Braves' 7-run inning buries Rockies

Atlanta's Martin Prado prepares to tag out Ryan Spilborghs on a steal. Prado had two hits, giving him 19 and matching Deion Sanders for most hits by an Atlanta player in the first 10 games.

ATLANTA --- Jason Heyward and Melky Cabrera each had two hits during a seven-run second inning, and the Atlanta Braves cruised past the Colorado Rockies 9-5 on Friday night for their third consecutive win.


Eric Hinske drove in three runs and Chipper Jones homered for the Braves, who again made things easy for Derek Lowe (3-0). In Lowe's three starts, Atlanta has scored 32 runs; the other four starters have gotten a total of 24 runs.

The 20-year-old Heyward led off the second against Jason Hammel (0-1) with a single to center and came around to score. He singled again before the inning was done, knocking out Hammel. Cabrera followed each of Heyward's hits with singles of his own, the second driving in the final two runs of the big inning.

Colorado bounced back from an 8-0 deficit, cutting the lead in half on pinch-hitter Seth Smith's three-run homer in the fifth. Lowe lasted 5 innings, giving up seven hits and four runs (three earned). Eric O'Flaherty worked 1q innings, allowing a run, and Kris Medlen finished with two scoreless innings, striking out three.

Hammel was charged with all seven runs in the second. He surrendered eight hits and walked three, retiring only five batters before getting yanked.

After Heyward's first hit, Cabrera followed with a liner off Hammel's glove and David Ross dumped a single into center field to bring home Heyward. Lowe moved the runners along with a sacrifice bunt, and it looked as if Hammel might escape a really big inning when Nate McLouth hit a sacrifice fly to left, making it 2-0 with two outs.

Turns out, the Braves were just getting warmed up.

Martin Prado and Jones both worked Hammel for walks, loading the bases, and Hinske followed with a two-run single to right to make it 4-0. Yunel Escobar drove in another run with an infield single and Heyward, getting up again, singled sharply to left to reload the bases.

That was it for Hammel, who threw only 34 strikes in 67 pitches. Manuel Corpas took over, but Cabrera became the second Atlanta batter with two hits in the inning when he ripped his two-run single to right.



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