Rockies-Braves Preview

The Associated Press

The Atlanta Braves are 4-0 against the Colorado Rockies this year, and have won six straight in the series at Turner Field.

They'll look to maintain their success against the NL West's worst team Tuesday night when these clubs continue a four-game series.

Atlanta (76-59), which owns the NL's top wild-card spot, entered this series with some momentum after Chipper Jones' three-run homer capped a five-run rally in the ninth inning of Sunday's 8-7 win over Philadelphia.

The Braves avoided a three-game sweep with that victory, and now can win three straight for the first time since a four-game run Aug. 14-17.

Atlanta cruised to a 6-1 victory Monday to open this series. Kris Medlen struck out a career-high 12 in a five-hitter for his sixth straight win.

Braves hitters lead the majors with 475 walks, and have drawn 20 against Colorado (55-78) this year. That patience was a factor Monday as Michael Bourn and Freddie Freeman each went 0 for 2 with two walks and two runs scored.

Jones had the day off, but the veteran could be back Tuesday. He's 6 for 11 with seven RBIs in two games against the Rockies this year.

Brian McCann also was held out of the lineup Monday for the second straight day. He was given a cortisone shot in his sore right shoulder after Saturday's 5-1 loss to the Phillies and may return soon.

It's unclear when All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla will be in the lineup again. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said Sunday that Uggla has lost his starting role, with the slugger hitting .208 with a team-high 150 strikeouts.

"It's a situation where we feel like we need to do something for the team and the name on the front of the uniform," Gonzalez said. "It's hard. It's not easy."

Uggla signed a five-year, $62 million contract with Atlanta in 2011, and has hit at least 30 homers in five straight seasons. He has 17 this year.

The Braves acquired Jeff Baker from Detroit on Friday and also have fellow infielder Tyler Pastornicky on the bench. Each can play second base, but Gonzalez said Martin Prado is the new starter.

Prado is hitting .328 over his last 14 games.

Gonzalez will start Tommy Hanson (12-7, 4.45 ERA), who has failed to get out of the fifth inning in consecutive defeats. Hanson gave up four runs over 4 2-3 innings Wednesday in an 8-2 loss at San Diego.

The right-hander is 2-0 with a 5.50 ERA in three career starts against the Rockies, although 10 of the 11 runs he's allowed came at Coors Field. The Braves have won eight of Hanson's 11 home starts in 2012 even though he has a 4.81 ERA at Turner Field.

Colorado lost for the fifth time in 15 games Monday. Rookie Jordan Pacheco went 1 for 3 to extend his hitting streak to 12 games, but committed two errors to bring his season total to 12.

Left-hander Drew Pomeranz (1-8, 5.13) will get the ball for the Rockies in his first start against the Braves. He last pitched Wednesday, yielding six runs over four innings to suffer a 10-8 loss to the Dodgers.

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