Rockies Vs Braves: Colorado Broomed By Braves, 6-3, Lose Blackmon To Injury

For more on the Rockies, visit Purple Row. Check out Talking Chop and SB Nation Atlanta for the Braves.

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Rockies Vs Braves: Colorado Broomed By Braves, 6-3, Lose Blackmon To Injury

The Colorado Rockies entered today's series closer against the Atlanta Braves, hoping to steal at least one game of what has been a dreadful series. Rockies rookie pitcher Juan Nicasio matched up against veteran Braves pitcher Tim Hudson, and the results were not pretty.

Colorado started the day well, as Jonathan Herrera walked and then scored on a Jason Giambi double to give the Rockies an early 1-0 lead. They added on in the third inning, as Giambi hit a weak grounder that Hudson couldn't field, allowing Ty Wigginton to score from third on the fielder's choice. Wigginton did not start, but was an injury substitution for Charlie Blackmon, who suffered a fractured foot on the basepaths. No word as to how long he will be out of the lineup.

Just a week after pitching the best start of his young career, an eight inning shutout masterpiece against the Kansas City Royals, Nicasio had his shortest major league start as he was chased in the third inning after giving up five runs. He allowed seven total hits and walked three batters in just 2.1 innings. The damage was done by fellow rookie Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, who hit his fourth home run of the series, a three run blast that scored Alex Gonzalez and Chipper Jones. Jason Heyward would add a solo shot in the fifth inning to give the Braves a 6-2 lead.

Colorado now limps into their next series against the Washington Nationals with a 41-47 record, eight games back of the division leading San Fransisco Giants.

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Rockies Vs. Braves: Colorado On Brink Of Being Swept By Atlanta

The Colorado Rockies' trip to Atlanta hasn't proven fruitful at all. Tommy Hanson shut down the offense on Monday, and Troy Tulowitzki went down with quad tightness. Then on Tuesday Derek Lowe kept the Rockies off-balance on both the mound and while in the batter's box, delivering a bases-loaded three-run double. And on Wednesday, Aaron Cook looked like a pitcher on his way out of the rotation.

And so the Rockies turn to Juan Nicasio (3-1, 4.10 ERA) on Thursday afternoon to avoid being swept in the four-game series. Nicasio is coming off his best start of the season, a 9-0 win over the Kansas City Royals on July 1. He held the Royals scoreless for eight innings and allowed just three hits. That start was just the second one in which he was allowed to throw over 100 pitches.

Tim Hudson (7-6, 3.57 ERA) finished June with 14 innings of scoreless ball, but allowed three runs in his first July start. However, the Braves were able to squeak out a 5-4 victory against the Orioles that day (July 2). Hudson's made six career starts against the Rockies, going 3-2 with a 4.86 ERA.

First pitch is scheduled for 11:05 a.m. MT.

For more on the Rockies, visit Purple Row. Check out Talking Chop and SB Nation Atlanta for the Braves.

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Rockies Vs. Braves: Aaron Cook Hit Hard In 9-1 Loss

Aaron Cook's days in the Colorado Rockies' rotation may be numbered. Certainly, manager Jim Tracy will think long and hard about his post-All-Star Break rotation composition following Wednesday's 9-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Cook was tagged for seven runs on 10 hits in five innings. Two of those runs scored after Cook left the game for Rex Brothers, but Cook's diminishing returns this season won't cut it much longer.

A bunch of singles and doubles did that damage to drive in those runs, though Chipper Jones' two-run homer was quite spectacular. Rafael Betancourt served up a two-run homer to Dan Uggla in the eighth inning. Jordan Schafer had four hits against Rockies' pitchers this game, including a triple in the bottom of the first that started the scoring.

Surprisingly, Ian Stewart doubled in the fifth inning for his first major league hit in a long time and then scored on a Matt Pagnozzi single to deep right field. But that was the only scoring the team could muster in the contest. Jair Jurrjens held the Rockies to one run on five hits in six innings.

