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Freeman's homer helps Braves sweep Rockies

Jul 8, 2011 - 12:15 AM Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Freddie Freeman hit a three-run homer to highlight a five-run third inning, as the Atlanta Braves finished off a four- game sweep of the Colorado Rockies with a 6-3 victory at Turner Field.

Jason Heyward posted three hits, including a solo shot, and drove in two runs for the Braves, who have won nine of their last 10 games overall.

Tim Hudson (8-6) worked 7 1/3 innings for the win, allowing five hits and three runs. Craig Kimbrel set a rookie record for saves before the All-Star break with 27 after turning in a perfect ninth.

"It's a huge game. We needed to win that one, last game of the series on a hot day. It was good to grind it out there and get a win," noted Heyward. "Hudson's always showing us what to do on a day like this. He's a bulldog, knows how to battle. We're proud to play behind him."

Jason Giambi knocked in a pair of runs for the Rockies, losers of five straight and seven of nine.

Juan Nicasio (3-2) departed after 2 1/3 innings, charged in defeat for seven hits and five runs with three walks.

Down 2-0, Atlanta posted a five-spot in the third to pull ahead for good. Jordan Schafer slugged a ground-rule double to start the frame, then scored when Alex Gonzalez smacked an RBI single. Chipper Jones followed with a base hit in front of Freeman's three-run blast to center. Dan Uggla kept the rally going with a double, then came in on a run-scoring hit by Heyward.

Nicasio wasn't yanked until walking Nate McLouth with two on and one out, but Eric Stults retired Hudson and Schafer to limit the damage.

Heyward extended the Braves' lead to 6-2 with a one-out solo homer in the fifth, then after Hudson was chased in the eighth in favor of Eric O'Flaherty, the Rockies loaded the bases and picked up their third run when Ellis scored on a wild pitch.

Kimbrel ended the game by retiring the side in order.

"I mean, we should be 20 games back right now which is the exciting part," said Giambi on his team's resilience in the face of mounting injuries. "Some guys are on the brink of coming back, and having that is almost like adding a trade-deadline player, because we have such great athletes and great players. Somebody's gonna turn it on, but we just haven't quite hit it yet."

Colorado picked up a run in the first as Jonathan Herrera drew a one-out walk and scored when Giambi followed with a double.

Nicasio fanned Hudson swinging with the bases loaded in the home second, and the Rockies tacked on another run in the third as Giambi grounded into a fielder's choice with runners on the corners.

The visitors lost left fielder Charlie Blackmon with a fractured left foot. He departed the game in the top of the third, after singling and coming up from a slide at third base favoring his leg.

Game Notes

Atlanta finished off its eighth series sweep in 2011, and recorded just the second four-game sweep against the Rockies...The only other occurrence came in the clubs' first-ever meeting from May 6-9, 1993 at Mile High Stadium...Colorado has lost seven straight day games.

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    Rockies 3, Braves 6  FinalJul 8 12:34 PM

    ATLANTA: 6

    Jul 7 4:24 PM

  • Mark Ellis scored on a wild pitch. Runners on first and second with two outs and Todd Helton at the plate.

    Rockies 3, Braves 6  Top 8, 2 OutsJul 7 4:03 PM

  • Jason Heyward one-out, solo Home Run (9) to right. David Ross due up.

    Rockies 2, Braves 6  Bot 5, 1 OutJul 7 3:06 PM

  • Jason Heyward single to right scored Dan Uggla. Runner on first with none out and David Ross due up.

    Rockies 2, Braves 5  Bot 3, 0 OutsJul 7 2:18 PM

  • Freddie Freeman none-out, three-run Home Run (13) to center scored Alex Gonzalez and Chipper Jones. Dan Uggla due up.

    Rockies 2, Braves 4  Bot 3, 0 OutsJul 7 2:13 PM

  • Alex Gonzalez single to center scored Jordan Schafer. Runner on first with none out and Chipper Jones due up.

    Rockies 2, Braves 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsJul 7 2:09 PM
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    Rockies 2, Braves 0  Mid 3Jul 7 1:58 PM

  • Jason Giambi grounded into a fielder's choice scored Ty Wigginton. On the play, Jonathan Herrera advances to second. Runners on first and second with one out and Seth Smith due up.

    Rockies 2, Braves 0  Top 3, 1 OutJul 7 1:55 PM
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    Rockies 1, Braves 0  Top 2, 1 OutJul 7 1:26 PM

  • Jason Giambi double to left scored Jonathan Herrera. Runner on second with one out and Seth Smith due up.

    Rockies 1, Braves 0  Top 1, 1 OutJul 7 1:13 PM

    ATLANTA: 0
    Top 1, 0 Outs

    Jul 7 1:08 PM
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    Rockies vs. BravesJul 7 7:30 AM