Atlanta, GA – Andrelton Simmons tripled home Dan Uggla in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift the Atlanta Braves to a 9-8 victory over the Colorado Rockies in the opener of a four-game set at Turner Field.
The Braves coughed up a one-run lead in the ninth, but Simmons smacked an 0-2 pitch from Edgmer Escalona (1-4) to the gap in left center to plate Uggla, who had led off with a walk.
Jordan Walden started the ninth for Atlanta, not closer Craig Kimbrel. Kimbrel had recorded three saves in a weekend sweep of the visiting St. Louis Cardinals.
Carlos Gonzalez, back in the Colorado lineup after missing the last three games with a sprained right middle finger, finished 5-for-5. His final hit, a one-out single, tied the game in the ninth.
Earlier Monday, the Braves acquired reliever Scott Downs (1-0) from the Los Angeles Angels and it didn't take long for the southpaw to be placed in a pressure situation.
Both DJ LeMahieu, who also singled, and Gonzalez advanced a base on a deep flyout by Troy Tulowitzki. After Walden intentionally walked Michael Cuddyer, Downs was called on to face the left-handed-swinging Todd Helton, who hit a liner that was gloved by Downs.
The Rockies stranded a runner at third against Downs in the 10th.
"As long as we get a W at the end, that's when you feel good about it. If you go 10-for-10 and you got the loss, you still feel like you didn't do enough," Gonzalez said.
Simmons, Uggla and Chris Johnson each had two RBI for the NL East-leading Braves.
Colorado scored in each of the first four innings against Atlanta starter Brandon Beachy, who was tagged for a career-high seven runs in his first outing since undergoing "Tommy John" surgery on June 21, 2012.
"I'm not gonna just chalk this up as part of the process. No, I'm not gonna do that. I pitched poorly," Beachy said.
Atlanta erased a 5-0 deficit with a six-run outburst in the third, however, the Rockies quickly moved back ahead. The see-saw affair continued as the Braves regained the lead in the fifth against Colorado starter Jorge De La Rosa.
Johnson singled to open the fifth, and Uggla's double into the left-field corner tied the game at 7-7. A one-out single by Joey Terdoslavich put Atlanta back in front.
With the Rockies up 2-0, Cuddyer drove a ball over the head of Atlanta center fielder Jason Heyward for a two-run triple in the third and then scored on a Helton sacrifice fly.
Atlanta came storming back in the bottom of the inning, which featured a critical error. With the bases loaded and one out, a second Braves run scored when third baseman Nolan Arenado booted an Evan Gattis grounder. Johnson followed with a two-run double, Uggla tied the game with a groundout and Simmons doubled home the go-ahead run.
Arenado atoned for the miscue by leading off the fourth with a home run to left field. LeMahieu singled to keep the frame alive and eventually scored on a David Carpenter wild pitch.
To clear room for Beachy, the club placed starting pitcher Paul Maholm (wrist) on the 15-day disabled list. The move is retroactive to July 21 ... The Braves sent pitcher Cory Rasmus to the Angels for Downs. In order to add Downs to the roster, pitcher Kameron Loe was designated for assignment ... Gonzalez matched a career high with the five hits ... The Rockies recalled Charlie Culberson from Triple-A Colorado Springs and optioned fellow infielder Jordan Pacheco to the Sky Sox.