Denver CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Andrelton Simmons keyed a seven-run first inning with his first career grand slam and the Atlanta Braves outlasted the Rockies 13-10 on Tuesday to continue their recent dominance over Colorado.
Evan Gattis went 3-for-4 with a home run two RBI and four runs scored for Atlanta winners in 22 of its last 27 against the Rockies. Freddie Freeman also went yard for the Braves who got hits from 11 different players including two pitchers.
One of those was starter Mike Minor who failed to make the seven-run lead stand up during his brief four-plus-inning stint. Minor was charged with eight runs on 11 hits finishing 1-for-3 with an RBI single.
David Hale (2-0) who also had a hit allowed one run in 2 1/3 relief innings.
Colorado starter Juan Nicasio (5-5) got knocked around as well surrendering all three homers among 11 hits and 10 runs in just 3 2/3 innings of work. Nicasio pitched six scoreless frames against the Braves on May 24 but has been charged with 22 runs in three starts since then.
Josh Rutledge had three hits and scored three times for the Rockies losers in 11 of 12. Wilin Rosario homered and drove in two in the setback.
The Braves batted around in the first inning putting up a seven-spot before Minor even took the mound.
B.J. Upton plated the first run with a triple off the wall in right and scored on Freeman's groundout to make it 2-0. Three straight singles loaded the bases for Tommy La Stella whose hit to left made it 3-0 and set the stage for Simmons who crushed a liner just over the wall in center.
The Rockies got three back in the home half. Rosario got things going with an RBI base hit to left with the bases loaded Justin Morneau plated a run with a sacrifice fly and Troy Tulowitzki who was plunked early in the inning scored on Gattis' passed ball.
"I just wasn't making quality pitches early on " said Minor. "Later I felt like I was making better pitches and just couldn't get out of jams."
Atlanta tacked on another run in the third inning when Minor helped himself with an RBI single to make it 8-3 but the Rockies kept chipping away with two of their own in their turn. After Rutledge cut the deficit in half with an RBI single to left Nicasio matched his counterpart by plating Rutledge with a flair to center.
Nicasio's outing finally ended with two outs in the following inning after Freeman and Gattis belted solo homers to push the spread to 10-5.
Colorado drew back to within 10-8 following Rosario's solo homer in the bottom of the fourth and RBI singles from D.J. LeMahieu and Corey Dickerson in the fifth but Chad Bettis was tagged for three runs out of the Rockies' bullpen in the sixth as the lead grew back to five.
"We didn't stop at all. There is a lot of fight in this team " said Tulowitzki. "To give up seven runs in the first and score 10 we fought back. We definitely didn't quit. It just wasn't enough tonight."
With two outs and Freeman on first Jordan Schafer singled to put two on. Gattis was at the plate when a wild pitch and subsequent throwing error by Rosario allowed Freeman to trot home and Schafer move to third and he scored easily on Gattis' single to left. La Stella capped the frame with an RBI single.
Sac flies by Ryan Wheeler in the seventh and Morneau in the eighth made it 13-10 but Colorado left two on in the eighth and failed to get anyone on base in the ninth. Craig Kimbrel came on and hurled a 1-2-3 final inning to post his 18th save of the season.