Bettis solid, Rockies get 4 unearned runs to beat Braves 5-1
ATLANTA (AP) — The Colorado Rockies took advantage of Atlanta’s shoddy defense, and then got the outs they needed during a spurt of wildness that could have let the Braves back in the game.
Chad Bettis pitched five solid innings in his return from the disabled list and the Rockies scored four unearned runs, snapping a four-game losing streak with a 5-1 victory Tuesday night.
Bettis (6-4) allowed five hits, walked two and struck out four in his first big league start since July 18. He was coming back from right elbow inflammation.
“He picked up where he left off,” manager Walt Weiss said.
Colorado benefited from three errors by Atlanta third baseman Adonis Garcia, the first two contributing to the bulk of the scoring.
The Rockies jumped ahead 2-0 in the first after Garcia misplayed a grounder that might have been an inning-ending double play. In the fourth, Nick Hundley’s grounder skipped right past Garcia, allowing the Rockies to tack on two more runs when DJ LeMahieu came through with a two-out, bases-loaded single.
Freddie Freeman squandered a couple of chances to get the Braves back in the game.
After Nick Markakis’ RBI single in the fifth, Nick Swisher popped out with runners at first and third, and Freeman grounded out to end the inning.
Freeman came up in the seventh with the bases loaded and two outs, only to strike out swinging on a 3-2 slider from Christian Friedrich. The left-hander came in after Tommy Kahnle walked four in the inning but got away without allowing a run. Pinch-hitter Pedro Ciriaco grounded into a double play in the midst of all the walks.
“We don’t ever want to see Freeman coming to the plate in a situation like that,” Weiss said.
LeMahieu picked up his third RBI with a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Atlanta starter Mike Foltynewicz (4-6) went five innings and took the loss. He wasn’t able to pitch around Garcia’s first two defensive miscues.
“Errors are going to happen,” Foltynewicz said. “I’ve got to focus on the next pitch.”
Bettis also did good work at the plate. He had his first big league hit in the second and contributed in fourth with a walk. Foltynewicz hit a batter in the inning, as well, making it tougher to escape.
Atlanta lost for the 12th time in 15 games.
The announced attendance of 13,863 was the third-smallest crowd of the year at Turner Field and slightly less than the 13,920 for the series opener against the last-place Rockies.
The Braves are averaging 25,449 per game, putting them on pace for a season total of 2,061,369. That would be their smallest attendance since failing to draw 1 million fans in 1990, when the team finished last playing at old Atlanta Fulton-County Stadium.
Rockies: OF Carlos Gonzalez didn’t play after leaving Monday night’s game in fifth inning with right knee soreness. He is listed as day to day and may sit out again Wednesday, since the Rockies are off the following day. ... RHP Kyle Kendrick, who has been on the DL since Aug. 1 with right shoulder inflammation, threw a 45-pitch simulated game before batting practice. His next step is a rehab start in the minors.
Braves: SS Andrelton Simmons was back in the lineup after missing two games with a sore left knee. He went 2 for 3 with a walk, scoring Atlanta’s lone run.
Rockies: LHP Yohan Flande (3-1) will make his 14th appearance of the season, his sixth as a starter. In his five previous starts, he is 2-0 with 3.90 ERA. Flande pitched in the Braves’ farm system from 2010-13 and will be making his first start against his former team.
Braves: RHP Shelby Miller (5-10) is looking to break a winless streak that has stretched to more than three months. His last win came on May 17, when he threw a two-hit shutout at Miami. Miller has gone 0-9 over his last 17 starts, largely because of a lack of offensive support. The Braves have scored a total of 35 runs during that span — an average of just over two per game.
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