The Atlanta Braves will look to increase their season-best winning streak to five games by finishing off a four-game sweep of the struggling Colorado Rockies on Sunday in Denver.
The Braves are at the .500 mark for the first time since April 16 after erupting for four runs in the 11th inning in Saturday’s 6-2 triumph over the Rockies.
“We’re feeling good,” Braves left fielder Adam Duvall said afterward. “The mood in the clubhouse is good, so hopefully we can keep that rolling.”
Duvall delivered one of the key hits in the 11th inning when he sent a two-run blast deep into the left-field seats.
Earlier in the frame, Marcell Ozuna lined a tiebreaking double to center and William Contreras followed with an RBI double deep inside the left-field line.
Duvall’s homer put the finishing touches on the win. But it was just his third home run of the season and first since May 8.
Last season, Duvall hit a career-best 38 homers while splitting the season between the Miami Marlins (22) and Braves (16).
“I don’t remember one feeling as good as that one did because it’s been a while,” Duvall said of Saturday’s homer. “I’m not necessarily used to that. That one felt good, especially late in the game like that.”
Austin Riley hit his 14th homer of the season Saturday for Atlanta, which has outscored Colorado 22-9 in the first three games of the series. The Braves won the opener 13-6.
The Rockies have lost 19 of their past 26 games and will look to get their bats untracked in the series finale.
Colorado has just six hits — three in each game — in 21 innings over the past two nights. Atlanta prevailed 3-1 in 10 innings on Friday.
It is the first time in the club’s 30-season franchise history that it has been held to three or fewer hits in back-to-back games at Coors Field.
Rockies left-hander Kyle Freeland, who allowed one run and five hits over seven innings on Saturday, is exasperated by the offensive struggles.
“It’s frustrating,” Freeland said after Colorado fell to seven games below .500. “You want to be firing on all cylinders. You want your offense scoring enough runs. You want your pitchers out there getting deep into games and throwing up goose eggs. It’s a spot we need to get to if we want to get back to .500 and start building from there.”
Veteran right-hander Charlie Morton will start the finale for the Braves.
Morton (3-3, 5.47 ERA) hasn’t found his stride this season and has allowed four or more earned runs in five of his 10 starts. He gave up four runs and four hits over five innings in a no-decision against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday.
Morton, 38, went 14-6 last season when he sported a superb 1.04 WHIP. But baserunners have been plentiful this season with his WHIP at 1.50.
Morton is 3-2 with a 3.65 ERA in 11 career starts against the Rockies. He is 2-1 with a 5.08 ERA in six outings at Coors Field. He has struggled with Randal Grichuk (6-for-15) while shutting down C.J. Cron (2-for-13).
Colorado right-hander Ryan Feltner (1-1, 3.71) will make his fourth start of the season.
Feltner, 25, has struck out 20 and walked five in 17 innings. He beat the Miami Marlins on Monday when he gave up one run and four hits over seven innings.
Feltner made his major league debut against Atlanta last Sept. 5 and was roughed up for six runs and five hits in 2 2/3 innings during a 9-2 loss.
He served up a three-run blast to Duvall and solo shots to Ozzie Albies and Travis d’Arnaud.
–Field Level Media