The Rockies (41-46, 19-24 away) finish this series on Thursday afternoon at 11:05 a.m. MT. Juan Nicasio and Tim Hudson are the scheduled starters.

For more on the Rockies, visit Purple Row.

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Rockies Vs. Braves: Can Aaron Cook Pick Up His 1st Victory?

The Colorado Rockies could use some good luck right about now. With back-to-back losses to the Atlanta Braves and injuries to Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki over the holiday weekend, the Rockies are falling further behind in the race for the NL West.

Aaron Cook is still looking for his first victory of the season, and he did come close in his June 30 start against the Chicago White Sox. He allowed one run despite giving up five hits and walking four batters. Unfortunately Matt Lindstrom blew the game in the eighth inning and then Clayton Mortensen allowed Juan Pierre to drive in two on a single. It was his best start of his season after giving up 10 runs and 20 hits in his previous 11 2/3 innings pitched.

Jair Jurrjens, recently named to the NL All-Star Team, is 11-3 with a 1.89 ERA in 15 starts. His 201 ERA+ is the best in the league. In his last three starts, Jurrjens has allowed two runs in 20 1/3 innings. His last start was a one-hit complete game shutout with eight strikeouts against the Baltimore Orioles. He is 4-1 in seven career starts against the Rockies and has 44 strikeouts in 47 innings pitched.

This game begins at 5:10 p.m. MT.

For more on the Rockies, visit Purple Row.

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Rockies Vs. Braves: Derek Lowe Drives In Three To Help Atlanta To 5-3 Victory

In his first game back with the Colorado Rockies, Ian Stewart continued in his inability to pick up a hit, but as always that's just symptomatic of what the Rockies are unable to do: they went 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position. As a result, the Rockies lost to the Atlanta Braves, 5-3, in the second game of this series.

Braves 1B Freddie Freeman struck again with a home run (12) to straight away center field put his team up early in the second inning. Two innings later, Braves starter Derek Lowe came up with the bases loaded and unloaded them with a double for a 4-0 lead.

Lowe (5-6, 4.21 ERA) would pitch into the sixth inning after allowing an RBI ground out to Jhoulys Chacin and a Charlie Blackmon single in the fifth inning. In the sixth, Lowe allowed Seth Smith and Mark Ellis to reach on back-to-back singles and left the game. Left George Sherrill came in and struck out Ian Stewart, which was followed by Cory Gearrin entering the game and allowing a Chris Iannetta RBI single. That ended the Rockies' scoring for the night.

Chacin (8-6) gave up the first four runs, allowing four hits and walking six. Eric Stults gave up a home run to Dan Uggla in the bottom of the sixth to pad the Braves' lead.

The Rockies (41-45, 19-23 away) play the Braves again on Wednesday at 5:10 p.m. MT. Aaron Cook and Jair Jurrjens are scheduled to start.

For more on the Rockies, visit Purple Row.

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Ian Stewart Called Up, Will Start; Cole Garner Sent To Triple-A

Cole Garner's stay with the Colorado Rockies was short, being sent back to Triple-A Colorado Springs just one day after being recalled. This move allows the Rockies to recall Ian Stewart back up. He will be in the starting lineup on Tuesday night:

CF Charlie Blackmon
SS Jonathan Herrera
1B Todd Helton
LF Ty Wigginton
RF Seth Smith
2B Mark Ellis
3B Ian Stewart
C Chris Iannetta
P Jhoulys Chacin

Early speculation was that Stewart was just going to be up to serve as a bench guy, but clearly manager Jim Tracy has something else in mind for the struggling third baseman. Both Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki are available off the bench, but neither appears likely to enter the game in the later innings. Gonzalez could possibly pinch run, but he won't pick up a bat until Wednesday.

Garner made a pinch-hit appearance in Monday's game, driving the ball into right field for an out.

