Rockies ride home runs to sweep of Braves

Rockies ride home runs to sweep of Braves

DENVER -- The Rockies chased Braves pitcher Tyrell Jenkins before he could finish the fourth inning with three home runs in a 7-2 victory over the Braves on Sunday at Coors Field to complete their first four-game sweep since July 9-12, 2015, which was also against the Braves.

Colorado wasted no time scoring, hitting around in the first inning and plating four runs on Nolan Arenado's three-run homer and Nick Hundley's RBI single. The Rockies ended Jenkins' outing two innings later when DJ LeMahieu homered to lead off the inning and Trevor Story hit his fourth homer of the series two batters later. More >

Arenado's three-run homer

"If you give up seven runs, you always want to do something different," Jenkins said. "This is my third start, so I'm still learning. Obviously, I should have been more aggressive and not given up so many hard-hit balls. But at the same time, I tried to fight through it as well as I could. I came up a little short today."

Tyler Chatwood earned the win despite a rather bizarre pitching line in five shutout innings. The Braves only managed one hit off him -- Freddie Freeman's first inning single -- but Chatwood walked a career-high eight batters. Atlanta got on the board in the seventh inning on a double by Freeman, who scored on Nick Markakis' ground out.

"Today I honestly didn't have great command, but I was in command of the game the whole time. I never felt like I was in a jam or anything," Chatwood said. "Effectively wild, I think we called that. I thought my stuff was really good. I thought the ball was coming out good. It had good life to it, but it just wasn't in the zone as much as I would like to."

Chatwood's six strikeouts

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Working out of jams: Chatwood was only the seventh pitcher since 1913 with five or fewer innings, eight or more walks and no runs. He was in jams in each of his five innings, but was able to come out unscathed with a pair of strikeouts and three ground balls. Chatwood recorded six groundouts on the night and no fly outs.

"He's good at throwing ground balls; he does it well, he always has," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Good two-seam fastball makes the hitter hit the top of the ball a lot. That's what kept him out of trouble."

Welcome to Coors Field: Though Jenkins had survived the challenges he faced while making his only two previous starts at the offensively-friendly confines in Philadelphia and Cincinnati, it did not take him long to become Coors Field's latest victim. The rookie surrendered Arenado's three-run homer before recording his first out in a 37-pitch first inning. He exited after surrendering extra-base hits to three of the four batters faced in the fourth inning.

"He's just got to be more aggressive," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "It was like he was feeling for the strike zone a little bit, instead of being on the attack and turning the ball loose. He's had some good starts. He just didn't have it today and when you don't have it here, it's going to let you know in a hurry."

LeMahieu ties his mark: LeMahieu led the team with three hits and also tied his career-high mark of six homers that he set last season with his fourth inning shot. LeMahieu is well on his way to having the best power season of his career; he broke his previous career high for extra base hits on July 15 and has 61 games left in the season.

"He's much more impactful as a hitter," Weiss said. "I feel like he's always going to hit for average, but the extra base hits are coming. He's going to develop that way. Mechanically, he's done some things. His legs are underneath him, he's using his lower half, and he's just driving the ball."

LeMahieu's solo homer

Dubious history avoided: Freeman's RBI double in a two-run seventh inning prevented the Braves from being shut out while drawing at least nine walks for the first time in franchise history. Jace Peterson began the game by drawing the first of the two consecutive walks issued by Chatwood, but he was retired attempting to steal second base. Freeman's first inning single stood as Atlanta's only hit through the first five innings.

"It seemed like we should have been the ones running away with the game with all the baserunners we had," Snitker said. "We just couldn't pierce a gap or get a hit or get anything going to take advantage of those walks." More >

Freeman's RBI double

QUOTABLE
"We didn't play well in any facet of the game. We didn't hit and we didn't pitch great. It was just a disappointing series." -- Outfielder Jeff Francoeur after the Braves lost for the eighth time in 10 games since the All-Star break

"I think I already ran out of [superlatives for him]. He just continues to have a dream season. He's a dynamic player." -- Weiss on Story

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Braves were outhomered 9-1 during this series and they have been outscored 68-28 while losing each of the past 10 games played at Coors Field.

WHAT'S NEXT
Braves: Lucas Harrell will take the mound when Atlanta and Minnesota open a two-game series at Target Field on Tuesday at 8:10 p.m. ET. Harrell has pitched effectively since unexpectedly joining the Braves rotation to draw interest from teams looking to add rotation depth before the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Rockies: Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa (6-7, 6.07) will take the mound for the Rockies against the Orioles at 5:05 p.m. MT on Monday to open a seven game road trip. He allowed nine runs in four innings in his last outing, which broke a streak of five straight quality starts.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.