Braves 6, Rockies 5, 10 innings
The rookie shortstop hit a run-scoring single in the 10th inning Sunday, giving the Atlanta Braves a 6-5 win over the Colorado Rockies.
The liner to left easily scored Jeff Francoeur, who had doubled into the left field corner off Taylor Buchholz (5-4), giving the Braves their fifth win in seven games. Atlanta took two of three from Colorado.
“He’s clutch. He’s as clutch a young player as I have ever seen,” said Matt Diaz, who drew an intentional walk after Francoeur’s hit, bringing up Escobar.
The 24-year-old has played second, third and now shortstop—his natural position—since being recalled from the minors earlier this season. Escobar is seeing regular time at short since Edgar Renteria went on the 15-day disabled list Friday because of a sprained right ankle.
“He wants to hit in that situation. I looked at him while I was being walked and he winked. He then went out and did his job,” said Diaz.
Escobar, who lifted his average to .331 with a 2-for-4 day, said he hit a fastball.
Following his game-winner, his teammates jumped on him after he ran past first base.
“I hope that can happen every night,” he said through interpreter-coach Chino Cadahia.
Francoeur, who also hits well in pressure situations, is impressed with Escobar.
“He’s come up with several big hits. “He’s not scared to go up there.”
Rockies reserve outfielder Ryan Spilborghs hit solo home runs in the second and fifth innings, his eighth and ninth of the year, off Braves starter Chuck James. Spilborghs came into the season with four career homers in 171 at-bats. He has nine homers in 133 at-bats this year.
“I was looking for fastballs out over the plate and he put them there,” said Spilborghs. “This was a series we should have won. There were a lot of opportunities. It was not a good day.”
The Braves went ahead 5-4 in the sixth on a bloop RBI double to right off Jeremy Affeldt by Willie Harris, scoring Corky Miller. Miller had driven in the tying run with a double to left earlier in the inning, knocking out Colorado starter Aaron Cook.
Cook went 5 2-3 innings and allowed five runs—three earned—and 10 hits without a walk. He struck out one.
“I got some balls up in the zone. I wasn’t sharp. I didn’t have the fastball I usually have,” said Cook.
James went five innings and left in the sixth after a leadoff walk to Carroll and singles by Holliday and Helton, bringing in Yates. James allowed four runs and six hits. He walked three and struck out two.
The Braves’ first run came on an RBI single by Escobar, scoring Jones in the fourth. They added two unearned runs in the fifth inning on Jones’ two-out home run. It followed a two-out error by Carroll at second. ^Notes: It was the second time Spilborghs hit two home runs in a game. He also did it on June 10 at Baltimore. … Atlanta RF Francoeur threw out Troy Tulowitzki trying to score from second on a single by Willy Taveras in the fifth. It was Francoeur’s NL-leading 15th assist. … Colorado 3B Garrett Atkins’ RBI double in the sixth gave him eight RBIs in the three-game set. He hit his fifth career grand slam and his second this season on Saturday night. He had a three-run homer on Friday night and has 14 RBI in his last six games. … Atlanta’s CF Andruw Jones missed his second straight start due to a sore left shoulder. He got a cortisone shot in the shoulder Friday night and is expected to start Tuesday night against the New York Mets after an off day on Monday. … The Braves are 4-7 in extra innings.