The Atlanta Braves are poised to record their best road start in more than a decade.
They look to complete their second three-game road sweep of the season when they conclude their nine-game trip Sunday against the Colorado Rockies.
Atlanta (15-8) has won nine of 13 road games this season, the most road wins in the majors and the team’s best start away from home since 2003, when the Braves also opened 9-4 on their way to a 101-win season.
A win in Sunday’s finale would give the Braves their best road start since 1994, when they were 11-3 through 14 games.
They are 5-3 on the current trip, including wins in the first two games against the Rockies.
John Smoltz pitched seven strong innings Saturday to lead Atlanta to a 6-2 win, its seventh victory in 11 games overall. Chipper Jones drove in two runs with a third-inning single, and is 3-for-9 with four RBIs in the series.
Atlanta, which opened the season with a three-game sweep in Philadelphia, hasn’t swept a three-game series at Colorado since Aug. 22-24, 2003.
Second baseman Kelly Johnson is batting .487 (19-for-39) over his last 11 games, and .340 (16-for-47) on the road for the season. He has scored 16 runs in 13 road games, including four in the first two contests of this series.
“It’s in the way I’ve thought about attacking the ball,” Johnson told the Braves’ official Web site. “I’m still looking for the right pitches to swing at, but I’m more aggressive going after them.”
Johnson’s double-play partner, shortstop Edgar Renteria, is batting .405 (15-for-37) on the road trip.
For the Rockies (9-15), Saturday’s loss was their fifth in the last six home games. Colorado took the early lead on Troy Tulowitzki’s two-run homer in the first inning, but failed to score again and lost for the seventh time in nine games overall.
“We’re not giggling about anything right now,” manager Clint Hurdle told the Rockies’ official Web site. “We’ve got work to do in front of us. Baseball is a game of individual responsibility, and it’s all pushed toward collective gain. That’s our challenge. We haven’t done that enough.”
The Rockies are still seeking their first win with starter Aaron Cook (0-1, 3.18 ERA) on the mound. The right-hander has allowed only seven total earned runs in 28 innings over his last four starts, but has received six total runs of support.
The sinkerballer threw seven shutout innings against the Mets at New York on Tuesday, yielding six hits and two walks, but did not earn a decision as the Rockies went on to lose 2-1 in 12 innings.
Cook is 0-1 with a 5.31 ERA in five games - three starts - against the Braves.
Atlanta starter Kyle Davies (0-1, 6.19) is also going for his first victory of the year. He gave up five runs in four innings to suffer the loss in Atlanta’s 8-7 defeat at Florida on Monday.
The Rockies have pounded Davies the two times he’s faced them, as the 23-year-old right-hander has an 0-2 record, 12.38 ERA and .452 opponent batting average to show for those outings.