(SportsNetwork.com) - The Colorado Rockies broke out of their slump thanks to an offense that pounded the Major League's now former earned run average leader and a stellar debut on the mound by a rookie pitcher.
The Rockies hope to carry that momentum into Thursday's finale of a four-game series with the Atlanta Braves.
Colorado was bested in the first two games of this series, giving the club a loss in 11 of its last 12 games before coming through with an 8-2 victory last night.
Corey Dickerson drove in three runs, two on a first-inning triple that keyed a three-run frame, and both Troy Tulowitzki and Justin Morneau posted three hits, an RBI and run scored in the contest.
However, the big story was the debut of hurler Tyler Matzek, who took a perfect game into the fifth inning and ended up with the victory after yielding two runs over seven-plus innings with seven strikeouts.
"(Matzek had an) explosive fastball and it looked like his slider disappeared," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said of Matzek. "It looked like he had it all working."
Matzek's effort also gave the Rockies just their fourth victory in their past 21 meetings with the Braves.
While Matzek was dealing on the mound, the offense got to Atlanta hurler Julio Teheran, who came into the contest with an MLB-best 1.89 ERA but ended up allowing a career-high seven runs over 6 1/3 frames.
Atlanta didn't get on the board until RBI singles by Andrelton Simmons and B.J. Upton in the eighth inning.
"I thought if we could've put a couple more on the board we would've been ok," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said of the eighth.
With a chance to give his club a split the series, Jhoulys Chacin looks for both his first victory of the season and of his career against the Braves this afternoon.
Chacin, who missed the first month of the season due to a right shoulder strain, picked up a second straight no-decision on Saturday despite pitching solid for most of the game. He logged six scoreless frames, but ended up getting charged with three in the seventh without recording an out.
That kept the 26-year-old righty 0-4 on the year with a 5.35 ERA. Chacin is 0-2 in his career when facing the Braves, sporting a 6.23 ERA in the three meetings.
Ervin Santana tries to keep heading in the right direction when he toes the rubber this afternoon for the Braves.
After yielding 20 runs over his previous four outings and going 1-2 in that span, Santana gave up only one unearned run in a no-decision in Arizona on Saturday. The righty worked around six hits and two walks in seven innings of work, though Atlanta lost 4-3.
The 31-year-old Santana is 5-2 with a 3.69 ERA on the year and unbeaten in his career versus the Rockies, going 2-0 in three starts despite a 5.59 ERA.