While outstanding pitching keyed the start of their winning streak, the Atlanta Braves needed their highest run total in more than three weeks to extend it.
Andrelton Simmons hit a walkoff triple in the 10th inning as NL East-leading Atlanta (61-45) beat Colorado (51-56) for the ninth time in 10 tries at Turner Field with Monday's 9-8 win.
After their pitching staff limited major league-best St. Louis to three runs over 27 innings in a three-game sweep, the Braves bailed out starter Brandon Beachy , who gave up seven runs over 3 2-3 innings in his first start in 13 months after undergoing elbow ligament replacement surgery.
They went 5 for 10 with seven RBIs with runners in scoring position, raising their average to .419 (13 for 31) in those situations during their winning streak. Atlanta's nine runs were its most since a 13-4 rout of Philadelphia on July 6.
Atlanta hopes to continue that production with Wood (0-2, 3.42 ERA) making his second straight start filling in for Paul Maholm (wrist contusion), who was placed on the disabled list July 22. The left-hander, 0-1 with a 6.14 ERA in two starts, surrendered four runs and eight hits over 4 1-3 innings before leaving without a decision in a 7-4 loss to the Mets on Thursday.
"I thought for his second major league start he did OK," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "It was a good experience for him. (Now) he'll get another opportunity to improve."
Wood, though, will likely have to deal with Carlos Gonzalez as he faces the Rockies for the first time.
The All-Star left fielder matched a career best by going 5 for 5 on Monday after missing three games with a sprained right middle finger. He's hitting .444 (12 for 27) with two homers and six RBIs in eight career games at Atlanta.
The Rockies will try to avoid their sixth loss in nine games by giving the ball to Juan Nicasio (6-4, 4.40), who looks to win his third straight.
The right-hander has given up one run and eight hits in 19 innings since being recalled from the minors on July 12. He struck out a season-high nine batters and limited Miami to two hits over seven shutout innings before the Marlins rallied for a 5-3 victory Thursday."I had good location on my fastball and I was throwing strikes," Nicasio said. "I can throw it hard when I want to, and I've been able to put it inside, away or down in the zone."
Nicasio is 0-2 with a 7.53 ERA in three career starts versus the Braves, though, and he'll make his first start in Atlanta since 2011.
All-Star Freddie Freeman has pounded Nicasio with two home runs, a triple, and a double in six career at-bats. Freeman, though, is 4 for 26 with one homer over his last seven games.
Simmons has gone 7 for 13 with five RBIs in his last three contests, while Chris Johnson is batting .462 (12 for 26) over a seven-game hitting streak.
|July 25, 2013||Carlos Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Sprained right middle finger|
|July 23, 2013||Drew Pomeranz||15-Day DL||Left bicep tendinitis|
|July 15, 2013||Rafael Betancourt||15-Day DL||Appendicitis|
|July 08, 2013||Carlos Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Sprained finger|
|July 08, 2013||Roy Oswalt||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|July 05, 2013||Carlos Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Upper back strain|
|July 25, 2013||Tim Hudson||15-Day DL||Fractured right ankle|
|July 21, 2013||Paul Maholm||15-Day DL||Bruised left wrist|
|July 21, 2013||Paul Maholm||15-Day DL||Left wrist contusion|
|July 13, 2013||B.J. Upton||15-Day DL||Right adductor strain|
|July 11, 2013||Jason Heyward||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained right hamstring|
|July 04, 2013||Jordan Schafer||15-Day DL||Right ankle contusion|
ATLANTA (AP) -- Freddie Freeman is a big reason why the Atlanta Braves always believe they can score runs.
"It seems like we always get a couple of guys on, and we're one swing away," he said. "There's nine innings, so we're not ever going to get down. We've done that this year."
Freeman hit two homers, Brian McCann added a three-run shot and the Atlanta Braves won their fifth straight game with an 11-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.
The Braves, who scored 10 unanswered runs, moved 10 games ahead of second-place Washington in the NL East. They lead the majors with a 36-15 home record.
Freeman had four RBIs with his first multihomer game this season and fourth of his career. His three-run shot in the seventh gave the Braves an 11-3 lead.
Atlanta scored six runs with two out in the fourth inning to make it 8-3 on Jason Heyward 's RBI single, Evan Gattis ' two-run double and McCann's 14th homer.
Rookie Alex Wood (1-2) earned his first career victory, allowing six hits, three runs and one walk while striking out seven in seven innings.
Wood overcame a couple of obstacles. First was a blister on his left index finger that began to bleed and hindered his location. Second was relying too much on his curveball early in the game and not as much on his changeup.
But visiting in the dugout pitching coach Roger McDowell and the team trainer corrected both issues.
"I don't think it really had an effect," Wood said. "We had a game plan going in. That was just a small hiccup. I could've been anything out there."
Juan Nicasio (6-5) gave up 10 hits and a season-high eight runs, walking four and striking out four in four innings.
The Rockies led 1-0 in the first on Carlos Gonzalez 's sacrifice fly and went ahead 3-1 in the second on Nolan Arenado 's ninth homer, but Nicasio couldn't hold the leads.
Since getting recalled July 12 from Triple-A Colorado Springs, Nicasio had gone 2-0 with a 0.47 ERA in three starts, but the right-hander was finished after making 31 pitches in the fourth.
Nicasio dropped to 0-3 and has a 9.82 ERA in four career starts against Atlanta.
"We've had a tough time staying away from the big inning first two games of this series," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said after watching his team give up a six-run inning for the second straight night. "We've got to put innings away, we've got to put games away."
Freeman's 13th homer, a three-run shot off Edgmer Escalona , put the Braves up 11-3. In 67 games since May 15, Freeman is hitting .311 with 11 homers and 50 RBIs.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez can sense other players feeding off Freeman's success.
"When you keep the line moving and keep having good, quality at-bats, we can do that," Gonzalez said. "We can do that people. We've got that kind of offense."
Colorado's Michael Cuddyer singled in the seventh and tried to score from first on Wilin Rosario 's double, but was tagged out at the plate.
Heyward overran the ball in left-center after it took a bad hop and had to turn back two steps to pick it up, but his relay to Andrelton Simmons was on time, and Cuddyer was cut down on McCann's tag.
"I knew I didn't have a lot of time," Simmons said. "I didn't want to overthrow him and cause all that, so just tried to keep it low and get as much as I could on it."
NOTES: Rookie OF Todd Cunningham, a top Braves prospect, was cheered loudly after singling in the seventh in his first major league at-bat. Cunningham's contract was purchased earlier in the day from Triple-A Gwinnett when OF Reed Johnson was placed on the 15-day disabled list with left heel tendinitis. Cunningham stayed in the game and replaced Gattis in left field. ... Colorado LHP Jeff Francis allowed three hits and two runs in 2 1-3 innings. It was Francis' second relief appearance in 217 career games and first since Oct. 3, 2010 against St. Louis. ... Rockies manager Walt Weiss said he still hasn't decided who will start the series finale on Thursday opposite Atlanta RHP Julio Teheran . ... RHP Brandon Beachy told Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez that he felt normal soreness after Monday's start, his first in returning from elbow ligament replacement surgery in June 2012. Beachy allowed eight hits, a career-high seven runs and one walk with five strikeouts in 3 2-3 innings.