MLB: Atkins’ key single sinks Braves in 8th, 7-6
DENVER ó Pinch-hitter Garrett Atkins hit a two-out, two-run double in the eighth inning Thursday night, lifting the Colorado Rockies past the Atlanta Braves 7-6 for their fourth consecutive victory.
Ian Stewart started the rally by drawing a one-out walk, and Mike Gonzalez (3-2) then hit Chris Iannetta with a pitch.
Gonzalez retired Carlos Gonzalez on a pop up before Atkins, batting for reliever Juan Rincon (1-0), lashed a double down the left field line to snap the third tie of the game.
Huston Street allowed a run-scoring groundout by Diory Hernandez before getting Casey Kotchman on a comebacker for the final out, picking up his 22nd save in 23 opportunities.
Neither starter in a matchup between a rising star and established veteran figured in the decision.
Unbeaten rookie Tommy Hanson, whose 26-inning scoreless streak was snapped last Saturday, allowed four runs and six hits in five innings. His overall ERA rose from 2.25 to 2.85 after giving up the second-most runs in his career. Hanson allowed six runs in his major-league debut, a no-decision against Milwaukee on June 7.
Aaron Cook, the winningest pitcher in Rockies’ history, lasted 52/3 innings, giving up five runs and nine hits, including Brooks Conrad’s sixth-inning RBI single that put the Braves ahead 5-4.
Dexter Fowler got Cook off the hook in the seventh when he singled, stole second ó his Rockies’ rookie-record 18th of the season ó and scored on Clint Barmes’ double.
Colorado pulled into a tie for the second time in the fourth on a triple by Iannetta, who snapped an 0-for-12 skid to drive in Brad Hawpe and Stewart, both aboard on walks.
Atlanta had taken a 4-2 lead when Jeff Francoeur delivered a run-scoring double and Martin Prado had an RBI single.
In the second, Brian McCann doubled ahead of Yunel Escobar’s second-inning triple and the Braves shortstop scored one batter later on Francoeur’s fielder’s choice.
The Rockies evened the score at 2 in their half of the inning, when Troy Tulowitzki tripled and Stewart followed by driving Hanson’s first offering over the center field fence.
In the fourth, Hernandez replaced Escobar, who left the game with a lower back strain.
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