into a double play and Freddie Freeman struck out with the bases loaded. Christian Friedrich entered to face Freeman, who has gone 5-for-25 since returning from the disabled list last week. More >
Bold Bettis: Bettis' night ended on a bold note in the fifth inning in a critical showdown with Freeman. Atlanta had cut Colorado's lead to 4-1 on Markakis' single, bringing Freeman to the plate (after Nick Swisher fouled out) with runners on first and third and two outs. Bettis started Freeman off with a 92-mph strike to get ahead, but the lefty-swinging Freeman worked the count to 2-2. On the fifth pitch of the at-bat, Freeman swung at a 93-mph fastball and pulled it, meekly, to first baseman Ben Paulsen to end the inning and the threat.
"Everyone knows what I'm going to do pretty much. I get out of whack when I try to do more." -- Mathieu, on his overall steady play this season
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Garcia's three errors left him one shy of the Atlanta record, which is shared by Mark DeRosa (May 2, 2004) and Darrell Evans (Sept. 20, 1975).
The Braves issued a successful challenge after Jace Peterson was called out on a two-out grounder in the second inning. After reviewing the play for 1 minute, 20 seconds, the umpires overturned first-base umpire Vic Carapazza's initial ruling.
WHAT'S NEXT Rockies: Colorado will send lanky left-hander Yohan Flande (3-1, 3.94 ERA) to the mound to start the series finale on Wednesday at 5:10 p.m. MT. It will be Flande's sixth start of the season and his 14 appearance overall. Flande is 2-0 with a 3.90 ERA as a starter with 18 strikeouts in 27 2/3 innings.
Braves: Atlanta will counter with Shelby Miller, who in the 7:10 p.m. ET start, will be attempting to earn his first win since coming one-out away from completing a no-hitter against the Marlins on May 18. Miller has posted a 3.11 ERA during his 17-start winless streak. But the Braves have provided one run or fewer in 12 of those outings.