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Rox rout Braves, take lead for NL Wild Card

August 17, 2017

DENVER -- The Rockies' bats woke up with a vengeance Wednesday night against the Braves.After scoring three or fewer runs in eight straight games, the Rockies beat the Braves, 17-2, jumping on opposing starter Mike Foltynewicz, who allowed a career-high eight runs in 3 1/3 innings.Every Rockies' starting position player

DENVER -- The Rockies' bats woke up with a vengeance Wednesday night against the Braves.
After scoring three or fewer runs in eight straight games, the Rockies beat the Braves, 17-2, jumping on opposing starter Mike Foltynewicz, who allowed a career-high eight runs in 3 1/3 innings.
Every Rockies' starting position player scored, Trevor Story homered twice and drove in a career-high six runs, DJ LeMahieu tallied four hits and four runs, and Gerardo Parra and Mark Reynolds each had four RBIs. It was the second time in franchise history that three Rockies drove in at least four runs. The only other time was Aug. 11, 1998, when Vinny Castilla, Todd Helton and Mike Lansing did it.

With the win, the Rockies took a one-game lead for the top National League Wild Card spot over the D-backs, who fell to the Astros 9-5 on Wednesday.
"We'd hit some homers, but they'd been solos," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "So today we saw the opposite of what we've seen the last week, where we really bunched hits together. Lot of baserunners, lot of traffic, some big hits, and really putting pressure on all their pitchers."

"Hopefully tonight will snap us out of the little funk we've been in and we string some good at-bats together down the stretch here," Reynolds said. "We're gonna need every win we can get going into September and hopefully into October."
Three runs were all the support Rockies starter Jon Gray needed though, as the righty tossed six innings and gave up two runs. Nick Markakis drove in the only Braves runs off Gray -- a two-run single up the middle in the sixth.
"I don't think there's any excuses there, I just didn't make the pitches," Gray said of Markakis' at-bat. "But I maybe slowed down a little bit too much, should've gotten right back on the mound and continued to power pitch."

Foltynewicz issued three walks during the three-run second inning and seven of the nine hits he surrendered were recorded on two-strike pitches.
Faulty-newicz: The Rockies scored six runs off Foltynewicz in the first three innings, but the Braves sent him out to start the fourth. He couldn't seem to find anything, as two of the first three batters that inning reached base. The knockout punch came from Parra when he singled on Foltynewicz's 97th and final pitch of the night. To make matters worse, Reynolds followed with a home run off the first pitch from reliever Luke Jackson. More >

"I was trying my hardest out there, things just weren't working out for me," Foltynewicz said. "I was just leaving balls out over the middle of the plate. I gave up some bloop hits and gappers and walking people doesn't help either. Things were just running a little fast through the mind today."

DJing his own tune: LeMahieu reached four hits for the fifth time this season, which leads the National League. More impressively, his hits all came in the first five innings. He knocked three singles and a double, scoring each time. LeMahieu grounded out in his fifth at-bat and was taken out of the game for Ryan McMahon in the seventh, leaving a potential career-high fifth hit on the table.

"Love it, it's the best audience," -- Gray, on pitching in front of dogs at Bark at the Park night

"He was OK. He's a young kid who is getting his feet wet here and I thought he competed well." -- Braves manager Brian Snitker, on rookie lefty Max Fried, who entered with one out in the fifth inning and then kept the Rockies scoreless until allowing Story's three-run homer in the seventh

Story loves facing the Braves. In 10 career games against Atlanta, including Wednesday, Story is 14-for-30 -- a .467 average -- with seven home runs, 13 RBIs and 13 runs scored. More >
"I felt like one of those games was coming for us eventually," Story said. "We definitely haven't been swinging it the past two weeks like we want to, but hopefully tonight is a good sign."

The Braves allowed at least 13 runs in three of six games played at Coors Field in 1996. Before Wednesday, they hadn't allowed more than 13 runs in the offense-friendly stadium since then.
The Rockies' third run came after Black challenged an out call at the plate in the second inning. On Story's single, Jonathan Lucroy tried to score from second. He slid just past the tag of Braves catcher Kurt Suzuki, whose body blocked umpire Dan Bellino's view of the plate. The call was overturned.

Braves:Lucas Sims will get his introduction to Coors Field when the finale of this four-game series begins Thursday at 3:10 p.m. ET. Sims has pitched into the sixth inning in each of his first three career starts..
Rockies:Jeff Hoffman (6-4, 5.15 ERA) takes the hill for the Rockies in the series finale beginning at 1:10 p.m. MT. Hoffman has struggled at home this season, owning a 6.15 ERA at Coors Field. He will face the Braves for the first time in his career.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for since 2001.

Max Gelman is a reporter for based in Denver.