Bad weather, Rockies upend Braves 5-3
DENVER (AP) — Two pitches into his 17th start of the season, Alex Wood’s outing was washed away.
Wood didn’t come back out after another long rain delay at Coors Field, and the Colorado Rockies did just enough against the Atlanta bullpen to beat the Braves 5-3 on Thursday night.
A rainstorm came through just as the bottom of the first inning was getting under way, sending the players and fans scurrying for shelter. The delay lasted 2 hours, 6 minutes, and ended the night early for both starters.
“I think it was the right decision (to take Wood out of the game),” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “I think both managers had a tough decision. Kyle Kendrick didn’t come back out, either. Then, you’ve got a bullpen game and here we go. But we got through it.”
Carlos Gonzalez hit three doubles and Nolan Arenado also had three hits for the Rockies, who used eight pitchers. Troy Tulowitzki singled to extend his hitting streak to 21 games — longest in the majors this season.
Jace Peterson, the only Atlanta batter to get more than one at-bat against the same Rockies pitcher, had two hits and two RBIs. Chris Johnson had three hits for the Braves.
“A spring training game — a bullpen game,” the Braves’ Kelly Johnson said of facing so many different pitchers. “Those things happen. It’s just weird. You take everything into account and it was just a weird night.”
Fredi Gonzalez said Wood will come back to start Sunday’s series finale. Atlanta’s scheduled starter for Sunday, Manny Banuelos, will be available as a reliever this weekend.
Wood expressed some surprise about the initial decision to begin the game, given the approaching storm cell.
“I was pretty surprised that they wanted us to start that game, but that’s the way it goes,” Wood said. “You’ve just got to deal with it and move on and I look forward to taking the ball on Sunday.”
David Hale, the scheduled starter Friday for Colorado, took over for Kendrick in the second but exited with one out in the third with a mild left groin strain. Hale (3-4) went 1 2-3 innings to get the win.
Jake Brigham (0-1) relieved Wood after play resumed, and the Rockies jumped on the rookie with three doubles in the first to take a 2-0 lead. Drew Stubbs homered and Tulowitzki hit a sacrifice fly in the second to give Colorado a 4-0 lead.
Peterson had a two-run double as part of a three-run fifth to trim the deficit to a run. Colorado got one back on Nick Hundley’s RBI double in the bottom of the inning to make it 5-3.
John Axford, Colorado’s eighth pitcher, struck out Peterson for his 15th save.
“Groundskeepers did a nice job of getting that game in,” Fredi Gonzalez said. “That field was almost getting unplayable and they got the game in.”
The strong storm threatened to take the tarp as the grounds crew tried to lay it across the infield. A few Rockies players — as well as manager Walt Weiss and first base coach Eric Young — ran out from the dugout to help secure the tarp along the baselines.
Rain fell throughout the game and only a few fans in the announced crowd of 30,334 stuck around for the end. It was a familiar sight at Coors Field, which has endured 14 weather delays totaling 22 hours, 24 minutes, this season — not counting four postponements.
“It’s crazy,” Carlos Gonzalez said. “It’s almost the All-Star break and it’s still raining and 60 degrees.”
Braves: All-Star RHP Shelby Miller (5-4, 2.07 ERA) is 2-0 with a 2.04 ERA in three starts against the Rockies. He has allowed four earned runs in 17 2-3 innings.
Rockies: Colorado needs to pick a new Friday night starter instead of Hale.