for this game

Smoltz strong once again as Braves down Rockies

Apr 29, 2007 - 5:22 AM DENVER (Ticker) -- Two days after signing a contract extension that will likely keep him an Atlanta Brave for life, John Smoltz showed his appreciation.

Smoltz struck out eight and Jeff Francoeur homered as the Braves notched a 6-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies to win the second of the three-game series.

Smoltz (3-1), who agreed to a contract extension that guarantees him a reported $14 million in 2008 with options for the following two seasons, yielded two runs and nine hits with a walk.

After allowing a two-run blast to Colorado rookie Troy Tulowitzki in the first, the former Cy Young Award winner buckled down to hold the Rockies scoreless over the next six frames.

"Smoltz pitched great tonight," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "If he wanted to, he could go a couple more years. He keeps himself in great shape. He's always adjusting and trying new things."

"Fortunately, I (have) some great teammates," Smoltz said. "Everyone kept me in the game, offense and defense. I don't mind telling you. I hate pitching here."

The 39-year-old righthander improved to 11-4 lifetime against the Rockies.

"No matter how much I pitch here, I can't find a rhythm or a groove," Smoltz said. "I have a hard time holding on to the ball. They use a humidor ball and we don't practice with a humidor ball, so it's very tough.

"I could tell you right now if you asked me what my record was, I would tell you I had a losing record (at Coors Field). That's how I feel facing these guys. Fortunately, I got lucky tonight and got some help. It was a win we needed to have."

Francoeur, who led the National League with 24 RBI entering the game, led off the fourth with a solo shot to give Atlanta a 4-2 lead.

"I waited on a nice little curveball," Francoeur said. "He got me out on it the first time so I thought he would come back with it. I stayed back and got a read on it."

Edgar Renteria hit a solo homer and Kelly Johnson's RBI triple to deep center continued his torrid offensive tear. Since hitting just .150 (6-for-40) prior to April 17, Johnson has batted .487 (19-for-39) and scored 13 runs.

"Kelly's hitting the ball really nice," Cox said. "And Edgar's shot went for an unbelievable trip. He's on fire."

Jason Hirsh (2-2) took the loss for the Rockies, surrendering five runs - three earned - and five hits with four walks and two strikeouts.

"His command wasn't what it was over previous starts," manager Clint Hurdle said. "His secondary pitches were not as crisp. He learned some things tonight."

Todd Helton added three hits for Colorado, which has lost seven of their last nine contests, including five of their last six at Coors Field.

"Every time Todd Helton comes up in this park, I think, 'How am I going to get him out?'" Smoltz said.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ATLANTA 0 0 3 2 0 0 0 0 1 6 6 1
    COLORADO 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 10 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: ATL - JOHN SMOLTZ, MIKE GONZALEZ (8TH), RAFAEL SORIANO (9TH) AND
    BRIAN MCCANN
    COL - JASON HIRSH, JEREMY AFFELDT (7TH), MANNY CORPAS
    (8TH), BRIAN FUENTES (9TH) AND

    Apr 28 10:36 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY EDGAR RENTERIA (4) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 9TH OFF BRIAN FUENTES.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 6, COLORADO 2
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C JONES (.322, 1-FOR-3, BB, 2 RBI)

    Braves vs. RockiesApr 28 10:25 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY KELLY JOHNSON SCORED RYAN LANGERHANS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, K JOHNSON ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 5
    COLORADO 2 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: E RENTERIA (.341, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Braves vs. RockiesApr 28 9:06 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY JEFF FRANCOEUR (5) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF JASON HIRSH.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 4, COLORADO 2
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: S THORMAN (.244, 0-FOR-1)

    Braves vs. RockiesApr 28 9:01 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ANDRUW JONES SCORED EDGAR RENTERIA.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, C JONES ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 3
    COLORADO 2 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B MCCANN (.307, 0-FOR-1)

    Braves vs. RockiesApr 28 8:50 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CHIPPER JONES SCORED RYAN LANGERHANS AND KELLY
    JOHNSON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C JONES ON FIRST, E RENTERIA ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 2
    COLORADO 2 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: A JONES (.228, 0-FOR-1)

    Braves vs. RockiesApr 28 8:49 PM


  • NL
    AT COLORADO - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY TROY TULOWITZKI (2) TO RIGHT CENTER
    WITH 0 OUT IN THE 1ST OFF JOHN SMOLTZ SCORED WILLY TAVERAS.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 0, COLORADO 2
    DUE UP FOR COLORADO: G ATKINS (.268, 2 HR, 12 RBI)

    Braves vs. RockiesApr 28 8:20 PM