Originally created 05/11/05

Braves come out swinging



DENVER - For all the talk of altitude and balls flying around Coors Field faster than pitchers' heads can turn, Atlanta's relievers don't seem to fazed by the park's growing legend.

The Braves' bullpen was sharp for a second consecutive night, shutting Colorado out the final 4Q innings to deliver a 9-5 victory on a gusty, cool night in the Mile High City.

Before the pen arrived on the scene, the principle of never scoring enough runs at Coors Field nearly held true once again.

Atlanta scored six runs in the first, yet had to claw to hold on for the win, with help from their relief pitching.

The team's first-inning outburst was the most runs the Braves had scored in an inning so far this season. And all six runs came with two outs.

Catcher Johnny Estrada's double down the right-field line plated the first two runs. Ryan Langerhans' single scored two more. Raul Mondesi then doubled, scoring Langerhans.

Mondesi reached base four times in the game, twice by errors.

Pitcher John Thomson added to the crazy first inning with an RBI standup double.

The run Thomson drove in came in handy. By the time he left the game, through 4w innings, it was 8-5 Atlanta.

Given the fragile, three-run lead, the bullpen was solid in protecting the Braves' tenuous advantage.

Jorge Sosa (2-0), who came up a Rockies position player, relieved Thomson midway through the fifth and went a scoreless inning to pick up the win. John Foster picked him up to get an out and close out the sixth.

Former Rockie Adam Bernero followed with a clean seventh inning, and Chris Reitsma allowed a hit but no runs in the eighth.

Closer Dan Kolb came on in the ninth and didn't allow a run in a non-save situation.

In two nights, Atlanta's relievers have not given up a run - and allowed only four hits (two each night) to the Rockies.

Braves second baseman Marcus Giles went 4-for-5 with two doubles.

Contact Travis Haney at travis.haney@morris.com.



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