Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman hits a home run against the Colorado Rockies in the seventh inning at Turner Field. (Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)
ATLANTA — Rookie Alex Wood settled down after a shaky start to earn his first major league victory and Freddie Freeman cracked a pair of home runs itn the Atlanta Braves’ 11-3 win over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday.
Wood (1-2) was the beneficiary of Atlanta’s six-run rally in the fourth inning, as the Braves won their fifth straight and extended their lead in the N.L. East to 10 games.
The left-hander pitched seven innings, his longest stint of the season, and allowed three runs on six hits with a career-high seven strikeouts and one walk. Thanks to a double play in the fifth inning, Wood retired the last 13 batters he faced after he surrendered a two-run homer to Nolan Arenado that left Atlanta behind 3-1 in the second.
Freeman, Atlanta’s All-Star first baseman, hit a solo homer in the first and a three-run homer in the seventh, his 12th and 13th of the season and the fourth multi-homer game of his career.
The loser was Juan Nicasio (6-5), who was tagged for 10 hits and eight runs in four innings.
The Rockies struck for a run in the first inning. Dexter Fowler walked, took third on a single by D.J. LeMahieu and scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Carlos Gonzalez.
The Braves tied the score in the bottom of the first on Freeman’s towering homer to right field.
Colorado went up 3-1 in the second when Arenado hit a long two-run homer to left field, his ninth home run of the year. The rookie has homered in back-to-back games.
The Braves cut the lead to 3-2 in the third. Jason Heyward led off with a single and scored on Justin Upton’s double that hugged the left-field line.
The Braves took the lead for good with a six-run fourth. Heyward delivered a two-out RBI single, Evan Gattis lined a two-run single past the glove of Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and Brian McCann followed with a three-run homer, his 14th of the season.
Notes: Atlanta 3B Chris Johnson extended his hitting streak to eight games. … The Braves placed OF Reed Johnson on the 15-day disabled list with tendinitis in his left Achilles. Johnson injured the leg while running out a ground ball in Sunday’s game against St. Louis. He is the team’s third outfielder on the DL, joining Jordan Schafer (right ankle contusion) and B.J. Upton (right adductor muscle strain). Upton will go to Triple-A Gwinnett for three or four rehab starts beginning Wednesday and Schafer will likely do the same during the weekend. … Todd Cunningham was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to take Johnson’s place. … Colorado recalled RHP Chad Bettis from Double-A Tulsa. Bettis, the team’s second-round draft pick in 2010, was 3-4 with a 3.71 ERA in 12 starts. He could start the series finale on Thursday night.
… Atlanta C Gerald Laird was unavailable because of a kidney stone. He was diagnosed on Sunday after experiencing severe pain and was not at the game.