Rockies take advantage of homer-prone Hanson

Rockies take advantage of homer-prone Hanson

Rockies take advantage of homer-prone Hanson
ATLANTA -- Braves right-hander Tommy Hanson has been homer-prone all season, giving up at least one in 13 of his first 25 starts. On Tuesday night the Rockies became the latest team to take advantage of Hanson's struggles, hitting a pair of home runs to beat the Braves, 6-0, at Turner Field.

With Tuesday's victory, the Rockies have won 15 of their last 22 games. It's their first win in Atlanta since April 17, 2010.

"We played a real good game," manager Jim Tracy said, "but we've been playing quite a few of those as of late."

After three quick innings from Hanson, Carlos Gonzalez blasted a solo home run deep to center field with one out in the fourth inning for the Rockies' first run. The home run was Gonzalez's 22nd of the season.

Jordan Pacheco added a run when he led off the fifth inning with a home run into the left-field seats. Pacheco's fourth home run of the season extended his hitting streak to 13 games, the longest active hitting streak in the National League.

Of the two homers, Hanson regretted Pacheco's more. After getting ahead in the count, 0-2, he hung a curveball.

"The 0-2 pitch needed to be buried," Hanson said. "The one to Gonzalez, not so much. He got me. He's a good hitter, and that is not one of those situations where I'm going to beat myself up over it. The 0-2 curveball to Pacheco, I wish it was in the dirt."

Four of the Rockies' five hits off Hanson went for extra bases. DJ LeMahieu and Gonzalez each hit doubles, though neither led to any runs.

The Rockies didn't stop scoring with Hanson out of the game, adding two runs in the seventh and two in the eighth to give themselves plenty of cushion in the late innings. All but two starters had a hit, and four hit two.

"I think after yesterday we got all the bad at-bats out of the way," LeMahieu said. "I think everyone was ready to hit today, and we had some big hits along the way with runners in scoring position."

Although the Rockies only scored two runs off Hanson, left-hander Drew Pomeranz and right-hander Carlos Torres, his piggyback partner, made sure they were enough. Pomeranz and Torres each threw three shutout innings and combined to strike out five while walking just one.

Pomeranz struggled with his command, burning through his pitch count of 75 in three innings. But unlike on Monday, when right-hander Tyler Chatwood struggled with his command early and gave up six runs in three innings, Pomeranz was able to keep the Braves off the board despite allowing two baserunners in all three innings.

"He's pitching through traffic, and he needs to make some pitches to get some outs to give us a chance to get on the board first vs. them," Tracy said. "And yet they had some situations where they had a chance to put a crooked number up there and then we get to play catchup all night long."

Pomeranz thought his fastball wasn't as good as it has been and that he's feeling the effects of throwing 127 1/3 innings in what amounts to his first full professional season. Though Pomeranz pitched all of last year, he also had a few weeks off in August as he waited for the conclusion of the trade that sent Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland and brought Pomeranz, Alex White, Matt McBride and Joe Gardner to Colorado.

Pomeranz said he will be fine going forward, even though he felt that his velocity dropped on Tuesday night.

"My arm didn't feel that great," Pomeranz said, "but I've got to expect that. It's part of it."

Whereas Pomeranz had to grind through his three innings, Torres avoided much of that trouble in the middle innings. Left-hander Rex Brothers and right-hander Matt Belisle combined for three scoreless innings to complete the shutout, the Rockies' fifth in their last 26 games.

"Our bullpen just did a great job today," LeMahieu said. "Drew made the pitches when he had to. Torres was great. Rex was great. Matt shut it down. Really, those guys did great, and it was easy to play defense behind them."

Teddy Cahill is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.