CarGo's doubles lead Rox to wet win vs. Braves
DENVER -- Carlos Gonzalez doubled a career-high three times, Nolan Arenado had three hits and Troy Tulowitzki extended his hitting streak to 21 games as the Rockies won for the third time in their last nine games, 5-3, over the Braves on a wet Thursday night at Coors Field.
A 2-hour, 6-minute rain delay in the first inning forced Rockies starter Kyle Kendrick from the game after one inning and Braves starter Alex Wood out after two pitches. The Rockies had to dig deeper into the bullpen because David Hale (3-4), who was supposed to start Friday but replaced Kendrick, suffered a left groin strain scoring on a second-inning sacrifice fly and left after 1 2/3 innings with a 4-0 lead. John Axford (15 saves) was the last of eight Rockies pitchers.
"We had a plan in place -- the off-day on Monday helped because that meant David was on his normal rest," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Although we weren't planning on the pulled groin. That really threw a wrench in our plans. The bullpen really was huge tonight."
Drew Stubbs hit his fourth homer of the year, a solo shot in the second off Jake Brigham (0-1). As the game continued, the game was played through precipitation ranging from mist to moderate rain.
"Obviously nobody was enjoying that, but what can you do?" Braves utility man Kelly Johnson said of the rain. "That's just a really unfortunate thing that it got to that point. It just stinks. It just takes a little bit of the fun out of it. But you still have to play. I don't think anybody mailed it in. It's just frustrating and distracting."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
On the double: Gonzalez, who had three hits in Wednesday's 10-2 loss to the Angels, knocked one of the Rockies' three first-inning doubles (Arenado and Wilin Rosario also doubled). Gonzalez doubled to open the third, and doubled and scored in the fifth. Gonzalez had the most doubles for a Rockies player since Charlie Blackmon had three last April 4 against the D-backs. Gonzalez missed much of last year with finger and knee injuries, and is still regaining health and timing.
"I'm finally getting my timing back, which is the biggest key for me," Gonzalez said. "Tonight, I was able to sit back on my back leg, something I wasn't able to do the past two years with the surgery. I knew at some point I'd get there."
Could have been much worse: Given that Wood was limited to just two pitches because of the questionable decision to start the game less than 10 minutes before the rain arrived, the Braves felt fortunate to only use four relievers and not put much stress on their bullpen. But despite surrendering extra-base hits to four of the first eight batters he faced, Brigham managed to eat four innings in just his fourth career appearance. Mike Foltynewicz surrendered a pair of doubles before recording his first out in the fifth. But he completed his two-inning stint by striking out four of the final six batters he faced.
"[Brigham] really set up the rest of the guys and everybody did a nice job," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "We could have used the whole bullpen and we didn't."
Oberg saves the night: The Braves' Jace Peterson doubled in two runs off Christian Friedrich in the fifth, before manager Walt Weiss went to Scott Oberg with one out and two on. Cameron Maybin managed a sacrifice fly, but Oberg fanned Nick Markakis on a high, 96-mph fastball.
Quiet most of the night: The Braves tallied three runs in the top of the fifth inning, which was highlighted by Peterson's two-run double. But they squandered Chris Johnson's leadoff double in the third and went scoreless in the other eight innings.
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A night after an Angels-Rockies game was delayed, partly because of the anticipation of rain, the Rockies tried to get the game going but quickly had to place the tarp on the field. That was a difficult process, as a strong wind ripped the tarp from the hands of the grounds crew. Weiss, first-base coach Eric Young and several players including Rosario, pitcher Chad Bettis and backup catcher Michael McKenry helped with the tarp. They removed the tarp once, but had to replace it before the game resumed. Although Thursday was more colorful than most, rain delays aren't that uncommon this year. The Rockies and opponents have sat through 22 hours, 24 minutes of rain delay at Coors this season -- and that's not counting the four rainouts. More >
Braves pitcher Brigham bunted in the third inning and was awarded first base when umpire Jeff Kellogg ruled that the Rockies' Wilin Rosario was off the bag when he received catcher Nick Hundley's throw. The call was overturned after 38 seconds. But the delay was longer, because that was the play on which Hale was injured.
Braves: All-Star Shelby Miller will take the mound when Atlanta and Colorado resume their four-game series on Friday night at 8:10 p.m. ET. Miller has produced a 2.04 ERA in three career starts against the Rockies, but he surrendered six hits, issued five walks and allowed three earned runs while lasting just 2 2/3 innings in his only start at Coors Field.
Rockies: After picking up a fourth-inning single on Thursday, Tulowitzki will look to extend his hitting streak to 22 games and his on-base streak to 37 games on Friday. His hitting streak is currently the longest in the Major Leagues. First pitch is at 6:10 p.m. MT. Weiss said after the game he was still undecided about a starter and would make the announcement sometime before the game.
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