Published May 23, 2014
Atlanta, GA – Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Gerald Laird broke an eighth-inning tie with his second run-scoring hit as the Atlanta Braves edged the Colorado Rockies 3-2 in the opener of a three-game series Friday at Turner Field.
Justin Upton knocked in the other run for Atlanta, which has won five of its last six games.
David Carpenter (4-0) pitched around a two-out double by Justin Morneau in the top of the eighth, and Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth to earn his 13th save of the season.
Braves starter Gavin Floyd allowed two runs on seven hits and struck out seven without a walk in 6 2/3 innings.
Michael Cuddyer homered for the Rockies, who lost more than their second straight game. Third baseman Nolan Arenado left the game with a mallet fracture in his left middle finger.
"It's unfortunate. That definitely hurts a lot more than the single loss tonight," Colorado starter Jordan Lyles said of the injury to Arenado.
Lyles gave up two runs on six hits, walked one and fanned six over six frames.
Adam Ottavino (0-1) inherited a bases-loaded jam with two outs in the seventh and got Upton to line out to right field.
The reliever couldn't pitch out of trouble in the next inning, as Ramiro Pena led off with a double and scored on Laird's two-out single to left field.
"He's come up big. He sticks his nose in there and he's gonna make contact," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said about Laird.
Laird had tied the game at 1-1 in the second, ripping a two-out double to center field to plate Dan Uggla, who kept the inning alive with a walk.
Arenado suffered his injury while sliding head-first in the top of the second. He led off by hitting a line drive off the left-field wall and was nearly tagged out after a strong throw by Upton.
Uggla jumped to snag the throw and made a heads-up play to flip to shortstop Andrelton Simmons to try to get Arenado, who was ruled safe at second base.
The Braves challenged the bang-bang play and it was upheld.
Arenado eventually scored on a Jordan Pacheco groundout, but Charlie Culberson took over at third base in the bottom of the second.
Atlanta grabbed the lead in the third when B.J. Upton scored on a groundout by his brother, but Cuddyer belted a game-tying homer to left field in the sixth.
Kimbrel notched the 152nd save of his career. He is two shy of tying John Smoltz's franchise record ... Atlanta right fielder Jason Heyward went 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 11 games ... Catcher Javy Lopez, shortstop Rabbit Maranville and former head athletic trainer Dave Pursley were inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame on Friday ... The Rockies opened a nine-game road trip.