Braves crush Rockies 10-4 as Arenado avoids serious injury
DENVER — The Atlanta Braves didn’t have long to process a bad loss to the Colorado Rockies. That was a good thing.
Ender Inciarte hit two of Atlanta’s four homers and the Braves responded to the big loss by beating the Rockies 10-4 on Thursday.
Freddie Freeman and Tyler Flowers also homered, and Lucas Sims (1-3) got his first win in the majors for the Braves, who managed a four-game split at Coors Field thanks to four solo shots off Colorado starter Jeff Hoffman (6-5).
“That says a lot about the kind of team that this is,” Inciarte said. “We didn’t put our heads down. We turned the page and had a good game today.”
The Braves lost 17-2 on Wednesday night.
The Rockies avoided a more serious blow in the seventh, as X-rays came back negative on All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado, who left the game after a ball hit off his left hand in the field.
Arenado was eaten up by a sharp grounder from Atlanta outfielder Lane Adams and left the field in obvious pain. The ball hit the same spot where Arenado was hit by a fastball from Miami pitcher Vance Worley four days earlier.
“It’s just a little swollen and bruised,” said the third baseman, who hopes he can avoid missing any time. “Bruised bone on top of a bruise. . It’s just kind of crazy how it hits the exact same spot.”
The Braves found a power surge early off Hoffman as Flowers hit his 10th home run of the season to lead off the second and Inciarte had a second-deck shot to start the third.
Inciarte connected again in the fifth for his 10th of the season, as well as his third career multihomer game and his second this season. Freeman added another shot a batter later to chase Hoffman and put the Braves up 4-2.
“I was just trying to hit the ball hard today,” Inciarte said. “I got good pitches to hit and I took advantage of them.”
The Braves added six runs in the seventh, an inning which included a two-run double from Matt Adams, a two-run triple from Dansby Swanson and the injury to Arenado.
The Rockies’ bats struggled after scoring 17 runs the night before. They scored three or fewer runs in eight straight games before Wednesday.
Charlie Blackmon had three hits, including a homer and two doubles to lead the Rockies. Jonathan Lucroy also had three hits.
“It’s just baseball, it’s a roller coaster,” Lucroy said. “You got to stay as level as you can. It’s just a hard part of the game, especially for younger players who’ve never been through it. It’s very, very difficult to adjust to the ups and downs, the peaks and the valleys. The secret is staying level the whole time. “
Hoffman allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings. He has not recorded a win in his previous six outings.
Sims, meanwhile, allowed two runs in five innings for the Braves.
“He really battled and competed very well and made pitches when he had to,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “It was pretty impressive, I thought, because he’s not immune to hearing about this place and witness what went on last night.”
OZZIE FLASHES SPEED
In the second, Braves rookie Ozzie Albies soared around the bases for his first major league triple, losing his helmet in the process. The 20-year-old also legged out a single and recorded his first stolen base in the seventh.
Braves: OF Matt Kemp, on the 10-day disabled with a right hamstring strain since July 29, will take part in conditioning drills Friday and will be re-evaluated.
Rockies: C Ryan Hanigan, who was supposed to give Lucroy a day off, was a late scratch Thursday with a stomach bug.
Braves: RHP R.A. Dickey (8-7, 3.89) takes the mound for Atlanta as it opens a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds on Friday. The 42-year-old knuckleballer has allowed one or fewer runs in seven of his last 10 starts.
Rockies: RHP German Marquez (9-5, 4.13) will oppose Milwaukee’s Matt Garza as the Rockies open a three-game series against the Brewers on Friday. Marquez is coming off one of his worst outings of the season, allowing five runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Miami Marlins on Sunday.
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