Jon Gray pitches Rockies past Braves 3-0
ATLANTA — Jon Gray pitched Colorado to its first shutout in Atlanta in five years.
This time, he was quite good on the road.
Gray pitched five-hit ball into the seventh inning, Mark Reynolds hit a two-run homer and the Rockies beat the Braves 3-0 on Sunday.
It was Colorado’s first shutout in Atlanta since a 6-0 win on Sept. 4, 2012. Gray improved to 3-0 with a 1.04 ERA in four career starts against the Braves, including two wins this month.
“He was turning it loose,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “At times it was good old country Oklahoma hardball, and I like that from our guys.”
Rockies catcher Tony Walters, who threw out two baserunners attempting to steal, said Gray “did a great job slowing the game down … of just executing his pitches and staying in the moment, pitch to pitch.”
Gerardo Parra had two hits and scored two runs as Colorado took two of three from Atlanta for its first road series win since also winning two of three at Washington from July 29-30. Trevor Story also had two hits and drove in a run.
Gray (6-3) struck out seven and walked two.
“He’s real good,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “He’s hard to get hold of. It’s a rough at-bat against him.”
Coming into the day, Gray was 1-7 with a 6.57 ERA in 13 road starts since Aug. 12, 2016. The right-hander said he hopes he has moved past that streak of road struggles.
“It’s something to put in the past and just look for the next one,” he said.
Gray was pulled after Matt Adams’ leadoff single in the seventh. Pat Neshek gave up a single to Ozzie Albies but escaped the jam when pinch hitter Matt Kemp bounced into a double play.
Jake McGee worked the ninth for his third save . He also saved Colorado’s 7-6 victory on Saturday night.
Mike Foltynewicz (10-10) lost his fourth straight start despite allowing only one run and four hits in five innings. Parra led off the second with a single to right field and scored on Story’s one-out double to left.
Parra also led off the sixth with a single up the middle and scored on Reynolds’ homer to left field off A.J. Minter.
Rockies INF-OF Ian Desmond was to play shortstop for Triple-A Albuquerque on Sunday as he neared the expected end of his injury rehabilitation for a right calf strain. Desmond, a former shortstop with Washington, has played first base and the outfield in his first season with the Rockies. He could see time at shortstop when he comes off the disabled list. Story entered Sunday’s game with a .224 batting average.
The Braves completed a 3-6 homestand with series losses against the Reds, Mariners and Rockies. The Braves lost two of three in each series. Atlanta pitchers had a 4.78 ERA on the homestand. Since the start of July, Atlanta has won only two of nine series at SunTrust Park.
Greg Holland’s 36 saves rank second in the majors, but his grasp of the closer’s role with the contending Rockies is shaky. He has a 7.36 ERA since June 15 with four homers allowed in his last seven appearances. He was pulled in the ninth inning of Saturday night’s game and was unavailable Sunday while trying to work out problems with his slider.
Black said Holland “is going through a tough time,” but he would not say Holland has been removed from the role. Black said he would “navigate” save situations for now.
Rockies: Rookie RHP Antonio Senzatela (10-4, 4.52 ERA) will make his first start against Detroit as Colorado opens a nine-game homestand.
Braves: Rookie RHP Lucas Sims (2-3, 4.13 ERA) will make his fifth start, and his first against Philadelphia, as the Braves begin a seven-game road trip.
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