Rockies take 2 from Braves; make-up game still looms

Sep 15, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Colorado Rockies left fielder Raimel Tapia (15) and right fielder Charlie Blackmon (19) and center fielder Garrett Hampson (1) celebrate after defeating the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies’ spoiler tour rolls on.

After taking three of four from the Philadelphia Phillies this past weekend, the Rockies marched into Truist Park just outside of Atlanta and notched victories in two straight games against the National League East-leading Braves. The series finale, which was scheduled for Thursday, was postponed until a yet-to-be-determined date due to an unplayable field, but the Rockies have already clinched their second consecutive series victory–and first winning trip of the season–on the road.

The conditions that led to the postponement of Game 3 were already in place for much of the second game of the series, when the Rockies and Braves went to extra innings despite the infield being almost entirely made up of slop. The Rockies had only five hits, but Raimel Tapia’s pinch-hit, go-ahead RBI single in the top of the 10th was enough to propel his team to a 3-2 victory. Antonio Senzatela held the Braves to two runs in six innings, striking out seven batters without issuing a walk. Five Colorado relievers combined to toss four scoreless innings to close it out.

Colorado opened the series with a 5-4 win on Tuesday backed by home runs by Trevor Story and Brendan Rodgers and a pair of hits, including a key triple that led to the eventual winning run, from Garrett Hampson. Jon Gray struck out seven in five innings of two-run ball.

The Rockies since the middle of August have played 19 games against teams that are within three games of a postseason spot. Colorado has gone 12-7 in those games (and 12-4 against every contender but the MLB-best San Francisco Giants), making their mark on the playoff race despite sitting 8 1/2 games out themselves.

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Garrett Hampson has not had a good year on the road, hitting just .184/.246/.291 in 226 plate appearances. But on this current trip, during which the Rockies are now 5-1, Hampson has been great. He was the only Rockie to reach base four times during the two games in Atlanta, and going back to the previous series in Philly, Hampson is 5-for-11 with a pair of homers, a triple, and two walks.

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It’s been a rough start to Colton Welker’s big league career. The infielder 2-for-14 on the road trip, striking out foiur times and grounding into a double play. But Welker has somehow managed to score every time he’s been on base, tying for the team lead in runs during the trip.

Up next

The Rockies, now 68-78 overall and 23-51 on the road, head to D.C. to take on the Washington Nationals in a three-game series that begins Friday. Germán Márquez will start the opener, with Kyle Freeland and Ryan Feltner scheduled to take the mound to round out the weekend.

As for the finish of their series against the Braves, Colorado has an open date on Monday but the Braves don’t have another day off until Sept. 27, when the Rockies are scheduled to play the Nationals at Coors Field. That means if the game has any sort of postseason implications, it will have to be played following the conclusion of the regular season on Oct. 3.