For more on the Rockies, visit Purple Row.

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Rockies Vs. Braves: Depleted Colorado Looks To Rebound With Jhoulys Chacin

Colorado Rockies pitcher Jhoulys Chacin was skipped in the rotation on Saturday due to forearm stiffness and moved to Tuesday's contest with the Atlanta Braves. Since then the Rockies have lost Carlos Gonzalez to a wrist injury on Sunday and Troy Tulowitzki to right quad stiffness on Monday.

Chacin didn't close out June well, allowing six runs in five innings to the Cubs in a makeup game. But he was otherwise brilliant in that month. He did pick up three wins and allowed three runs in his four starts before then. He also struck out 25 in those contests. Will he be able to find that success again?

Tommy Hanson held the Rockies to just one run on four hits in seven innings. The Braves will look toward Derek Lowe for more of the same. Lowe is 9-8 with a 4.37 ERA in his career against the Rockies. In 2011, Lowe is just 4-6 with a 4.16 ERA. In his last start, he picked up the win after holding the Mariners to one run in six innings. However, he has been prone to giving up four or five runs in his starts, seven so far this season.

First pitch is schedule for 5:10 p.m. MT.

For more on the Rockies, visit Purple Row.

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Rockies' Ian Stewart In Atlanta, No Move Announced Yet

With injuries to Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki both out for at least a couple more days, the roster is a bit short on player at the moment. On Monday, the Rockies called up Cole Garner for some reinforcement, but then Tulowitzki went down during Monday's game with right quad tightness.

No corresponding move has yet been announced, but Colorado Springs 3B Ian Stewart is in Atlanta on Tuesday to join the bench. According to Rockies broadcaster Tom Helmer, Stewart told him that he will in uniform for Tuesday night's game with the Braves.

Stewart has had a tough 2011 so far, first missing a couple of weeks during spring training and then getting off to a horrible start during the regular season. He had just three hits in 52 regular season plate appearances. And that's over two different stints with the team. At the Triple-A level, Stewart has hit .269 with 14 home runs, but he is hitting .217 with a .772 OPS on the road.

For more on the Rockies, visit Purple Row.

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Rockies Vs. Braves: Ubaldo Jimenez Displays Excellent Stuff, But Loses, 4-1, To Atlanta

Ubaldo Jimenez's bid for a second no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves didn't last long, allowing a single to catcher Brian McCann in the bottom of the first. Rather, it was Troy Tulowitzki's early exit from the 4-1 loss to the Braves that became the storyline.

In the fourth inning, Tulowitzki ran out an inning-ending double play and came up feeling pain in his right leg. As he walked around the first base area at the end of the inning, trainers came out and determined he needed to leave the game. He was diagnosed with right quad tightness and is listed as day-to-day. He will likely miss Tuesday's game.

Ubaldo Jimenez (3-8, 4.39 ERA) had dominant stuff in the game, at one point striking out five batters in a row and six of the previous seven. He went 5 1/3 innings with three runs allowed on six hits and one walk. He struck out nine, but ran his pitch count up to 117 before leaving the game. He allowed a Freddie Freeman two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning and then gave up a Jason Heyward RBI double to end his night.

Rex Brothers loaded the bases with two walks, but also struck out two to end the inning. Mark Reynolds allowed a second Freddie Freeman home run (11) in the eighth inning.

Braves starter Tommy Hanson (10-4, 2.52 ERA) was untouchable on the mound. He allowed a Todd Helton RBI single in the fourth inning for the only run he gave up. He struck out six over seven innings. Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel kept the Rockies down for the final two innings, the latter picking up his 25th save.

Cole Garner, called up by the Rockies on Monday afternoon, appeared as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning. He delivered a well-struck ball, but it wound up as an out to Jason Heyward.

The Rockies (41-44, 19-21 away) continue this series on Tuesday evening at 5:10 p.m. MT. Jhoulys Chacin and Derek Lowe are scheduled to start.

