Final in 10
7:10 PM ET, July 29, 2013
Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia
ATLANTA -- Scott Downs never imagined his career taking such a wild turn.
"You have to chuckle," he said with a grin, "because you couldn't have written it any better."
The left-handed reliever took the first flight available Monday and arrived at Turner Field about 10 minutes before the first pitch.
By 11:15 p.m., Downs had earned the win in the Braves' 9-8 victory over the Colorado Rockies in 10 innings.
"Different city, different team, different everything," Downs said. "But that's life. That's baseball. It's not that hard of a transition."
Downs (1-0) gave up one hit and struck out one in 1 1/3 innings, but it was a strange experience.
After taking a shower during the game, Downs went to the bullpen and introduced himself to his new teammates.
He had to rescue his former Angels teammate, right-hander Jordan Walden, who blew the save in the ninth and left the bases loaded. Downs escaped the jam by making just one pitch, a liner he caught on the mound from Todd Helton.
In the 10th, Downs gave up a leadoff single, but got the next three outs to keep the score tied. Not long after that, he said he was excited to join a Braves team with the biggest division lead in the majors at nine games.
"It's great I'm in a situation to win," Downs said. "It's any athlete's dream to be wanted. I've been welcomed with open arms."
Escalona (1-4) allowed one hit, one run and one walk in 12 pitches.
Gonzalez went 5 for 5 with two RBIs after missing the last three games with a sprained right middle finger. He drove in the tying run in the ninth off Walden.
Atlanta's offense bailed out starting pitcher Brandon Beachy, who made his first start in 13 months after undergoing elbow ligament replacement surgery.
Chris Johnson, who leads the NL with a .339 batting average, and Uggla each had two RBIs to help the Braves erase a 5-0 hole with six runs in the third inning, then rally from a two-run deficit in the fifth to make it 8-7.
Beachy gave up eight hits, a career-high seven runs and one walk with five strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings. He made 84 pitches, 58 for strikes.
Walden began the ninth because Braves closer Craig Kimbrel had the night off after earning saves in all three games against St. Louis last weekend.
Though he gave up two hits and walked two in two-thirds of an inning, Walden was glad to see Downs get the job done.
"He's a great guy," Walden said. "I don't even think he's met everyone yet. It's hard to introduce yourself in the middle of a game."
Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa gave up 10 hits and eight runs -- five earned -- with two walks and three strikeouts in five innings.
The Braves' six-run third, which gave them a 6-5 lead, was due in part to a fielding error by third baseman Nolan Arenado that ruined a chance for an inning-ending double play.
"My instincts should have just kept going through the ball and go toward home," Arenado said. "On the sound of the bat, it sounded like it was hit pretty decently. When I realized that, I should have charged the ball."
Johnson followed with a two-run double before Uggla had an RBI groundout and Simmons' RBI double gave the Braves a 6-5 lead.
All of Gonzalez's five hits were singles, raising his average nine points to .306. Gonzalez matched his career high for hits, which he first accomplished in a 9-4 victory at the Chicago Cubs on May 14.
The Rockies led 1-0 in the first on Gonzalez's RBI single, went up 2-0 in the second on Wilin Rosario's 15th homer and took a 5-0 lead in the third on Michael Cuddyer's two-run triple and Helton's sacrifice fly.
Beachy last pitched on June 16, 2012, against Baltimore. He missed 105 games recovering from a torn right elbow ligament and was tied for the major league lead with a 2.00 ERA when he was injured.
"It still stinks," Beachy said. "I'm not going to chuck this up to being part of the process. I pitched poorly and let the guys down after they got me the lead. It's unacceptable."
Walden blew his second straight save opportunity and first since April 26, 2012, when he pitched for the Angels at Tampa Bay. ... Atlanta improved to 8-4 in extra innings. Colorado dropped to 5-8. ... De La Rosa had gone 3-1 with a 1.96 ERA in his last seven starts. He left for a pinch-hitter in the sixth.
ATLANTA, GA - JULY 29: Jorge De La Rosa #29 of the Colorado Rockies cools off in the dugout before the game...(Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Regular Season Series
|Atlanta leads 6-1 (as of Mon 7/29)|
|Tue 4/23||ATL 4, @COL 3||Recap|
|Tue 4/23||ATL 10, @COL 2||Recap|
|Wed 4/24||@COL 6, ATL 5||Recap|
|» Mon 7/29||@ATL 9, COL 8||Box Score|
|Tue 7/30||@ATL 11, COL 3||Recap|
|Wed 7/31||@ATL 9, COL 0||Recap|
|Thu 8/1||@ATL 11, COL 2||Recap|
|Complete Schedule: Rockies | Braves|
|1st||C Gonzalez singled to left, D Fowler scored.||1||0|
|2nd||W Rosario homered to right (379 feet).||2||0|
|3rd||M Cuddyer tripled to deep center, C Gonzalez and T Tulowitzki scored.||4||0|
|3rd||T Helton hit sacrifice fly to right, M Cuddyer scored.||5||0|
|3rd||J Heyward singled to right, J Terdoslavich scored.||5||1|
|3rd||E Gattis grounded into fielder's choice to third, J Heyward scored, J Upton safe at third on error by third baseman N Arenado, F Freeman to second.||5||2|
|3rd||C Johnson doubled to left, J Upton and F Freeman scored, E Gattis to third.||5||4|
|3rd||D Uggla grounded out to shortstop, E Gattis scored, C Johnson to third.||5||5|
|3rd||A Simmons doubled to deep left, C Johnson scored.||5||6|
|4th||N Arenado homered to left (378 feet).||6||6|
|4th||D LeMahieu scored, C Gonzalez to third on wild pitch by D Carpenter.||7||6|
|5th||D Uggla doubled to left, C Johnson scored.||7||7|
|5th||J Terdoslavich singled to right, D Uggla scored.||7||8|
|9th||C Gonzalez singled to center, D Fowler scored, D LeMahieu to second.||8||8|
|10th||A Simmons tripled to deep left, D Uggla scored.||8||9|
|View complete Play-By-Play|
|Stadium||Turner Field, Atlanta, GA|
|Attendance||31,218 (63.2% full) - % is based on regular season capacity|
|Weather||83 degrees, partly cloudy|
|Umpires||Home Plate - Jordan Baker, First Base - Tim McClelland, Second Base - Marty Foster, Third Base - Marvin Hudson|
Andrelton Simmons is the first player ever to hit a walk-off triple against the Rockies. Andrelton Simmons is the first Braves player with a walk-off triple since Harry Hanebrink in 1953. (FROM ELIAS)
Brandon Beachy made his season debut Monday for the Braves, but lasted just 3 2/3 innings and allowed a career-high seven earned runs.
Carlos Gonzalez: 2nd career 5-hit game (both this season, May 14) ... only player in MLB this season with multiple 5-hit games
While it's been over a year since we last saw Beachy on an MLB mound, it's worth remembering just how dominant he was last year prior to suffering his elbow injury.[+]
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