Braves 4, Rockies 1

Chipper Jones’ sore knee forced Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez to

juggle his lineup and make rookie Freddie Freeman the cleanup

hitter against the Rockies.

Freeman certainly looked comfortable in the role.

Freeman homered twice to drive in three runs, Tommy Hanson

combined with two relievers on a four-hitter and Atlanta beat

Colorado 4-1 on Monday night.

Freeman’s two-run shot in the first inning drove in Brian

McCann, who singled with two outs off Ubaldo Jimenez (3-8). Freeman

hit his 11th homer in the eighth off Matt Reynolds for his first

career two-homer game.

”He’s been great,” Gonzalez said. ”For a 21-year-old young

man, he’s been able to compete in the major leagues, get better and

help us win ballgames.”

Jimenez was facing the Braves for the first time since throwing

a no-hitter at Turner Field on April 17, 2010. It was the first

no-hitter in Rockies history.

Freeman hit fourth – McCann’s normal spot – for only the sixth

time. Freeman has four homers and 11 RBIs in his last 11 games.

”It’s just one of those things,” Freeman said. ”I feel like

I’m doing the same thing.”

Jones had a cortisone shot in his sore right knee on Sunday and

might return on Tuesday.

Freeman, a left-handed hitter, said he was trying to go up the

middle against Jimenez because ”you don’t want to try to pull a 96

mph two-seamer.”

Freeman hit the first-inning homer to left-center and then

pulled his second homer of the game to right.

”He had an unbelievable day,” Hanson said.

Hanson (10-4) gave up one run on four hits and one walk in seven

innings. He had six strikeouts while lowering his ERA to 2.52. He

ranks among the league leaders in wins and ERA but wasn’t selected

to the NL All-Star team on Sunday.

When asked if he was motivated to show he deserved to be an

All-Star, Hanson said, ”Not at all.”

”I just want to go out there and execute the game plan and

worry about our team,” he said.

Said Freeman: ”He’s an All-Star in all our books.”

Jonny Venters worked around a walk in the eighth and Craig

Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth for his 25th save.

The Rockies were without outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who bruised

his right wrist when he ran into the center-field wall Sunday

against Kansas City. X-rays showed no fracture, but Gonzalez said

Monday he can’t grip a bat.

Manager Jim Tracy said he wouldn’t rule out Gonzalez playing


The Rockies lost another star player in the fourth when Troy

Tulowitzki left with tightness in his right quadriceps.

Tulowitzki pulled up after grounding into a double play to end

the fourth. He leaned over in apparent discomfort near first base

before walking slowly off the field.

Tulowitzki said he felt the tightness about halfway down the

first-base line. He said he has had problems with the quadriceps

before and didn’t want to risk a more serious injury.

”A game or three or four or whatever is better than months,”

Tulowitzki said.

Jonathan Herrera replaced Tulowitzki at shortstop.

The Rockies scored in the fourth when Mark Ellis walked, stole

second and scored on Todd Helton’s single.

The Braves pushed their lead to 3-1 in the sixth when McCann

singled and scored on Jason Heyward’s double to center. Herrera

bobbled the relay throw from Ryan Spilborghs for an error, and

Heyward was not awarded an RBI.

The Rockies had only two hits before Herrera singled with two

outs in the seventh. He moved to third on Seth Smith’s double past

Freeman at first base, but Hanson ended the threat by striking out

Ty Wigginton. The usually stoic Hanson slapped his glove on his way

off the mound.

Rain started in the sixth inning and continued without an

interruption of play.

NOTES: The Rockies recalled OF Cole Garner from Triple-A

Colorado Springs. Garner flied out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth

in his first major league at-bat. … RHP Clayton Mortensen was

optioned to Colorado Springs. Mortensen was 2-4 with a 3.86 ERA in

16 games, including six starts, with the Rockies. … Jordan

Schafer had four strikeouts as Atlanta’s leadoff hitter. … Fredi

Gonzalez said OF Martin Prado, recovering from a staph infection,

may begin a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday or Wednesday.