For more on the Rockies, visit Purple Row.

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Troy Tulowitzki Injury: Shortstop Leaves Game With Hurt Right Quad

For the second day in a row, the Colorado Rockies have lost another star player during a game. This time shortstop Troy Tulowitzki left Monday's game with a right quad injury during the top of the fourth inning. He hit into an inning-ending double play and when he was several feet away from first base it was clear that he felt something bothering him.

Milling around first base, Tulowitzki started holding his quad and that's when the trainers came out. He left the game and was replaced by Jonathan Herrera, who is now the team's clean up hitter. No word yet has trickled out yet on the extent of the injury.

On Sunday afternoon, the Rockies lost Carlos Gonazalez after he hurt his right wrist on a collision with the center field wall. While x-rays showed it was a contusion, Gonzalez sat out Monday's game because he could  not grip a bat. It is unknown when he will return.

The Rockies are losing, 2-1, through four innings.

For more on the Rockies, visit Purple Row.

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Cole Garner Called Up By Rockies, Clayton Mortensen Sent To Colorado Springs

After the Colorado Rockies sent Chris Nelson and Eric Young Jr. to the minor leagues when Mark Ellis arrived, the bench was short a player since the team needed an extra pitcher. That changed on Monday when Colorado Springs Sky Sox outfielder Cole Garner was recalled and reliever Clayton Mortensen was sent to the minors. Garner will be available off the bench in Monday's game in Atlanta. Look for the No. 41 jersey.

Garner has hit .340/.376/.567 this season in 36 games. Five of his seven home runs have come away from the humidor-less Security Service Field, his home stadium. But he's OPS'ing over 100 points better at home (.987 to .876).

Garner was drafted in the 26th round of the 2003 draft out of La Quinta High School, along with teammate Ian Stewart and the Diamondbacks' Ian Kennedy (the only one of the three to attend college). Injury kept Garner out of games until 2005 and he eventually reach minor-league free agency, electing to re-sign with the Rockies. Now his dreams of making it to the Major Leagues have come true.

Mortensen's first four appearances of the season came as a reliever, but he moved into the rotation in mid-May and stayed there until the beginning of June. After that, he allowed runs in five of his seven relief appearances. He gave up four runs to the Royals in their 16-8 victory, three off an Eric Hosmer homer.

For more on the Rockies, visit Purple Row.

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Rockies Vs. Braves: Ubaldo Jimenez Returns To Site Of No-Hitter

Ubaldo Jimenez and the Colorado Rockies return to Atlanta's Turner Field for the first time since 2010 when the pitcher threw the franchise's first no-hitter on April 17, 2010. It was a Saturday night on which Jimenez didn't have complete control of the strike zone, but the six walks he did issue didn't faze him. He needed 128 pitches to finish the 4-0 no-hit victory.

But, as has been well-documented this season, Jimenez (3-7, 4.35 ERA) has not seen that kind of success so far in 2011. He's had fits and starts of appearing to be like that pitcher. The month of June, though has been his best so far. In six starts, he has a 2.45 ERA and a 1.140 WHIP. He's struck out 39 in 40.1 innings. His best start in June was his first, throwing a complete game shutout against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. He struck out seven, allowed four hits and walked zero batters.

Tommy Hanson will oppose Jimenez on the mound. Hanson was a snub for the NL All-Star Team with his 2.62 ERA and nine victories. And he's averaging 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings (two games of 10 strikeouts and one game of 14 strikeouts will help). That's 97 strikeouts in 89.1 innings. Hanson has just one career start against the Rockies, coming in 2009 at Coors Field. He allowed four runs in five innings.

Game time is scheduled for 5:10 p.m. MT. Watch ROOT for all the action.

For more on the Rockies, visit Purple Row. Check out Talking Chop and SB Nation Atlanta for the Braves.

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