Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/1/13
The Rockies picked the wrong time to face the resurgent Braves who suddenly are playing as if they aim to clinch a division title by early September. Freddie Freeman had four hits Brian McCann hit a three-run homer for the second consecutive night and Mike Minor pitched seven near-perfect innings Wednesday night in a 9-0 rout against Colorado that pushed the Braves’ winning streak to six games and their National League East lead to 11 games. “We’re clicking on all cylinders” Freeman said. “We’re coming after them early on and keeping it going throughout the game. And Mikey did what Mike does – he went out there and threw zeroes up.” The Braves have outscored the Rockies 29-11 in the first three games of a four-game series and they’ll try to complete a sweep of the series and seven-game homestand Thursday when they send Julio Teheran to the mound against Chad Bettis just called up from Double-A to make his major league debut. For the first time in the live-ball era the Braves have scored six or more runs in an inning in three consecutive games. “You’re not going to get this kind of production for 162 games but it’s what we’re capable of” McCann said. “And when we get hot we’re as good a hitting team as any in baseball. I’m hoping we keep this momentum going for the rest of the way.” Minor (11-5) allowed two hits and no walks with six strikeouts and faced 22 batters in seven innings one over the minimum. The Rockies had only one base runner against Minor after Dexter Fowler’s leadoff single in the first inning. (Fowler was thrown out by McCann trying to steal second.) “(Pitching) is the reason we’re where we’re at” McCann said. “Our starting staff keeps us in every single ballgame our bullpen is lock-down. I think the offense is that last piece to get a little bit more consistent. And I think we’re showing you that we’re a dangerous ballclub.” Rockies nemesis Freeman after hitting two homers Tuesday went 4-for-4 with a walk and two RBIs giving him a .358 average with 10 homers 25 RBIs and a .815 slugging percentage in 21 career games against the Rockies. The four hits matched his career high also against the Rockies on May 4 2012. “There’s no explaining it” Freeman said. “I don’t know what it is. I was struggling against St. Louis and got it clicking a couple of days ago in the video room and in the cage.” McCann put the finishing touches on his best month since July 2012. He hit .337 with six doubles six homers and 17 RBIs in 22 games this July. “With the way everybody’s swinging the bat right now you’re seeing really good pitches to hit everybody is” McCann said. “Our lineup never quits.” Minor is 3-1 with a 1.53 ERA in his past five starts with five walks and 30 strikeouts in 35 1/3 innings. He threw 70 strikes in 95 pitches and manager Fredi Gonzalez considered bringing him back for the eighth inning before opting to pinch-hit after home-plate umpire Marty Foster was struck in the arm by a pitch that also hit Andrelton Simmons.
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