The Atlanta Braves are on a roll, and facing a Colorado Rockies
lineup that could be without two of its sluggers could make it even
easier for them to extend their success.
The Braves will continue their series Tuesday night against the
Rockies, who don’t know if they’ll have Carlos Gonzalez or Troy
Tulowitzki available to play.
Atlanta (50-36) posted a 4-1 victory in the series opener Monday
for its 11th win in 14 games. The Rockies, who have dropped two
straight, lost Tulowitzki to tightness in his right quadriceps
after he grounded into a double play in the fourth inning.
Colorado (41-44) said he’ll be re-evaluated Tuesday, but
Tulowitzki seems to be erring on the side of caution.
“I made the mistake before of staying in and getting hurt,” said
Tulowitzki, who has team highs of 17 homers and 57 RBIs. “I’ve
learned my lesson the hard way, that when you feel something, get
out of there.
“A game or three or four or whatever is better than months.”
The Rockies were already without 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.
However, manager Jim Tracy said he wouldn’t rule out Gonzalez,
who has 13 homers and 51 RBIs, playing Tuesday.
Colorado could certainly use him against a Braves team that has
posted a 2.54 ERA over the last 14 games. Tommy Hanson pitched
seven strong innings Monday and Freddie Freeman homered twice to
drive in three runs.
Freeman is hitting .303 with four homers and 11 RBIs over the
last 10 games.
“He’s been great,” manager Fredi 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.”
The Braves were also short-handed Monday, as Chipper Jones sat
out after having a cortisone shot in his sore right knee. He
expects to be back in the lineup Tuesday.
The Rockies will turn to Jhoulys Chacin (8-5, 3.10 ERA) on
Tuesday as he takes the mound for the first time in over a week
after being hit hard in a 7-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs last
Chacin allowed six runs and gave up three homers in five
innings. The three homers were a career high and the six earned
runs tied a career worst.
“Unfortunately, Jhoulys didn’t have it today and that happens
once in a while,” Tracy said. “He couldn’t get the ball down today
and he paid for it.”
The right-hander is facing the Braves for the first time and
will be opposed by Derek Lowe (4-6, 4.16).
Lowe won for the first time in 10 starts after giving up one run
and four hits in six innings of a 5-3 victory over Seattle on
Wednesday. He was 0-3 with a 5.29 ERA over the previous nine
“Every game was a different type of frustration,” Lowe told the
Braves’ official website. “There were plenty of games throughout
this time when I could have easily pitched better. This will
definitely allow me to enjoy the off day better, finally getting a
Lowe is 9-8 with a 4.37 ERA in 20 starts against the
Todd Helton is hitting .319 (15 for 47) with two homers and two
doubles against Lowe, while Jason Giambi is 9 for 32 (.281) with
three homers when facing the right-hander.