- Associated Press - Friday, July 22, 2016

DENVER (AP) - Mike Foltynewicz learned a big lesson - don’t give Carlos Gonzalez anything to hit.

Ever.

The smooth-swinging slugger hit a three-run homer to break a scoreless tie in the sixth inning, sending the Colorado Rockies to a 7-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night.

“You can’t fall behind one of the best fastball hitters in the game,” Foltynewicz said. “He was waiting on the inside fastball and he turned on it.”

Did Gonzalez ever. He can’t remember hitting a ball any better or louder.

“Just a sweet sound coming off the bat,” he said.

Foltynewicz (3-4) was both electric and erratic in 5 2/3 innings. He didn’t allow a hit until DJ LeMahieu’s leadoff single in the fourth and struck out five. He walked five.

Of course, his most costly mistake was a 97 mph fastball that Gonzalez hit over the fence in right-center.

“That guy’s scary on both sides of the ball,” Braves interim manager Brian Snitker said. “You make a mistake to him, he’s going to make you pay.”

It was Gonzalez’s 20th homer of the season and first since participating in the All-Star Home Run Derby.

“I knew I was going to get one pitch the whole night. That was it,” Gonzalez said. “I’m glad I didn’t miss it.”

Chad Bettis (8-6) was in command all night thanks to his curveball. The right-hander allowed one run over 6 2/3 innings. He was cruising through Atlanta’s lineup until hitting a bump in the seventh when he gave up an RBI double to A.J. Pierzynski.

“I really liked the way he used his curveball,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss explained. “Got a lot of strikes and outs with it.”

Trailing 7-1 in the ninth, the Braves scored twice before the Rockies brought in closer Carlos Estevez with two outs. He got Jace Peterson to roll out to end the game and earn his seventh save.

The Rockies have won seven straight over Atlanta at Coors Field.

Pinch-hitter Mark Reynolds added some insurance with a solo homer in the seventh that went an estimated 484 feet. It was his first pinch-hit homer in two years.

“He got it good,” Weiss said. “Pinch-hit homers are nice.”

There was a crazy play in the eighth with runners on second and third. On a single by Nick Hundley, Trevor Story scored easily but Daniel Descalso nearly collided with shortstop Erick Aybar as Descalso took off from second. Descalso was thrown out at the plate, but Aybar was called for obstruction. Hundley was credited with one RBI and Aybar was given an error.

Pierzynski was ejected on the play by home plate umpire Mike Winters for what the catcher said was kicking the ball toward the Rockies dugout.

“We needed a new ball. I’ve done that 100 times over my career,” Pierzynski explained. “I wasn’t looking at him. I didn’t say anything to him.

“I apologized. Maybe I should have bent over and picked it up and rolled it over there.”

Anthony Recker replaced him and had an RBI double in the ninth, part of a two-run inning off Rockies reliever Jason Motte.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Braves: OF Mallex Smith (broken left thumb) is swinging one-handed and doing some throwing. … RHP Daniel Winkler (broken right elbow) isn’t close to heading out for a rehab assignment, Snitker said. Winkler is still going through long toss.

CONTACT

OF Nick Markakis went 32 straight plate appearances without swinging at a pitch and missing. That ended in the ninth when he swung at strike three. He finished 1 for 3.

“He has such a great eye at the plate,” Snitker said. “He’s one of the most disciplined hitters that I’ve seen.”

UP NEXT

This certainly looks familiar: Jon Gray (5-4) and Julio Teheran (3-8) will face each other Friday night - the second time in a week. The starters didn’t figure into the decision during a 1-0 Atlanta win last Sunday.


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