Braves 9, Rockies 3

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DENVER (AP)—Angered at being swept by San Francisco in a three-game series, the Atlanta Braves took out their frustrations on the Colorado Rockies.

Chipper Jones homered and drove in five runs, and Greg Maddux pitched six solid innings as the Braves beat the Rockies 9-3 Friday night.

Maddux (12-10), who had lost his previous two starts, limited the Rockies to three hits and three runs, two earned.

Atlanta jumped out to an early 5-0 lead off Jason Jennings (10-12).

“I think you saw some of the frustration come out in the first inning,” Jones said. “It’s been a tough three days for us.”

Braves slugger Gary Sheffield and manager Bobby Cox both were ejected in the first inning by plate umpire Matt Hollowell for arguing a called third strike. That proved to be a rallying cry for the Braves.

“Losing Shef in the first, some guys have got to step up,” Jones said. “I was in probably the biggest spot of all. If he gets me out right there without scoring a run, they set the tone for the game. On the flip side, if I come through with a base hit, we set the tone.

“We kind of gave Greg a cushion to get started with.”

Jones’ two-run double put the Braves ahead 2-0.

“Run support is a beautiful thing,” Maddux said.

Atlanta shortstop Rafael Furcal left the game with a bruised lower left leg after being hit by a pitch in the sixth.

“He’s got a big old knot there,” Cox said. “I don’t know if he can play (Saturday night).”

Charles Johnson hit a two-run homer for Colorado, whose winning streak ended at three games.

Colorado’s four hits matched a season low at home. The Rockies were four-hit by San Francisco on May 24.

Jennnings went six innings, allowing 12 hits and eight runs. He lost his fourth straight decision.

Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said opposing hitters have “adjusted to Jason, and I don’t think he’s been able to counterpunch as well as he would like.”

“We’re going to rearrange his program a little bit and come up with a different game plan,” Hurdle added.

Jones, who didn’t play Thursday after twisting his right knee during batting practice, doubled home Rafael Furcal and Marcus Giles in the first.

Maddux doubled with one out in the second and scored on Furcal’s 425-foot homer to center, his 14th. With two outs, Darren Bragg and Jones hit back-to-back doubles.

Johnson’s homer in the Rockies’ half cut the deficit to 5-2. Larry Walker led off the inning with a single, and Johnson followed with his 16th homer.

Two Atlanta errors contributed to an unearned run for Colorado in the fourth. Right fielder Bragg dropped a fly ball and, after a walk, second baseman Giles booted a grounder, loading the bases with no outs. After fouling off six pitches with two strikes, Johnson grounded into a double play to score a run. Juan Uribe then grounded out.

Atlanta made it 6-3 in the fifth. Bragg led off with a double off left fielder Jay Payton’s glove at the wall. He advanced to third on a grounder and scored on Vinny Castilla’s infield single.

In the sixth, Jones hit a two-run homer, a 463-foot shot to the upper deck, his 22nd.

Pinch-hitter Matt Franco completed the scoring with a ninth-inning sacrificefly.


Atlanta had five doubles in the first two innings. … Jones’ homer was the 20th launched into the third deck at Coors Field, the first this season. … It was Jennings’ first loss this season at home, where he is 7-1. … Braves catcher Javy Lopez missed his second straight game (bruised left shin). … An MRI showed no structural damage to Colorado LHP Darren Oliver’s bruised left foot. Oliver, struck by a line drive on Wednesday night, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Saturday, which likely will determine if he willmake his next start on Tuesday.

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