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Gonzalez's bloop single lifts Rockies past Braves 3-2
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Atlanta Braves relief pitcher Jason Grilli reacts to an injury to his left leg while running to cover first base during the ninth inning of Saturday's game against the Colorado Rockies in Denver. - photo by Associated Press

DENVER — Carlos Gonzalez hit a bases-loaded bloop single that dropped between charging center fielder Cameron Maybin and backpedaling shortstop Andrelton Simmons in the ninth inning Saturday, driving in the decisive run in the Colorado Rockies' 3-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

Misfortune hit the Braves at the outset of the Rockies' late rally. Reliever Jason Grilli (3-4) tumbled to the ground and suffered a lower left leg injury as he ran toward first to cover the bag when Drew Stubbs, the first batter he faced, hit a grounder that first baseman Chris Johnson ranged to his right to field.

Grilli appeared to take a bad step and crumpled to the ground, grabbing his lower left leg in pain. Stubbs was safe on what was ruled a hit.

Team trainers and manager Fredi Gonzalez ran on to the field to tend to Grilli, who remained on the ground for several minutes. He was helped to his feet, taken away on a cart for further treatment and replaced by David Aardsma.

Charlie Blackmon was hit by a pitch and after Nolan Arenado struck out, Troy Tulowitzki walked to load the bases. Gonzalez, who also homered earlier, lofted a fly ball to shallow center that the Braves simply couldn't get to before it fell with Stubbs coming in to score the winning run.

LaTroy Hawkins (2-1) pitched a scoreless ninth for the victory.

The Braves loaded the bases with one out in the eighth but couldn't convert against reliever Christian Friedrich, who induced Simmons to fly out to shallow center and struck out Ryan Lavarnway, who homered earlier.

Matt Wisler settled down to pitch six solid innings after being jolted in the first by Gonzalez's two-out, two run homer that soared into the stand of evergreens beyond the center field wall. Gonzalez hit a homer to nearly the same place the night before.

Wisler fanned seven.

Atlanta evened the score at 2-2 on Lavarnway's first home run of the season leading off the third.

Jorge De La Rosa struck out the first four batters he faced before Juan Uribe connected for his eighth homer — seventh with the Braves — in the second. He finished with seven strikeouts in six innings and allowed two runs on four hits.


Atlanta set its rotation for the second half of the season with Julio Teheran scheduled to start next Friday against the Chicago Cubs when play resumes following the All-Star break. He'l be followed by Manny Banuelos, Shelby Miller, Matt Wisler and Alex Wood.


The Rockies recalled Rex Brothers from their Triple A affiliate in Albuquerque before the game, making roster room for him by designating for assignment left-handed pitcher Aaron Laffey. Brothers has spent much of the previous four seasons with the Rockies. Laffey spent one day with the Rockies but it was long enough to get the win pitching in relief Friday night despite allowing a three-run homer in Colorado's 5-3 victory over the Braves. It was his first major league appearance since April 26, 2013, and first win since Sept. 25, 2012.


Braves: LHP Alex Wood (6-5) returns to the mound to start Sunday's series finale after throwing just two pitches in Thursday's rain-delayed opener. He replaced LHP Manny Banuelos.

Rockies: RHP Chad Bettis (4-4) will look to bounce back after allowing a career-high 10 runs in 2 1-3 innings in his last start against the Los Angeles Angels.