DENVER (AP) - The Atlanta Braves will get some relief from their current downward spiral with the All-Star break.
The damage has been done, though.
A day after the Braves lost closer Jason Grilli to a ruptured Achilles’ tendon, starter Alex Wood labored through 5 2-3 innings and the bullpen collapsed behind him as the Colorado Rockies beat Atlanta 11-3 on Sunday to complete a four-game sweep.
Atlanta lost its fifth in a row after winning six of seven to start the month of July.
“Obviously you’re angry,” Wood said. “You never want to lose and especially you don’t want to lose the way we lost the last couple games going into the break.”
Wood (6-6) started for the second time in four days after being limited to two pitches in the series opener on Thursday. A rain delay in the bottom of the first lasted 2 hours, 6 minutes and ended his outing early.
Charlie Blackmon made sure Wood’s frustration carried over.
The leadoff hitter’s two-run single in the second gave Colorado a 3-0 lead and his second two-RBI single came with two outs and two strikes in the sixth inning, breaking the 3-all tie.
“I hate to pinpoint one pitch in an entire game with nine innings and 200 pitches thrown by both sides. But that pitch (in the sixth), I think if we get him out there, it’s a different ballgame,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
David Carpenter relieved Wood in the sixth and immediately allowed a three-run shot to Troy Tulowitzki, who was chosen as an injury replacement to the NL All-Star team on Saturday, right after his 21-game hitting streak ended.
Drew Stubbs added a two-run home off Carpenter in the seventh.
“They’re playing good baseball,” Gonzalez said of the Rockies, who took four from the Braves for the first time in team history. “They’re swinging the bats. You make a mistake and they make you pay for it.”
The Braves tried to avoid their first four-game sweep of the season with a rally in the top of the sixth. Kelly Johnson and A.J. Pierzynski had RBI singles and Jonny Gomes tied it at 3 with a ground-rule double to right off Rockies starter Chad Bettis (5-4).
Bettis avoided further damage by fanning Wood and getting Jace Peterson to ground into a forceout.
Braves: RHP Grilli will see a specialist when the team returns to Atlanta. Grilli ruptured his left Achilles’ tendon when he ran to cover first base on a grounder Saturday. … OF Cameron Maybin was a late scratch from the starting lineup due to illness. He pinch-hit in the ninth.
AT THE TOP
Nolan Arenado’s run-scoring single in the eighth gave him 70 RBIs, tied with Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt for the major league lead. His total is the highest in franchise history at the All-Star break since Vinny Castilla had 71 in 2004.
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (6-4, 4.56) will open a weekend series against the Chicago Cubs on Friday. Teheran is 2-0 with a 3.81 ERA in four career starts against the Cubs.
Rockies: Manager Walt Weiss said LHP Jorge De La Rosa (6-3) will get the start at San Diego on Friday. De La Rosa had his third straight quality start against Atlanta on Saturday but got a no-decision in Colorado’s 3-2 win.
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