Braves Dominate Rockies, Push NL East Lead to 10 Games


Jul 30, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) hits a home run against the Colorado Rockies in the seventh inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY SportsIf you pretend the Braves five game winning streak didn’t happen, their lead in the NL East would only be five games. However, despite what doubters of the Braves offensive style might wish the Atlanta Braves hold the largest division lead in baseball at ten games over the Washington Nationals. The Braves are on a five game winning streak after dominating the Colorado Rockies 11-3 on Tuesday night.

The game started off shakily for Braves starter Alex Wood who gave up one run in the first inning. Dexter Fowler lead off the game with a walk and advanced to third on a DJ LeMahieu single. A Carlos Gonzalez sac fly put the Rockies up 1-0. The Braves responded immediately in the bottom of the first via a Freddie Freeman solo home run. Wood’s struggles continued into the 2nd when he gave up a two run homer to Nolan Arenado. Wood’s command was not sharp early and he left several off speed pitches up in the zone to be pounded by the Colorado hitters. After the second inning though Wood seemed to settle in and dominated the Rockies’ hitters through the 7th inning.

A Jason Heyward single and a Justin Upton double cut the Rockies lead to one run in the bottom of the 3rd. The big damage occurred in the bottom of the 4th when for the second night in a row the Braves scored six runs in one inning against the Rockies. Dan Uggla lead off the inning with a double but outs by Andrelton Simmons and Alex Wood made a big offensive inning seem unlikely. With two outs Heyward singled to tie the game at 3-3. Justin Upton followed with a ground rule double which cost the Braves a run as Heyward would have easily scored if the ball didn’t bounce into the seats. The Rockies walked their nemesis Freddie Freeman intentionally to load the bases and set the stage for Evan Gattis to bat with two outs and the bases loaded. Gattis took advantage of the big moment and put the Braves up 5-3 with a single to left. Brian McCann followed up the Gattis single with a line drive three run homer to put the Braves up 8-3 and put the game out of reach.

Braves prospect Todd Cunningham made his big league debut in the bottom of the 7th when he delivered a pinch hit single in place of Alex Wood. Cunningham scored his first big league run when a Freddie Freeman three run homer increased the Braves lead to 11-3 officially turning the game into a laugher. It was Freeman’s second homer in the game as Freeman seemed to solidly put his mini-slump behind him. Anthony Varvaro pitched scoreless 8th and 9th innings to secure the win and move the Braves to a season best 17 games over .500. The Braves will try to continue their perfect homestand on Wednesday night against the Rockies.