Rockies drop 9-8 decision to Braves in 11 innings

The Colorado Rockies let a five-run lead float away into the Mile High air, and once again a short outing by the team's starting pitcher was at the heart of the problem.

"I'd give us A+ grades for everything we did, our defense, our bullpen, the way they held up, and the way we kept coming back," Colorado manager Jim Tracy said. "I liked everything but our starting pitching. We fell short in that area."

Staked to a 5-0 lead against Atlanta, starter Guillermo Moscoso couldn't hold it as the Rockies fell 9-8 in 11 innings to the Braves on Friday night in another wild game at Coors Field.

Moscoso surrendered six runs and seven hits in 4 1-3 innings.

"That was not a good starting performance," Tracy said of Moscoso, who was called up last week after Jeremy Guthrie jammed his right shoulder in a biking mishap.

Guthrie remains on schedule to pitch in San Diego on Tuesday when he comes off the disabled list.

"We had the lead and couldn't hold it," Moscoso said. "I made some pitches and then had trouble holding the lead."

Eric Hinske had four hits, including a tiebreaking two-run homer in the 11th inning.

After pinch-hitter Tyler Pastornicky singled to start the 11th, Hinske sent a 94-mph fastball from Edgmer Escalona (0-1) into the Rockies' bullpen for his first homer of the season.

"My best pitch is my sinker and I'm thinking double play," Escalona said. "The ball came back over the plate and he hit it out."

Chad Durbin (2-0) worked his way out of a jam in the 10th to earn the win and Craig Kimbrel survived a shaky 11th for his ninth save in 10 chances. Kimbrel gave up an RBI groundout to Todd Helton before getting Michael Cuddyer to roll out to end the game.

Hinske's four-hit night ties a career high. He also had two singles and an RBI double.

The Braves' bullpen was solid all night after starter Tim Hudson departed. All combined, they allowed just two hits and one run in five innings of work.

Kris Medlen pitched 1 2-3 scoreless innings before giving way to Eric O'Flaherty with two outs in the eighth. The lefty then got a big strikeout of pinch hitter Jason Giambi, who was the hero on Wednesday when he hit a walkoff homer in an 8-5 win over Los Angeles.

O'Flaherty also struck out Todd Helton in the ninth to end a threat with the winning run standing on third.

Durbin walked two in the 10th but escaped without any damage as he got Wilin Rosario to pop out.

The heart of the Braves' order had quite a game as Chipper Jones, Freddie Freeman and Brian McCann combined for eight hits, two homers and six RBIs.

Hudson was making his second start of the season after rehabbing for most of April as he recovered from an offseason surgery to fix a herniated disk in his back.

The righty struggled early, giving up five runs in the first inning, but then settled into a groove. Hudson retired 11 straight at one point before giving up a solo homer to Jonathan Herrera in the fifth that tied it at 6.

Hudson lasted six innings and gave up seven runs — six earned. He was a step away from possibly earning the win, but couldn't wiggle out of a sixth-inning jam. With the bases loaded and one out, Hudson got pinch-hitter Tyler Colvin to roll a grounder at Dan Uggla, who started the double-play attempt.

But Colvin just beat out Jack Wilson's relay throw to first, allowing Todd Helton to score the tying run.

This after Chipper Jones hit a solo homer in the sixth to give Hudson and the Braves a momentary 7-6 lead.

In this back-and-forth game, no lead was safe.

A botched bunt by Bourn led to a big fifth inning for the Braves — and a little controversy.

With one out and no one on, Bourn put down a bunt he thought was foul, only to have home plate umpire Tim McClelland rule it fair. Ramon Hernandez easily tagged out Bourn.

But Bourn and manager Fredi Gonzalez vehemently argued the call, leading McClelland to appeal to third base umpire Marvin Hudson, who overturned the ruling. An irate Jim Tracy then argued his point, only to no avail.

Replays seemed to indicate that maybe Hernandez did indeed touch the ball in foul territory before making the play.

Given another chance, Bourn laced a single to ignite a four-run rally as the Braves took a 6-5 lead.

"We didn't take advantage of our opportunities," Helton said. "We had chances to win the game and didn't."

NOTES: Helton's double in the sixth was No. 561 of his career, moving him into sole possession of 21st on the all-time list. ... Usually a catcher, Rosario made his first appearance at third base in the 11th, turning in a sparkling defensive play.