ATLANTA (Ticker) --
played a major role in helping the
complete a three-game sweep of the
Hampton pitched six solid innings and added an RBI single as the Braves extended their lead in the National League East Division to 9 1/2 games with a 6-4 triumph over the Rockies.
After posting a 2-8 record through the first three months of the season, Hampton (10-9) has been nearly unbeatable, winning seven straight decisions before losing to Los Angeles on Saturday. He got back on track in this one, allowing two runs and six hits while walking four and striking out three.
"I definitely had to battle," said Hampton, who improved to 9-3 lifetime against his former team. "Nothing was easy. They had a pretty good approach."
"He made pitches," Colorado's
said. "He got out of some jams. We probably should have been a little more patient, but he made the pitches when he had to."
Hampton also helped himself at the plate with an RBI single in the fourth that gave the Braves a 4-2 edge. He scored Atlanta's fifth run later in the inning on J.D. Drew's base hit.
"Anytime (you get an RBI), it's a bonus," Hampton said. "The other guys get paid to drive in runs."
gave up two runs in the seventh, but
recorded the final out of the inning and
tossed a scoreless eighth before
worked around a hit in the ninth for his 34th save.
(1-2) lost for just the second time in eight decisions vs. Atlanta, surrendering six runs and nine hits in five innings.
"I threw some pretty good pitches, but they kept fouling them off," Wright said. "That lineup is pretty tough to pitch to. They hit some tough pitches."
had two RBI for the Braves, who are ahead of Florida in the NL East by 9 1/2 games, their largest lead of the season.
"You try not to look at it too much, but we know what's going on," Thomas said. "There's still a way to go. It will be a fight."
Atlanta took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI groundout by
and a run-scoring single by
. But the Rockies tied it in the third on Helton's two-run double.
After Colorado stranded runners on second and third in the top of the fourth, the Braves moved ahead with three runs in the bottom of the inning.
led off the frame with a single and scored two batters later on a groundout by Thomas. Hampton followed with his RBI single and Drew capped the rally with a run-scoring base hit.
"We're playing real good,"
said. "It's not every day that any one player is carrying the team. Every day it's someone different. To make it to the playoffs, you need something like that."
After Thomas added an RBI single in the fifth for Atlanta, former Brave
drew Colorado within 6-4 in the seventh with a two-run double. But Castilla's 300th career two-base hit was not enough to prevent the Rockies from losing for the ninth time in 11 games.
(We need to) get some hits and get some outs at the right time," Colorado's
said. "It's all about momentum. Timely pitching and hitting, that's what it's all about."