Ozzie Albies had three hits, included a bases-loaded double, and AJ Smith-Shawver earned his first major league victory as the Atlanta Braves defeated the visiting Colorado Rockies 8-3 on Thursday in the opener of their four-game series
Albies, who was moved up to the second spot in the lineup, went 3-for-4. He lined a double into the left-field corner to complete a five-run rally in the second inning as the Braves went ahead to stay. Atlanta totaled 11 hits, three by Sean Murphy and two apiece by Matt Olson and Kevin Pillar
Smith-Shawver (1-0), in his third major league appearance, pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on six hits, one walk and six strikeouts. Michael Tonkin pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, allowing one hit and fanning six, to help a stressed Atlanta bullpen. He picked up his first career save.
The losing pitcher was Kyle Freeland (4-8), who worked 4 1/3 innings and allowed seven runs on nine hits, three walks and one strikeout. Freeland’s road record dropped to 1-6.
Colorado third baseman Ryan McMahon went 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to eight games.
The Rockies scored first on a solo homer from Elias Diaz in the second inning. His seventh home run hugged the left-field line and went 415 feet
The Braves answered with five runs in the bottom of the inning. Pillar doubled home two runs and Orlando Arcia and Ronald Acuna Jr. both walked ahead of Albies’ double
Colorado cut the margin to 5-2 in the fourth inning when Ezequiel Tovar hit a homer, his sixth, to center field.
Atlanta got the run back in the bottom half on Acuna’s sacrifice fly.
Olson hit his 19th home run, a monstrous 456-foot solo shot in the seventh, to raise the lead to 8-3.
–Field Level Media
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