The Atlanta Braves continued their recent dominance against the Colorado Rockies on Monday night, winning by a score of 3-1 in the series opener between the two teams. The Braves (33-29) have gone 15-3 against Colorado (29-34) since 2012, and this victory gave Gavin Floyd his first win in the last 20 months.
The 31-year-old Floyd navigated 6.2 innings, giving up three 3 hits while allowing only one run. Floyd was sharp from the beginning of the game, but he was matched pitch for pitch by Rockies rookie Christian Bergman for the first three frames. Bergman was making his first career start, and the youngster began the game by not allowing a hit until B.J. Upton’s infield squib in the fourth. Upton’s subsequent stolen base led to a two-run fourth inning for the Braves, who never relinquished the lead.
Chris Johnson had three hits for Atlanta, along with two RBI’s in what amounted to a “breakout” game after a season-long slump. The Braves scored two in the fourth, and tacked on one more run in the 7th frame on an RBI single up the middle from Johnson. Rookie reliever Shae Simmons had another impressive outing in the 8th, retiring three consecutive Rockies including all-star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to send the game to the final inning. Craig Kimbrel slammed the door in the ninth by striking out pinch-hitter Wilin Rosario on a sharp slider.
For Floyd, the ‘W’ was well earned. Despite his 2.80 ERA coming into the game, his record stood at 0-2. Surprisingly enough, Floyd earned his first win in nearly two years at Coors Field, a notoriously bad pitchers park, and he was incredibly impressive against one of the best lineups in the National League.
The win was crucial for Atlanta who came into the game tied atop the NL East with Miami and Washington. Atlanta gets a big boost for a seemingly fatigued bullpen Tuesday when setup man Jordan Walden is scheduled to return from the disabled list.