Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Morales hurt by 3 HRs; Rockies fall to Braves 7-0

photo - Colorado Rockies shortstop Charlie Culberson (23) is safe at second base on a D.J. LeMahieu ground ball as Atlanta Braves second baseman Tyler Pastornicky (1) mishandles the ball inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 25, 2014 in Atlanta. Pastronicky was chargesd with an error on the play. Atlanta Braves second baseman Tyler Pastornicky (1) looks on in the background. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) + caption
Colorado Rockies shortstop Charlie Culberson (23) is safe at second base on a D.J. LeMahieu ground ball as Atlanta Braves second baseman Tyler Pastornicky (1) mishandles the ball inning of a baseball game Sunday, May 25, 2014 in Atlanta. Pastronicky was chargesd with an error on the play. Atlanta Braves second baseman Tyler Pastornicky (1) looks on in the background. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
CHARLES ODUM, AP Sports Writer Updated: May 25, 2014 at 7:47 pm

ATLANTA — Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario kept lining up on the outside of the plate.

Franklin Morales kept throwing the ball over the middle.

That produced bad results for Colorado.

Colorado pitchers gave up four homers, including three by Morales, and the Rockies were shut out by Julio Teheran and the Braves 7-0 on Sunday.

The Rockies lost two of three in the series, but they ended the day with good news.

Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki said he avoided an injury when he left the game in the eighth inning. He appeared to limp slightly while walking slowly off the field, accompanied by a trainer. He said he hit his left foot on his backswing.

"I think I'm all right," Tulowitzki said.

Added Rockies manager Walt Weiss: "He'll be fine."

Morales (3-4) lasted only 4 2-3 innings, allowing five runs and three walks and five hits. He gave up two homers to Evan Gattis and a two-run shot to Justin Upton. Chris Johnson added a two-run homer off Nick Masset in the eighth.

"This Atlanta club hits the ball in the seats," Weiss said. "That's what they do.

"A couple of balls got elevated and they hit them out."

Gattis hit his first homer off Morales with one out in the second, a towering shot that sent center fielder Charlie Blackmon crashing into the wall near the 400-foot mark.

Upton walked with one out in the fourth before Gattis lined his second homer of the day about 12 rows deep into the left-field seats. Left fielder Carlos Gonzalez took one step to his right before standing and watching the homer quickly reach the seats.

Gattis crushed pitches over the middle of the plate — not where Rosario lined up — on each of his pitches. In the second inning, Rosario lined up inside and in the fourth he wanted the pitch on the outside edge of the plate.

"I tried to use both sides of the plate, but sometimes I missed my spots and that's why I got hit," Morales said.

Teheran (4-3) began the day fourth in the NL in ERA. He lowered his average from 1.92 to 1.77 with six scoreless innings. He had seven strikeouts while allowing only four hits.

"He's good," Tulowitzki said. "His numbers speak for themselves. He's tough."

Asked if Teheran's secret is his control, Tulowitzki said "I don't know. Help me out. Go ask him. ... I don't know what makes him good. I haven't had any success off him."

It was the second straight dominant win for Teheran, who was coming off his second shutout of the season, a 5-0 win over Milwaukee on Tuesday.

After Teheran threw a career-high 128 pitches against the Brewers, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez limited the right-hander to 93 pitches on Sunday.

"That worked out great," Gonzalez said.

"We want these guys for 35 starts, and he understood right away. We've got to keep an eye on these guys. We want them for the long haul."

Anthony Vavaro pitched two perfect innings and Luis Avilan recorded the final three outs to complete the combined four-hitter.

Teheran didn't look sharp early. Blackmon and Michael Cuddyer had back-to-back singles to open the game before Teheran recovered with three straight outs.

In the second, a single by Charlie Culberson and fielding error by second baseman Tyler Pastornicky on D.J. LeMahieu's grounder put runners on first and second with one out.

Following a sacrifice by Morales, Teheran escaped the inning when shortstop Andrelton Simmons charged a grounder by Blackmon, who was out on a close play at first.

NOTES: The three homers allowed by Morales set a season high. ... Josh Rutledge replaced Tulowitzki at shortstop. ... The Braves open a two-game series against the Red Sox on Monday when RHP Ervin Santana faces Boston RHP Clay Buchholz. ... The Rockies move to Philadelphia, where RHP Jhoulys Chacin will face RHP Kyle Kendrick on Monday.

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