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Freeman leads Braves past Rockies

Jul 19, 2011 - 5:26 AM Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Freddie Freeman continues to make an impact in Atlanta's quest to overtake Philadelphia for the NL East lead.

Freeman had three hits, including a two-run homer, and drove in three runs in a 7-4 win over Colorado to start a four-game series Monday night. Freeman, who laced the game-winning RBI single in the ninth inning of a 9-8 win over Washington on Sunday, has 11 RBI over his last eight games.

"It's just one of those stretches where I feel good and everything is connecting," said Freeman. "I'm going up through the middle and when you go up through the middle there is no defense there."

Derek Lowe (6-7) pitched 6 1/3 innings to get the win, as the Braves moved within 2 1/2 games of first-place Philadelphia in the division. The Phillies lost to the Cubs at Wrigley Field Monday night. Lowe was charged with eight hits and four runs.

Craig Kimbrel fanned three batters in the ninth for his 29th save, securing Atlanta's eighth victory in 11 games.

Jason Hammel (5-9) yielded eight hits and six runs -- four earned -- over five innings for the Rockies, losers of three in a row.

The Braves caught a break with two outs in the second inning. With the bases load, Lowe sent a ground ball to third base. The throw from Ty Wigginton was a bit high, but Todd Helton lost the ball in the setting sun, resulting in a 2-0 Atlanta lead.

Freeman homered to center with Brian McCann on base in the third. One out later, Eric Hinske homered to the second deck in right field.

"The Freeman home run was a mid-thigh fastball and the Hinske home run was a hanging breaking ball and you're not going to get away with things like that against this club," said Colorado manager Jim Tracy.

Helton had an RBI single in the third, but Alex Gonzalez countered with a run- scoring hit in the fifth.

Freeman's fielder's choice plated Lowe in the sixth for a 7-1 lead before the Rockies made it close in the seventh. Carlos Gonzalez singled in Dexter Fowler and Eric O'Flaherty let up a sacrifice fly to Helton and an RBI single to Troy Tulowitzki. However, with men at the corners, Seth Smith flied out to center to end the inning.

Game Notes

Braves right fielder Jason Heyward missed the game because of a bruised left foot...Lowe is 4-5 in 11 career starts at Coors Field...Atlanta swept a four- game series versus Colorado from July 4-7, but the Rockies had won four in a row in this series as the host.

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    Braves 7, Rockies 4  FinalJul 19 3:00 PM

  • ATLANTA: 7

    Jul 18 11:31 PM

  • Troy Tulowitzki singled to center scored Carlos Gonzalez. On the play, Mark Ellis advances to third. Runners on first and third with two outs and Seth Smith due up.

    Braves 7, Rockies 4  Bot 7, 2 OutsJul 18 10:48 PM

  • Todd Helton sacrifice fly out to center scored Ryan Spilborghs. Runners on first and second and with two outs and Troy Tulowitzki due up.

    Braves 7, Rockies 3  Bot 7, 2 OutsJul 18 10:47 PM

  • Mark Ellis singled to right. On the play, Carlos Gonzalez advances to second and Ryan Spilborghs advances to third. Bases loaded with one out and Todd Helton due up.

    Braves 7, Rockies 2  Bot 7, 1 OutJul 18 10:44 PM

  • Freddie Freeman grounded into a fielder's choice, second to short scored Derek Lowe. Brian McCann out at second. Martin Prado advances to third. Runners on first and third with two outs and Dan Uggla due up.

    Braves 7, Rockies 1  Top 6, 2 OutsJul 18 10:17 PM

  • Alex Gonzalez singled to left scored Eric Hinske. Runner on first with two outs and Nate McLouth due up.

    Braves 6, Rockies 1  Top 5, 2 OutsJul 18 9:59 PM

  • Todd Helton singled to center scored Carlos Gonzalez. Runner on first with two outs and Troy Tulowitzki due up.

    Braves 5, Rockies 1  Bot 3, 2 OutsJul 18 9:31 PM

  • Eric Hinske two-out, solo Home Run (9) to right. Alex Gonzalez due up.

    Braves 5, Rockies 0  Top 3, 2 OutsJul 18 9:22 PM

  • Freddie Freeman one-out, two-run Home Run (14) to center scored Brian McCann. Dan Uggla due up.

    Braves 4, Rockies 0  Top 3, 1 OutJul 18 9:19 PM

  • Derek Lowe reached first on Todd Helton's missed catch error scored Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla. On the play, Nate McLouth advances to third. Runners on first and third with two outs and Jordan Schafer due up.

    Braves 2, Rockies 0  Top 2, 2 OutsJul 18 9:05 PM

  • ATLANTA: 0
    Top 1, 0 Outs

    Jul 18 8:42 PM
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    Braves vs. RockiesJul 18 8:50 AM