Series: Game 2 of 2

Atlanta won 2-0

Game 1: Monday, May 1
Game 2: Tuesday, May 2

Rockies 4

(15-12, 10-5 away)

Braves 5

(12-14, 6-5 home)

7:35 PM ET, May 2, 2006

Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia 

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COL 010102000 4 8 0
ATL 00300011 - 5 13 0

W: L. Cormier (2-1)

L: R. King (1-2)

S: C. Reitsma (6)

Giles' four hits, game-winner lift Braves over Rockies 

ATLANTA (AP) -- This is what the Atlanta Braves were expecting when they made Marcus Giles their leadoff hitter.

Giles had four hits, including a run-scoring double with two outs in the eighth inning that gave the Atlanta Braves their third straight win, 5-4 over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.

Hitting .195 entering the game, Giles had three straight singles and scored the Braves' first run before coming through with the game-winning hit off Jose Mesa.

Asked what he did to turn things around, Giles quipped, "Well, I sacrificed a live chicken." Turning serious, he added, "Really, the ball just happened to fall in the right places. You can't say you're hitting the ball good when you're hitting about .180. But I did feel like I was hitting better than that."

Mesa took over for Ray King (1-2) after Wilson Betemit's pinch-hit single with two outs. Mesa's first pitch skidded to the backstop, allowing Betemit to take second. Sitting on a 2-0 fastball, Giles hit a liner over the head of left fielder Matt Holliday.

Giles figured that Mesa would groove a pitch with Edgar Renteria coming up next. The Braves' No. 2 batter extended his hitting streak to 17 games -- an Atlanta record for the start of the season -- and has a .375 average.

"Our best hitter was on deck," Giles said. "I knew the last thing he wanted to do was face Renteria. I would have been glad just to hit a clean single somewhere. The last thing I'm trying to do is hit one to the wall, but it worked out."

After longtime leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal signed with the Dodgers during the offseason, Giles inherited the role. It took some getting used to, but he wasn't all that worried about his slow start.

"You don't want to just take it, but you have to deal with it," said Giles, who raised his average 35 points in one night and knows "five good days can turn it all around."

Lance Cormier (2-1) earned the win by getting the final two outs in the top half of the eighth. Chris Reitsma worked a scoreless ninth for his sixth save in seven chances.

The Braves' winning streak -- their longest of the season -- followed a five-game skid that left them seven games behind the Mets in the NL East. They've got the deficit down to five as they begin an eight-game road trip that includes a stop in New York this weekend.

Atlanta, which has won 14 straight division titles, is eager to show that it will be contending for No. 15.

"We want to prove that we're going to be someone to deal with in this division," Giles said.

Holliday homered twice for the Rockies, and Brad Hawpe also went deep -- all off Braves starter Jose Sosa.

Sosa limited the Rockies to six hits in six innings, but he couldn't the ball in the park with a 3-1 lead. A surprising 13-game winner in 2005, the right-hander remained at 0-4 this season with a 6.65 ERA, having allowed six homers in 21 2-3 innings.

"My slider wasn't working tonight," Sosa said. "I threw a changeup and gave up a home run. But my control is there. My fastball is there. I just have to work on my changeup."

Holliday had the fifth two-homer game of his career but it wasn't enough to prevent the Rockies from getting swept in the two-game series in Atlanta. Still, they managed a 5-4 road trip and held their surprising lead in the NL West.

"Anytime you win a road trip, you've got to take it," Holliday said. "We're playing pretty well. This one just got away."

Rockies starter Aaron Cook went 6 2-3 innings. He was lifted with a 4-3 lead after walking Chipper Jones, but Scott Dohmann gave up a double to Andruw Jones that allowed the other Jones to score the tying run all the way from first.

The Braves scored all of their runs with two-out hits. Andruw Jones, Adam LaRoche and Jeff Francoeur came through in a three-run third.

"I didn't make good pitches with two outs," Cook said. "They came up with some clutch hits."

Game notes

SS Clint Barmes will not be with the Rockies for Wednesday's game against Cincinnati. He was excused to attend a cousin's funeral, then will return to Colorado on Thursday for the finale of a brief series against Cincinnati. ... Holliday's two-homer game was the second for a Rockies player this season. Jason Smith hit two at San Diego on April 9. ... Braves LF Ryan Langerhans made a diving catch in the fourth to deny Barmes a probable double. ... Rockies 1B prospect Ryan Shealy homered in his first at-bat for Triple-A Colorado Springs on Tuesday. He joined the Sky Sox after spending April at extended spring training in Tucson to rehab an injured elbow.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press