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Break out the brooms

Braves get sweep with 6-3

Break out the brooms

Break out the brooms

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tim H...


ATLANTA — Freddie Freeman hit a three-run homer, his fourth of the series, and the Atlanta Braves beat Colorado 6-3 Thursday to complete their first four-game sweep of the Rockies in 18 years.

Jason Heyward also homered for the streaking Braves, who have won nine of 10 and 14 of 17 as they head into a series with NL East-leading Philadelphia.

Freeman, the rookie first baseman, hit four homers and drove in seven runs in the series. His third-inning homer was the highlight of a five-run inning that knocked Juan Nicasio (3-2) out of the game. Nicasio gave up six straight hits in the inning.

Colorado has lost five straight and left Atlanta with more injury woes.

The depleted Rockies, already playing without injured regulars Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki, had outfielder Charlie Blackmon break a bone in his left foot while running the bases in the third inning.

The Rockies did not provide immediate details on the severity of Blackmon's injury.

Tim Hudson (8-6) pitched 7 1-3 innings, giving up five hits and three runs, to win his third straight decision. Craig Kimbrel pitched the ninth for his 27th save, the most in the majors.

Kimbrel passed Boston's Jonathan Papelbon for the most saves by a rookie before the All-Star break since 1969. Papelbon had 26 saves before the break in 2006.

Heyward and Freeman each had three hits for Atlanta, which enjoyed an offensive resurgence while scoring four or more runs in every game of its 6-1 homestand. The Braves outscored the Rockies 15-4 in the final two games of the series.

Rockies manager Jim Tracy said Gonzalez, who has a bruised right wrist, is close to returning to the lineup. Gonzalez was injured Sunday and missed the series.

Tulowitzki left Monday's first game of the series with a strained right quadriceps.

Jason Giambi, starting at first base for Todd Helton, drove in two runs. The Rockies took a 1-0 lead in the first when Giambi's RBI double scored Jonathan Herrera from first. Giambi's fielder's choice grounder in the third drove in Ty Wigginton.

Wigginton entered the game as a pinch-runner after Blackmon was hurt while advancing from first to third on Herrera's single. Blackmon appeared to falter slightly near second base before his left foot made initial contact with the bag on his slide into third.

Nicasio intentionally walked Nate McLouth to load the bases in the second, but escaped the jam by striking out Hudson. Nicasio gave up five runs on seven hits and three walks in 2 1-3 innings.

Alex Gonzalez and Heyward had run-scoring singles in the Braves' five-run third inning. Heyward hit his ninth homer in the fifth.

Eric O'Flaherty took over for Hudson with one out in the eighth. O'Flaherty's wild pitch with the bases loaded allowed Mark Ellis to score from third.

The Braves' only other four-game sweep of the Rockies came on May 6-9, 1993, in Colorado.

Notes: The Braves are 23-10 since June 1, the best mark in the majors in that span. ... The Rockies have lost seven straight day games since beating Detroit on June 19. They are a season-worst six games under .500.

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