Braves lament miscues against Rockies
ATLANTA -- When Adonis Garcia was released by the Yankees during the final week of Spring Training and signed by the Braves four days later, he was described as a decent hitter whose defensive limitations would likely keep him at the Triple-A level.
Garcia steadily quieted doubts about his glove after he was given a chance to spend most of this month filling the void created when the Braves traded third baseman Juan Uribe to the Mets. But the 30-year-old Cuban was humbled on Tuesday night, when he committed three errors, two of which led to the four unearned runs the Rockies tallied in a 5-1 win over the Braves at Turner Field.
"It was one of those tough nights," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "You haven't been a Major Leaguer until you have one of those nights."
Garcia did not speak to the media about his tough game that left him one error shy of the Atlanta record, which is shared by Mark DeRosa (May 2, 2004) and Darrell Evans (Sept. 20, 1975). Shortly after DeRosa endured that game at Coors Field, Chipper Jones ended his stint as a left fielder and moved back to third base.
Garcia's days as Atlanta's starting third baseman are likely numbered. But the Braves will likely wait until rosters expand on Sept. 1 to bring their third baseman of the future, Hector Olivera, to the Major League level.
Unfortunately for the Braves, Garcia's night marred the effort provided by rookie starter Mike Foltynewicz, who surrendered the four unearned runs during his five-inning outing that required 94 pitches. Foltynewicz surrendered a pair of singles in the two-run first inning and might have escaped the two-run fourth inning had he not hit a batter and issued a four-pitch walk to Rockies starting pitcher Chad Bettis.
But Foltynewicz's challenge was enhanced courtesy of the miscues committed by Garcia, who had committed just three errors in the 25 starts he had previously made at third base, all of which occurred after he was promoted from Triple-A Gwinnett on July 25.
"We made some mistakes behind him that lengthened the innings and caused him to throw more pitches," Gonzalez said. "If we go out there and have a clean game defensively behind him, he might be out there pitching in the seventh. I thought his stuff was good. His secondary pitches were good. He's not experienced enough to cover those [errors] up."
Garcia committed his first error when he misplayed Nolan Arenado's sharp grounder with two on and one out in the first inning. Instead of resulting in an inning-ending double play, the Arenado grounder scored DJ LeMahieu from second base and set the stage for Ben Paulsen to follow with a sac fly.
Garcia's inability to handle Paulsen's soft chopper in the fifth inning proved to be inconsequential. But the rookie's miscue on Nick Hundley's grounder to begin the fourth inning proved detrimental when LeMahieu stroked a two-run single to center with two outs.
"Everybody wishes they were perfect, but it's baseball," Foltynewicz said. "I think I did a good job a couple times of getting the next batter, but a couple times, it didn't really work out."