Braves score 4 in 11th, top Rockies 6-2, spoil uniform debut
DENVER (AP) — The sight of the Colorado Rockies wearing forest green uniforms wasn’t nearly as out-of-the-ordinary as this — a second straight low-scoring, extra-inning game at Coors Field.
Or this: A second straight clinic on how to pitch at the hitter-friendly park from the Atlanta staff.
Adam Duvall capped a four-run 11th inning with a two-run homer and the Braves spoiled the debut of Colorado’s new — and very green — “City Connect” uniforms by beating the Rockies 6-2 on Saturday night.
But it was the arms of Atlanta that stole the show — again. After holding the Rockies to three hits during a 3-1 win in 10 innings on Friday — it was 0-0 going into extra — they limited Colorado’s bats to just three hits again Saturday.
It’s the first time the Rockies been held to three hits or less in back-to-back games at Coors Field in franchise history.
“Phenomenal job,” Braves third baseman Austin Riley said of his pitchers. “Can’t say enough.”
Or enough about the clutch hitting late in the game. Marcell Ozuna and William Contreras each lined a two-out, run-scoring double off Jhoulys Chacín (3-2) in the 11th to set the stage for Duvall.
Duvall’s blast finished a sensational all-around night for the Braves. Starter Spencer Strider and six relievers baffled the Rockies, with A.J. Minter (2-0) earning the win and Jackson Stephens closing it out the 11th.
“Everyone kind of builds it up to what it is,” Minter said of Coors Field. “You’ve got to give credit to this bullpen for just going out there and staying within themselves and not doing anything special.”
This was only the fifth time a game at Coors has gone into extra innings tied at 1-1, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
“That was a good game — all the way through,” Riley said.
Both teams scored a run in the 10th — Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña Jr. on a sacrifice fly and Colorado’s Elias Díaz with a single.
Riley hit his 14th homer of the season, a solo shot in the sixth that tied the game.
Kyle Freeland scattered five hits over seven innings and struck out three in a no-decision. Once again, they struggled to sync up timely hitting with quality pitching.
“It’s frustrating,” Freeland said. “You want to be firing on all cylinders. You want your offense to be putting up runs, you want your pitchers to be going out there and getting deep in games and throwing up goose eggs. It’s a spot that we need to get to if we want to get back to .500 and then start building from there.”
It was perhaps fitting Freeland was the starter for the unveiling of the team’s new jerseys, given he’s a Denver native.
Usually decked out in purple, the Rockies wore green-and-white tops that featured a silhouette of the state’s snow-covered mountains. The look was complete with green pants, white belt and a yellow ’5280′ patch on the right sleeve in honor of the city’s Mile-High nickname.
Strider set the tone with four solid innings, allowing two hits and striking out five.
Colorado got on the board in the fourth when Strider’s pitch got by Contreras and allowed Brendan Rodgers to score from third.
Before the game, several of the Braves players were taking close-range grounders from assistant coach Ron Washington. It showed as the Braves made several sensational plays in the field.
The biggest was turned in by shortstop Dansby Swanson with two outs and the bases loaded in the third. Ryan McMahon sent a hard grounder that was tailing away from Swanson. He knocked it down, picked it up and threw out McMahon at first to end the threat.
McMahon slammed his helmet in frustration.
Braves: LHP Tyler Matzek (shoulder inflammation) has started his throwing progression. “Everything so far has been really good,” manager Brian Snitker said. “I mean, until he gets up there and starts turning it loose, we won’t know.” ... OF Eddie Rosario (blurred vision, swollen right retina) has been hitting in the cage.
Rockies outfielder Kris Bryant is steadily mending from a back issue that landed him on the injured list for a second time. He’s been performing medicine-ball tosses to mirror his swing, playing catch and doing some running. There remains no timetable for his return, Rockies manager Bud Black said.
“He’s feeling more confident,” Black added. “He’s feeling stronger.”
The Braves will throw righty Charlie Morton (3-3, 5.47) to close out the four-game series Sunday. The Rockies will go with righty Ryan Feltner (1-1, 3.71), who picked up his first major league win the last time out.
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