Bases-loaded single does it for Colorado

DENVER (AP) -- After watching yet another blown save, it would

have been easy for the Colorado Rockies to give up.

Not this bunch. No matter how many games they lose or how many

times the bullpen butchers a lead, the Rockies aren't going to back


Todd Greene hit a game-winning, bases-loaded single in the

bottom of the ninth after Atlanta scored three runs in the top half

of the inning, giving the Rockies a 6-5 victory on Wednesday.

"One of the strengths of this club is it has a lot of

backbone," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "As demoralizing as

it was, we knew we had an opportunity to win the game."

Colorado got an impressive start from Byung-Hyun Kim and led 4-2

heading into the ninth, only to see Chin-hui Tsao (1-0) blow the

save. The rookie closer was successful in his first four save

opportunities, but clearly didn't have his best stuff against the


Ryan Langerhans led off the ninth with a homer, then Rafael

Furcal hit a two-out bloop single to center. Brian Giles tied it

with a run-scoring double off the wall in right, then Julio Franco

lined a single to right to put the Braves up 5-4.

It wasn't a good sign for a team that has lost more games in

late innings than any other in baseball the past two years.

"That ninth of theirs was tough," Colorado's Dustan Mohr said.

"To have a tough inning like that and you think you have a two-run

lead, then all of a sudden you're down one took a lot out of our


But Mohr helped the Rockies get their wind back -- against Dan

Kolb, no less.

The Braves closer got Cory Sullivan on a hard liner to open the

ninth, then Mohr hit a long, pinch-hit solo homer to left. Clint

Barmes and Aaron Miles followed with consecutive singles, and Kolb

(1-3) intentionally walked Todd Helton to load the bases.

Manager Bobby Cox replaced Kolb with Chris Reitsma, who struck

out Preston Wilson before giving up Greene's winning single up the

middle. Kolb had converted nine of his previous 10 save chances.

"It's just Coors Field," Cox said.

Helton finished 3-for-4 with two doubles and Greene had three

RBI for Colorado, which has won three of four since an eight-game

losing streak.

Langerhans homered twice and Andruw Jones hit a solo shot for

Atlanta, which dropped two of three to the last-place Rockies after

a five-game winning streak.

Braves starter John Smoltz didn't seem to have any lingering

effects from the back strain that forced him out after five innings

of his last start. Working quickly and hitting his spots, he

allowed two runs before running into trouble in the eighth.

Helton started it off with a double, then Brad Hawpe followed

with a run-scoring triple. Greene followed with a run-scoring

single up the middle through a drawn-in infield to put Colorado up


Smoltz allowed four runs -- three earned -- and eight hits in

eight innings.

"This is not a fun place no matter how good you feel," Smoltz

said. "It was one of those games that ended up being too good to

be true."

Kim has been nearly unhittable this season -- a .178 average

against -- but has had all kinds of control problems with 15 walks,

five wild pitches and three hit batters in 13 innings.

He walked four -- two intentional -- and gave up a solo homer to

Andruw Jones in the fourth inning, but left with a 2-1 lead after

giving up just three hits after replacing Joe Kennedy (ankle) in

the rotation.

"What a start we got from Kim. He kept us in the game," Hurdle


Atlanta tied it in the sixth inning on Langerhans' solo homer

off Jose Acevedo.

Game notes
Braves 1B Adam LaRoche was limited to pinch hit duties in

the ninth because of a leg injury. ... Rockies RHP Jason Jennings

flew out to center in his sixth career appearance as a pinch hitter

in the fifth inning.