DENVER (AP) — Marcell Ozuna hit his 30th homer, Charlie Morton threw six innings of one-run ball and the Atlanta Braves beat the Colorado Rockies 3-1 on Tuesday night for their 16th win in 21 games.
Major league-best Atlanta improved to 86-45, including 6-0 against the Rockies with a 57-17 run margin. Colorado, which has lost 12 of its last 13 against Atlanta, is an NL-worst 49-83, assured of its fifth straight losing season. The Rockies have lost eight of nine overall.
Ozuna homered for the fifth time in eight games, a solo drive in the second off Peter Lambert (3-5), and added an RBI single in the fifth.
“I feel amazing,” Ozuna said about his 30th homer. “I don’t have any words to express right now the way that I feel to get to that goal. That’s a goal for every player to do in a season.”
Morton (14-10) allowed three hits, struck out eight and walked one. He pitched 19 scoreless innings before Harold Castro’s RBI groundout in the second.
“This place will let you know where you are with your breaking ball,” Morton said. “If your release is off or your spin’s off, you’ll see it. You’ll see it in the shape. You’ll see it in the location. If you can buy into that, you can kind of let yourself experiment a little bit. It’s actually really beneficial to come here and throw.”
Ronald Acuña Jr. went 2 for 5 for his major league-leading 57th multi-hit game this season. He remained one home run shy of becoming the first player with 30 homers and 60 stolen bases in a season. He came close to accomplishing the feat in the fourth inning with a 418-foot shot to deep center field, but Brenton Doyle caught the ball against the wall.
“I thought it was a homer for sure,” Lambert said. “He’s an all-time player.”
Atlanta outhit Colorado 15-3 but stranded 12 runners.
Raisel Iglesias pitched a perfect ninth for his 26th save in 28 chances.
Lambert gave up three runs and nine hits in five innings.
“It’s one of the best lineups I’ve seen in my 45 years in professional baseball,” Rockies manager Bud Black said about Atlanta. “It is a legit lineup. They have power, guys who hit for average, experience. They have a really, really good offensive team. It’s hard. There’s not a soft spot in the lineup. There really isn’t. You’ve really got to make pitches. If you talk to Peter, he’s tired. Talk to (Brent) Suter, tired.”
Braves: OF Michael Harris II was tended to by an athletic trainer after running into the outfield wall trying to catch a triple by Goodman in the second inning, but remained in the game. Braves manager Brian Snitker said Harris had hurt his knee on the play.
Rockies: Recalled RHP Gavin Hollowell from Triple-A Albuquerque and optioned RHP Karl Kauffmann to Triple-A.
LHP Kyle Freeland will take the mound for Colorado Wednesday against Atlanta RHP Darius Vines, who will be making his MLB debut.