DENVER (AP)—The Colorado Rockies have been waiting for their offense to break out.
It took one inning to make it happen.
“We’re hitting. Hopefully we can keep it going,” Matt Holliday said. “If we get all of our guys going, we have a good offense. We’ll put up a lot of runs and make it hard on other teams.”
Holliday had a triple and two RBIs and Ryan Spilborghs went 3-for-5 with a home run and five RBIs in a spot start for the Rockies, who put up their highest run total of the young season. Their previous high was just four runs, in a win Tuesday night against the Braves.
“When you don’t get hits for the first couple of days you tend to push the panic button,” Spilborghs said. “But when you have guys up and down the lineup, a bunch of good hitters, it’s only a matter of time before you start raking.”
Mark Redman (1-1) pitched five innings and allowed three runs—two earned— and seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
Chuck James (0-1), who was activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game, gave up six runs in three innings in his first start of the season. James hit three batters.
“Command was my problem. I was all over the place,” said James, who acknowledged he was rusty. “I couldn’t throw a strike. I fell behind everybody and wasn’t under control.”
The Rockies broke open the game in the third, sending nine batters to the plate and scoring six runs with the help of just three hits. James hit two batters in the frame, including Willy Taveras to lead off the inning. Troy Tulowitzki followed with a walk, and after Todd Helton struck out, Holliday tripled to left.
“That’s the kind of offense we’ve been looking for,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “Three-run homers are good plays.”
It helped that James was having a tough time with his control.
“We knew he was kind of struggling,” Torrealba said. “He wasn’t able to locate his pitches where he wanted to. He came with a pitch right over the middle and I took advantage of it.”
The Braves scored an unearned run in the top of the fourth, but Helton answered with an RBI double in the bottom of the inning.
Atlanta got another run in the fifth on a two-out single by Chipper Jones.
“We played maybe our best game of the year, hitting and fielding-wise,” Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. “We made all kinds of great plays and hit the ball good enough to win.”
The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Jeff Francoeur led off with a triple to the left-center field gap, and Brian McCann followed with a double in the right-field corner. Redman escaped further damage when he made a diving catch of James’ bunt attempt and doubled off McCann at third base.
“That was a big play to get off the mound and grab the ball before it hit the ground and get the double play,” Hurdle said.
Before the game the Braves placed RHP Rafael Soriano on the 15-day DL with right elbow tendinitis, retroactive to Monday. … Snow is in the forecast for Thursday’s final game of the four-game series.