Laird the leader in win over Colorado
by Charles Odum
Associated Press Sports Writer
May 24, 2014 04:05 AM | 2231 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
On top of his defensive efforts, Braves catcher Gerald Laird came through with two key hits Friday, including one in the eighth inning that drove in Ramiro Pena with the go-ahead run.
<Br>Associated Press photo
On top of his defensive efforts, Braves catcher Gerald Laird came through with two key hits Friday, including one in the eighth inning that drove in Ramiro Pena with the go-ahead run.
Associated Press photo
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ATLANTA — Gerald Laird drove in two runs with two hits, including a tiebreaking single in the eighth, and the Atlanta Braves beat Colorado 3-2 on Friday night after the Rockies lost third baseman Nolan Arenado to a broken finger.

Arenado left the game in the second inning after fracturing his left middle finger on a head-first slide into second base.

Michael Cuddyer hit a home run for Colorado.

Ramiro Pena, who replaced third baseman Chris Johnson in the third inning, led off the eighth with a double to the center-field wall off Adam Ottavino (0-1). After Andrelton Simmons and Dan Uggla struck out, Laird lined the single to left field and advanced to second when Corey Dickerson’s throw bounced past catcher Jordan Pacheco.

David Carpenter (4-0) pitched a scoreless eighth and Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth for his 13th save.

The Rockies did not immediately say if Arenado will be placed on the disabled list.

Arenado led off the second with a double to left field. Left fielder Justin Upton’s throw was caught by Uggla, who flipped the ball to shortstop Andrelton Simmons at second base. Simmons kept the glove down as Arenado slid past the bag.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez asked for a review as replays indicated Simmons might have tagged Arenado’s foot off the bag. The play stood following the review of 3 minutes, 48 seconds.

Arenado grabbed his hand following the slide but remained in the game to score from third on Pacheco’s groundout. Charlie Culberson replaced Arenado at third base in the bottom of the inning.

The loss of Arenado would be a blow to the Rockies. Arenado is hitting .305 with six homers and 28 RBIs. His 28-game hitting streak from April 9 to May 8 is the longest in the National League this season.

The Braves also had a switch at third base. Pena replaced Johnson after Johnson’s strikeout to lead off the second. The Braves did not say why Johnson left the game.

Uggla walked and scored on Laird’s double in the second. The Braves took a 2-1 lead in the third. B.J. Upton scored from third base on Justin Upton’s groundout.

Cuddyer’s homer, his fourth, tied the game in the sixth.

Gavin Floyd allowed two runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings for Atlanta. Jordan Lyles gave up two runs on six hits and one walk in six innings for Colorado.

The Braves loaded the bases in the seventh but couldn’t score. Rex Brothers gave up one-out singles to pinch-hitter Tyler Pastornicky and Jason Heyward before walking B.J. Upton. Brothers struck out Freddie Freeman. Cuddyer made a running catch in right field of Justin Upton’s fly ball off Ottavino to end the inning.

First base umpire Lance Barksdale called Pacheco out on a pickoff throw to first by Floyd in the seventh. The call was overturned following a review which lasted 1:30.

NOTES: Javy Lopez, a catcher for Atlanta from 1992-2003, Dave Pursley, a longtime trainer with Milwaukee and Atlanta from 1962-2001, and Rabbit Maranville, a shortstop with the Boston Braves for 15 seasons, were inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame. .... Rockies manager Walt Weiss said OF Carlos Gonzalez (swollen left index finger), who didn’t start for the second straight day, was available. Gonzalez aggravated the inflammation in the finger Wednesday night. ... Braves LHP Mike Minor will face Rockies RHP Juan Nicasio today.
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