Coors Field is am ammoying place. Even in a game in which the Braves led the whole way and had a six-run lead at one point, they still had to use their top three relievers to finish, largely because of terrible little flare singles.
The Braves took the lead in the second. They loaded the bases with none out, but Alex Gonzalez lined into a double play. Nate McLouth was intentionally walked, and Derek Lowe came to the plate. Lowe hit what should have been an inning-ending groundout, but Todd Helton lost the throw in the sun and two runs scored.
There was nothing cheap about the runs the Braves got in the third, though. Freddie Freeman hit a two-run homer to deep center with one out to make it 4-0, then Eric Hinske hit a second-deck solo shot to right to make it 5-1. The Rockies got one run back on a single by Helton in the bottom of the inning, but that was it.
Hinske doubled with two out in the the fifth and scored on an AAG single. In the sixth, Lowe singled leading off and eventually scored on a Freeman groundout.
I’ve complemented Fredi for getting Lowe out of there before things fall apart this year, so maybe I should be more critical for letting Lowe start the seventh, but with a six run lead… Eric O’Flaherty was ready after two were on and one out for Carlos Gonzalez, and Fredi should have pulled the trigger then. But Gonzalez singled in a run, and Mark Ellis singled to load the bases, and it was 7-2 and the tying run on deck when O’Flaherty came in. It was 7-4 after a sac fly and a single, but O’Flaherty got the next guy to end the thread.