0

North's Blackmon goes 4-for-4 vs. Braves

ATLANTA -- Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon doesn't mince words when talking about his trying season.

"It's been a pain in the butt," the former North Gwinnett and Georgia Tech standout said before Thursday's series finale against the Atlanta Braves.

Well, actually a pain in the right foot.

But Blackmon's season at least got a little less painful on Thursday at Turner Field.

Blackmon was 4-for-4 in the 1-0 loss to the Braves, recording just two fewer hits than in his previous 43 at-bats.

A batting average of .213 still isn't pretty. But it's a lot better than the .140 mark that Blackmon came into the game with.

"My playing time has really been inconsistent and I've had a hard time getting comfortable at the plate," he said. "It's been a struggle."

Actually, more has gone wrong than right since Blackmon made his major league debut last year.

The left-handed hitter broke a bone last July running the bases during a game in Atlanta, missing the rest of the season. Then he suffered a turf toe during spring training and spent most of the season in minors as he made a slow recovery.

"I'm not a doctor, but I'm sure they are related," Blackmon said of the two injuries.

Blackmon, who batted .255 in 27 games last year before getting hurt, bounced back to hit .303 in 59 games with Class AAA Colorado Springs and was recalled by the Rockies on Aug. 18.

Blackmon had two hits on Aug. 21 against the Mets in New York and doubled leading off the game two days later when Providence Christian graduate Collin McHugh made his major league debut by giving up just two hits over seven scoreless innings.

The 26-year-old had two hits against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Aug. 28, but he'd been in the starting lineup just once since before getting an opportunity in the series finale against the Braves.

Blackmon doubled his first time up and then singled twice against Braves starter Tim Hudson before getting his fourth hit in the ninth inning against closer Craig Kimbrel.

It was the second four-hit game in the majors for Blackmon, who also did it against Detroit in June of last year during inter-league play.

There are still almost four weeks left in this season. That may be enough time for Blackmon to end a disappointing year on a positive note and build toward 2013.