Donaldson timely homer lifts Braves to 8-7 win
Josh Donaldson hit a three-run homer in the eighth, Atlanta's fourth home run of the game, and the Braves' bullpen survived a ninth-inning scare for an 8-7 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.
Right-hander Seunghwan Oh (1-1) flung his glove into the air in frustration as he stood on the mound and watched Donaldson's homer land in the first row of the right-field seats. Oh gave up singles to Tyler Flowers and Ozzie Albies, who hit two homers, before Donaldson's blast.
Oh gave up three runs on four hits while recording two outs.
Braves closer A.J. Minter gave up singles to Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story to open the ninth. Minter, who was charged with a blown save and loss while giving up four runs in Saturday night's 9-5 loss, was pulled after Daniel Murphy's fly ball to center field for the first out.
Right-hander Luke Jackson earned his first save when Nolan Arenado hit a fly ball to shallow left field, caught by a charging Johan Camargo, and David Dahl grounded out to the mound.
The Rockies were moving close to completing a three-game sweep before Atlanta's eighth-inning comeback. It was Colorado's first loss after eight straight wins in Atlanta.
Ian Desmond's homer in the sixth off Dan Winkler gave the Rockies a 6-5 lead.
There were a combined six home runs in the game. Freddie Freeman hit a two-run shot for Atlanta. Murphy hit a three-run homer for the Rockies.
Albies led off the game with a homer. After Tyler Anderson walked Donaldson, Freeman's two-run drive into the tunnel behind the center-field wall gave the Braves a 3-0 lead.
The Braves lost the lead as Kevin Gausman gave up five runs in five innings.
Colorado took a 4-3 lead in the third. Blackmon's run-scoring single in the third extended his hitting streak to 11 games. Story followed with a ground-rule double, extending his career-best hitting streak to 16 games, the majors' longest active streak. Both runners scored on Murphy's three-run homer.
Left-hander Jerry Blevins, acquired before the game from the Oakland Athletics for cash, recorded one out with one walk in the seventh in his Atlanta debut.
Blevins, 35, posted a 4.85 ERA in 64 games with the New York Mets last season. He had a 1.69 ERA in seven games with Triple-A Las Vegas this season. Atlanta optioned right-hander Wes Parsons to Triple-A Gwinnett and transferred right-hander Arodys Vizcaíno to the 60-day injured list.
Freeman has reached safely in all 27 games, matching the Atlanta-era record to begin a season. J.D. Drew opened the 2004 season with a 27-game streak. Eddie Mathews set the Braves franchise record with a 37-game streak for Milwaukee in 1961.
Jacob Webb (1-0) recorded the final out in the eighth.
Rockies: Story remained in the game after he was hit high on the left side of his back by Chad Sobotka's fastball in the seventh. Story crouched in pain while receiving attention from a trainer before rising and walking slowly to first.
Braves: The Blevins trade addressed a shortage of left-handers in the bullpen with Jesse Biddle (right thigh contusion, right groin strain) and Jonny Venters (right calf strain) on the IL. The Braves are being patient with Venters, who has been out since April 15 and is eligible to return.
Rockies: LHP Kyle Freeland is expected to come off the 10-day injured list and start when Colorado opens a four-game series at Milwaukee on Monday. Freeland has been out since April 19 with a blister on his left middle finger.
Braves: RHP Mike Soroka (1-1, 1.69) will make his third start when Atlanta opens a four-game series against San Diego on Monday night.