Braves 13, Rockies 9
Playing from behind in recent games seems to have fueled the Atlanta Braves offense.
Chipper Jones helped the Braves rally once again, matching a career high with five RBIs on three hits, and the Braves overcame a grand slam by Michael Cuddyer to beat the Colorado Rockies 13-9 Saturday night.
Atlanta has scored 37 runs in its past four games, overcoming a five-run deficit in Friday night's 11-inning, 9-8 win over Colorado and a six-run deficit in an 11-inning, 15-13 win over Philadelphia earlier in the week.
''The beauty is, once you've done something once, you can draw on it,'' Diaz said. ''We know we can bounce back if we have to and the offense is clicking right now.''
Staggered at the outset, Atlanta came back to score 10 of its runs from the sixth inning on and also benefited from sloppy defense by the Rockies, who committed four errors in a game that included a 69-minute rain delay.
The last miscue was a dropped fly ball in the ninth inning by center fielder Tyler Colvin, leading to the Braves' final run
''If you're going to fall down, fall down early,'' Jones said. ''We're a confident bunch. We feel like if we can get some things going early in innings, we can string some stuff together. But we hate to keep putting ourselves in these situations. Our starting pitching has got to do a little better job.''
Heavy thundershowers forced the teams off the field in the bottom of the eighth inning but the weather eventually cleared, allowing the game to resume.
In the midst of Atlanta's tiebreaking four-run seventh, the game was also delayed for about six minutes while paramedics tended to a young fan who was struck by a foul ball and taken away on a stretcher for treatment.
The Braves loaded the bases against reliever Esmil Rogers (0-2) in the seventh before Rex Brothers came on to walk Michael Bourn, forcing home the go-ahead run. Jones then followed with a two-run single and Freddie Freeman drove in the inning's final run with a sacrifice fly as the Braves moved in front 12-8.
''That was the worst game of the year for us,'' Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. ''Similar to last night and from the sixth inning on, we didn't pitch at all. To sit here and you've scored 17 runs in the first two games of the series and you haven't won, gives you a pretty good idea of where we are failing.''
Wilin Rosario connected off Chad Durbin for his second homer of the game in the bottom of the seventh to get the Rockies back within three.
Trailing 8-3, the Braves broke through in the sixth to tie it at 8-all.
Diaz and Heyward began the inning with consecutive home runs off Jamie Moyer, and when Tyler Pastornicky followed with a single, Rogers came on in relief. But pinch-hitter Juan Francisco, batting for Atlanta starter Mike Minor, walked and Bourn singled to load the bases for Jones, who blooped a two-run single into center.
Freeman's run-scoring groundout drove in the inning's fifth run, foiling Moyer's bid for his first victory since his milestone win against San Diego on April 17 in which he became, at 49, the major league's oldest starting pitcher to win a game.
Minor went five innings and allowed 10 hits and a career-high eight runs, one more than he allowed in his previous outing.
The Rockies jumped on him in the first, when Cuddyer connected for his sixth career grand slam and first since leaving Minnesota in the offseason to join the Rockies as a free agent.
Carlos Gonzalez, who went 4 for 4 with a walk, hit a two-run double in the second and Rosario drilled his first homer of the game, a two-run shot, in the fifth.
The Braves got an unearned run in the third on a fielding error by shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and a dropped fly ball to left by Gonzalez. They pulled within 6-3 in the fifth when Jones had an RBI double and Brian McCann hit an RBI single.
Notes: The homers by Diaz and Heyward marked the first time this season the Braves have gone back to back. ... The Rockies have had three grand slams this season, all in the past eight games. Todd Helton and Ramon Hernandez also have hit grand slams. ... Jones has had five RBIs in a game 18 times. ... Heyward's foul ball into the right field seats just to the right of the foul pole was verified by replay review in the seventh inning. He ended the at-bat by drawing a walk off Rogers. ... Rosario had his first career multihomer game. ... Moyer had his first hit of the season and 50th of his career in the second inning. ... Atlanta will be seeking a series sweep when it sends right-hander Brandon Beachy (2-1) against Rockies' right-hander Juan Nicasio (2-0) in Sunday's finale.