Colorado (15-10) at Atlanta (10-14)

  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Mon May 1, 2006
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The Colorado Rockies aren’t just winning at high altitude anymore.

Seeking their fifth straight victory on a nine-game road trip, the Rockies call on Jason Jennings to open their two-game set Monday with the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.

Colorado (15-10) is coming off a three-game sweep of Florida, improving to 5-2 on its road trip and a major league-best 10-3 overall this season away from home.

The Rockies didn’t win their 10th road game in 2005 until July 22, when they improved to 10-38 with a 5-3 victory at Pittsburgh. Colorado, which was 27-54 on the road last season, has never posted a winning record on the road since entering the league in 1993.

Manager Clint Hurdle is well aware that good fortune can easily change on the road, especially against a team like the Braves, who are off to a slow start, but are 38-19 all-time against the Rockies in Atlanta.

“I know this: you go to Atlanta and you don’t play well, you don’t win,” Hurdle said before the Rockies’ 3-1 win Sunday over the Marlins. “We’ve been fortunate since (Turner Field) was built to have a little success. We had very limited success at the other park (Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium). They always have a good team.”

Jennings (1-1, 6.60 ERA), whose 50 career wins are three behind Pedro Astacio’s franchise-record 53, is 1-2 with a 9.56 ERA lifetime against Atlanta. His lone win came Aug. 18, 2002, when he allowed two runs in six innings of a 6-3 victory during his rookie season.

Jennings won 16 games and National League Rookie of the Year honors that year.

The Rockies hope the right-hander can pitch as well as Byung-Hyun Kim did Sunday, when he allowed one run and five hits in 6 2-3 innings, walking one and striking out a career-high nine in his first start this season.

Kim was activated from the disabled list to make the start after he was sidelined during spring training with a strained right hamstring.

Luis Gonzalez went 3-for-4 with his first homer of the season and Cory Sullivan went 2-for-4 to raise his average to .327.

Sullivan is 16-for-40 (.400) with six doubles, one homer and five RBIs in his last 10 games.

The Braves (10-14) snapped a five-game losing skid Sunday with an 8-5 win over the New York Mets to move into a second-place tie with Philadelphia in the NL East, six games behind New York.

Jeff Francoeur broke out of a hitting slump by going 4-for-5 with his fourth homer of the season and a career-high five RBIs, and Kyle Davies struck out six in five innings to become the first Braves starter to win two games this season.

Francoeur, who finished third in NL Rookie of the Year voting last year when he hit .300 with 14 homers in 70 games, entered with just five extra-base hits and a .185 average in 92 at-bats.

“I’ve really been down on myself and it was starting to take a toll on me,” Francoeur said. “So last night, I decided to watch a couple of movies. I watched the end of ‘Gladiator’ and the end of ‘Rudy.”’

Edgar Renteria went 2-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to 15 games since coming over in an offseason trade with Boston. Renteria, who is 8-for-13 (.615) with two doubles and four RBIs lifetime against Jennings, finished April with a .365 average.

Right-hander Tim Hudson (1-2, 5.87) will make his sixth start of the season for the Braves in the series opener.

The right-hander struggled in the early going, but has a 2.81 ERA in his last two outings, allowing five runs in 16 innings and striking out 10. Hudson had a 9.20 ERA after his first three starts in which he gave up 15 runs and 23 hits in 14 2-3 innings.

Hudson is 1-1 with a 9.31 ERA in two career starts versus the Rockies.

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Starting Pitchers

J. Jennings OAK vs. T. Hudson SF
9-13 Record 13-12
3.78 ERA 4.86
142 K 141
85 BB 79
1.37 WHIP 1.44