ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves' highest scoring inning and game of the season couldn't take away the sting of losing one of the team's hottest hitters and most versatile players.
Yunel Escobar hit a three-run homer in a nine-run fourth inning and the Braves beat the Colorado Rockies 12-4 on Wednesday night for their second straight lopsided win in the series.Atlanta lost leadoff hitter Omar Infante in the sixth inning. He broke a bone in his left hand when he was hit by a pitch from Manny Corpas and is expected to miss six to eight weeks, according to manager Bobby Cox."It's a huge blow," Cox said. "He's been on fire the whole year. He can play several positions and he can play them well."Infante, who had two hits to lift his batting average to .349, will be evaluated Thursday.Infante has shared time with Kelly Johnson at second base and has made fill-in starts at shortstop and third base and has appeared in three games in the outfield."You lose a guy with that much ability that's been that productive, you're gonna feel it somewhere down the road," Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said. "I don't know what the prognosis is, but it's obvious he's not going to be helping us anytime soon."X-rays revealed Infante broken his fifth metacarpal.The Rockies, who gave up 10 runs in the seventh inning of their 11-4 loss at Pittsburgh on Sunday, were tied 1-1 with the Braves before the big inning.The Braves beat the Rockies 8-1 on Tuesday night, then set a season high with the 12 runs Wednesday. The nine-run inning was their biggest of the season.The Rockies have lost six of eight to fall a season-low nine games below .500."We'll figure things out tomorrow," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "We have work to do. We know that."We're embarrassed. We have to pick it up and go. We don't want to dig ourselves in any deeper."Javier Vazquez (4-3) struck out the first four Colorado batters and finished with six in five innings. He gave up three hits and one unearned run.Jorge De La Rosa (0-4) walked Martin Prado and Matt Diaz before hitting Jeff Francoeur to load the bases with no outs in the fourth. De La Rosa then walked David Ross to force in a run.Jordan Schafer hit a sacrifice fly and Infante had a run-scoring single before Escobar's homer gave the Braves a 7-1 lead.The home run knocked De La Rosa out of the game. He gave up seven runs and five hits and walked five in 3 2/3 innings, raising his ERA from 3.16 to 4.27."I was wild," De La Rosa said. "It was one of those games when I had control problems. I had nothing."Matt Belisle, who took over for De La Rosa, gave up seven hits and five runs, three earned, in two innings. Belisle gave up run-scoring singles to Diaz, Francoeur and Ross in the fourth."It unraveled," Hurdle said. "It was a bad inning. We were one out away from getting out of it. We were not in a good place."Hurdle benched shortstop Troy Tulowitzki for one game for swinging at a high, first pitch and hitting into a double play in the eighth inning Tuesday night.The Braves, helped by two fielding errors by third baseman Ian Stewart, added two runs in the sixth. Schafer's bloop single drove in a run, and a second run scored when Stewart couldn't field Jeff Bennett's grounder.The Braves' starting lineup did not include regulars Brian McCann, Garret Anderson and Casey Kotchman. Ross, the fill-in catcher, drove in two runs. Diaz, starting in left field, had three hits and scored four runs.Ryan Spilborghs had two RBIs for the Rockies and Clint Barmes had a two-run double."We have to start winning games," Rockies third baseman Garrett Atkins said. "... We're not even making them close. That's frustrating."
Jones' first-inning single was his 1,000th hit at Turner Field, the most of any player. ... The five walks and seven runs allowed were season highs for De La Rosa. ... Jo-Jo Reyes made his first relief appearance since being removed from the Braves' rotation. He gave up two runs in the eighth and then left after hitting a single in the bottom of the inning. He suffered an apparent hamstring injury running to first base and left the game. He will be evaluated Thursday.