Game 1: Rockies 5, Braves 3- The rain-delayed first game of the series saw Colorado rack up 16 hits to go along with a strong showing from eight Rockies’ pitchers. Kyle Kendrick took the hill for the Rox but only pitched the first inning. The total time of delays exceeded two hours, but the Rockies stayed focused and edged the Braves.
David Hale (3-4) picked up the victory for the Rockies, succeeding Kendrick in the second inning. He ended up going 1⅔ innings, and allowed no runs while surrendering a lone hit.
The Rockies got on the board early. First baseman Wilin Rosario doubled in third baseman Nolan Arenado to open up the scoring. Rosario was later plated thanks to a double by outfielder Carlos Gonzalez. The Rox went up 4-0 in the second inning courtesy of a solo shot by outfielder Drew Stubbs and a sacrifice fly by shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.
The Braves did threaten in the fifth inning after reliever Christian Friedrich replaced Hale. They would end up scoring three in the inning, but the Rockies answered with an insurance run in their half of the fifth when catcher Nick Hundley doubled in CarGo.
Other than Friedrich’s rough outing, the theme of the game was short, effective appearances by the Rockies’ pitchers. No pitcher threw more than two innings and overall, the Rox’s hurlers that appeared in game one (Kendrick, Hale, Friedrich, Scott Oberg, Boone Logan, Rafael Betancourt, Tommy Kahnle, and John Axford) combined for nine punchouts and only one walk.
Axford earned his 15th save of the year by pitching a scoreless ninth inning. Arenado and Gonzalez both contributed three hits apiece in the victory.
Game 2: Rockies 5, Braves 3- It was the same score, different day for the Rox, who took game two despite a wacky game one that threw the pitching rotation out of sync. Colorado called upon Gonzalez Germen to start things on the mound, and in his start for the Rox, pitched three scoreless innings before being relieved by Aaron Laffey. Things didn’t go as well for Laffey, however. In 2⅓ innings of work, he surrendered three runs on four hits.
Thankfully, the Rockies’ offense had given Laffey a cushion. Arenado hit an RBI double in the first inning to plate second baseman DJ LeMahieu. In the fourth, the Rox added another three runs courtesy of RBIs by Daniel Descalso, Brandon Barnes, and LeMahieu. Colorado would score its final run in the fifth, when CarGo crushed his 12th homer of the year.
After the Braves came back in the sixth, the Rockies ‘pen held it down. LaTroy Hawkins, who lately has been returning to his 2014 form after a rough start to the season, pitched 1⅔ innings of shutout ball. Logan and Kahnle followed suit and paved the way for Axford to earn his 16th save of the season.
Game 3: Rockies 3, Braves 2- Another solid start by Jorge De La Rosa and some ninth inning theatrics gave the Rockies the series victory with a win in game three. De La Rosa went six, allowing two runs on four hits. He punched out seven and walked only two while earning a No Decision.
CarGo got the Rox on the board in the first with a two run blast to center field. But the Braves battled back, scoring lone runs in the second and third innings to tie the game at two. After that, both teams’ offenses went quiet.
A battle of the bullpens ensued. Luckily for the Rockies, Carlos Gonzalez did not believe in extra innings. Stubbs singled, Charlie Blackmon was hit by a pitch, and Tulo walked to load the bases for the Rox in the ninth. CarGo delivered. He hit a single off of the Braves’ Jason Grilli into centerfield to score Stubbs and win the game.
Game 4: Rockies 11, Braves 3- The Rox completed the sweep of the Braves in an offensive explosion led by Charlie Blackmon. He went 3-5 with four RBIs and a run scored in the win. Tulo also jacked his 10th homer of the year, a cannonball shot off of the Braves’ David Carpenter.
The Rox torched the Braves’ starter Shelby Miller, lighting him up for seven runs on ten hits over 5⅔ innings.
Chad Bettis took the mound for Colorado, and was effective through six innings of work. He allowed three runs, all of which came in the sixth inning, and struck out eight while earning the win.
Stubbs continued to stay hot, going 2-2 with a triple and a home run. He contributed two RBIs in the win.
Nolan Arenado, DJ LeMahieu, and Troy Tulowitzki will represent the Rockies at the All Star Game, which starts Tuesday night at 5pm MST.
The Rockies will return action on July 17 for a three game series in San Diego.
Contact CU Independent Rockies Beat Writer Justin Guerriero at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @TheHungry_Hippo