Home runs lead way to sweep

579681096.jpg                     Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

For the first game in the series, the Rockies did not get down to an early deficit to the Braves and instead hit around in the first to take a 4-0 lead early. Behind three home runs and a solid, but strange performance by Tyler Chatwood, the Rockies completed the sweep with a 7-2 win.

The first inning for Chatwood would tell what kind of day he would have when he walked the first two batters of the game. Luckily the first walk was erased on a caught stealing and no damage would come after Freddie Freeman singled with a man on, but as Chatwood said in an interview, he was indeed “effectively wild.”

The Rockies got to rookie Tyrell Jenkins early and often in this game and gave Chatwood the support through his odd outing. Blackmon singled to start the game and then stole a base. DJ LeMahieu walked to put two on for Nolan Arenado and Arenado would make the Braves pay. For what is only his second opposite field home run this year, Nolan hit his 25th and drove in his league leading 74th, 75th, and 76th RBIs. That would be all the runs the Rockies would need for the game, but they still got some more insurance. Nick Hundley would single another run in the inning. Charlie Blackmon struck out before the inning was up, but that capped the Rockies sending ten batters to the plate in the first.

The next four innings Chatwood would hold the Braves hitless, but they did get plenty of baserunners. Chatwood would walk at least one batter over the next four innings and finished with a career high eight walks. That is a scary high number of walks, especially at Coors Field and with how Chatwood has pitched at home, but Chatwood got a little luck and managed to work around the walks each inning. He finished with five innings pitched and allowing only one hit, while striking out six, but it was far from a conventional outing.

The Rockies were able to score three more runs in the fourth when their middle infielders showed the power. DJ LeMahieu tied a career high with his sixth home run and Trevor Story hit his fourth of the series with a shot to left center, his league leading 27th. After Story’s home run, Tyrell Jenkins would exit the game and the Braves bullpen finished it off without allowing any more runs.

The Rockies bullpen would enter in the sixth inning and would finally allow some runs in the seventh. With Gonzalez Germen on the mound, the Braves got a walk, a double, and a ground out to score their only two runs of the game. Nothing more would come from it and the Rockies would hold their five run lead to the end to complete the sweep.

The sweep put the Rockies at only four games under .500 and sets them up for what is their most important road trip thus far. While it is not within the division, the Rockies will be either competitors for a wild card spot or will drop to the sellers position. The head out to Baltimore for a three game set before finishing the trip in New York against the Mets with four games. It will be a tough stretch of games, but it will define the Rockies as winners or losers against teams that are doing quite a bit better than the Braves.

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