Lowe entered the game 2-4 with a 6.23 ERA in nine starts in Denver, but he felt he was due for a strong outing in the Mile High air.
“I came in this time believing I could pitch a good game here,” Lowe said. “To be able to pitch this well in a place I struggled and the way I had pitched the last five games in really important.”
Lowe (8-7) was 0-4 in five starts since beating the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 9. He ended his personal skid with what he said was his best game all season. He gave up one run and four hits, struck out five and walked one. He left after a 52-minute rain delay that began at the end of the sixth inning.
“Derek Lowe was the No. 1 reason for us winning tonight,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “He used that sinker an awful lot. He got groundballs and got some strikeouts, too. I think he’s back to normal again.”
Lowe’s sinker got him out of trouble in the fifth when the Rockies had runners on first and second and no outs. Lowe got Carlos Gonzalez(notes) to ground into a double play and struck out pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez(notes) to end the threat.
“I had been killing myself over the past five starts thinking over what I had done,” Lowe said. “So I thought zero mechanical stuff. I thought just to get the ball and throw it and keep it on the ground.”
“It was probably a little up, but wasn’t that bad of a pitch,” Jimenez said. “He was looking for my fastball and he sat on that pitch.”
“I was bummed,” Lowe said. “The way I was struggling it would have been really nice to keep going.”
Jimenez (6-9), who no-hit Arizona for 6 2-3 innings in his last outing, is 0-3 in his last four starts. He gave up two runs and six hits, struck out eight and walked one in six innings.
“O’Flaherty saved the day again,” Cox said. “That was a huge turning point when he got the two big strikeouts.”
The Rockies, who rallied three times Thursday to beat Atlanta, couldn’t come up with the big hit Friday.
“We had opportunities to score runs and we came away empty,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “That was the difference in the game. They capitalized on a couple of pitches with runners in scoring position and we had opportunities to score runs tonight and they put us down.”
Embree, who relieved Jimenez after the rain delay, was taken off the field on a cart after being struck by a line drive hit by Prado in the seventh. The Rockies said he will have surgery Saturday and is done for the year.
“It’s tough to take when you see something like that happen,” Tracy said.
NOTES: Braves SS Yunel Escobar(notes) was out of the lineup Friday after straining his lower back in Thursday’s game against Colorado. Cox said Escobar is day to day. … Jones (sore groin) returned to the lineup after not starting the last three games. He didn’t play Tuesday and Wednesday, but he came in as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning Thursday.