The Atlanta Braves nearly have another division title wrapped up. Now they’re just hoping to build some momentum heading into the postseason.
The Braves look to clinch their 14th straight division crown as they open a three-game series with the Colorado Rockies at Turner Field.
The Braves beat the Florida Marlins 5-3 on Sunday, wrapping up a three-game sweep and trimming their magic number for clinching the National League East to two. Atlanta leads the second-place Philadelphia Phillies by five games.
The Braves had lost seven of 10 heading into the series, but they hope they’ve put their struggles behind them.
“The last few weeks we had been playing poorly, but hopefully we can ride this all the way through Halloween,” said Marcus Giles, who hit a tying two-run homer and then drove in the go-ahead run with a seventh-inning sacrifice fly.
The Braves have lost in the first round of the playoffs the last three seasons. Giles said that a late-season surge could help to reverse that trend.
“In the last few years we’ve hit a bad spell right now because we’ve already clinched,” he said. “I think if I could pick any time for us to get hot, it’s right now.”
The Rockies own the second-worst record in the league, ahead of only the 63-93 Pittsburgh Pirates, but are 27-24 since Aug. 1. They finished their home schedule at 40-41.
“Having a winning record at home or avoiding finishing last weren’t motivating factors for us,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “When you are 27 games under .500, can we really expect to be better at home?”