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Freeman powers Braves past Rockies

Jul 5, 2011 - 2:37 AM Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Freddie Freeman hit two homers and knocked in three runs, backing seven strong innings by Tommy Hanson as the Braves topped the Rockies 4-1 in the opener of four-game series.

Hanson (10-4) matched a career-best by winning his fifth straight start, giving up just one run on four hits and a walk while striking out six.

He smiled as he said being a 10-game winner felt the "same as being a nine- game winner."

"I was just happy with how I threw the ball. Our game plan worked out," Hanson said. "The whole team did a great job today."

Freeman had a two-run homer in the first inning and a solo shot in the eighth as the Braves improved to 11-3 in their last 14 games.

Colorado starter Ubaldo Jimenez pitched in Atlanta for the first time since he tossed the first no-hitter in Rockies history on April 17, 2010.

This time around, the third and fourth batters got hits -- the second was Freeman's homer -- and Jimenez (3-8) lost for the first time in four starts despite striking out nine.

Was he hoping to repeat history?

"No, no, no," Jimenez said. "I can be happy with one. You can't be thinking you're going to throw another one. It's not going to happen like that. It was pretty much, like you could say, a fluke. It's [a blessing] if it happens once to you, so I didn't even think about it. I just wanted to give my team a chance to win."

The Rockies fell for the seventh time in 10 games and lost All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who left the game with right quad tightness after grounding into a double play to end the fourth inning.

Freeman gave Atlanta all the runs it needed in the first inning with an opposite field homer to left-center, which scored Brian McCann after he reached with a two-out single.

Hanson struck out four batters in the first three innings and didn't allow a hit until Todd Helton's RBI single with one out in the fourth. Mark Ellis scored on the play after drawing a walk and stealing second base.

Atlanta got that run back in the sixth when McCann led off with a single and scored on Jason Heyward's double off the wall in right-center. Rockies centerfielder Ryan Spilborghs was unable to catch the long drive, which chased Jimenez from the game for reliever Rex Brothers.

The Rockies threatened with two outs in the seventh, putting runners at second and third base when Jonathan Herrera singled and Seth Smith doubled. But Hanson made it through the inning, fanning Ty Wigginton to escape trouble.

Freeman greeted reliever Matt Reynolds with a leadoff blast in the eighth, knocking his 11th homer of the season over the right field wall in a steady rain to make it 4-1.

Game Notes

Jonny Venters pitched a scoreless eighth inning for Atlanta and Craig Kimbrel threw a 1-2-3 ninth for his 25th save...Hanson hasn't lost since May 27 and hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in his last six starts. He also won five starts in a row from June 12-July 20, 2009...It was the first career two- homer game for Freeman...Atlanta has a seven-game errorless streak going...Jimenez had been 2-0 in his previous three starts since beginning the season 1-7.