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.
"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
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
"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
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
"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.
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.
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