Braves 6, Rockies 2

DENVER (AP) -- John Smoltz continued his mastery of Colorado to help the Atlanta Braves beat the Rockies 6-2 on Saturday night.

Smoltz (3-1) allowed two runs, nine hits, and struck out eight in seven innings to improve to 11-4 with nine saves and a 3.43 ERA in his career against the Rockies.

He also snapped an 0-for-11 skid at the plate to start the season with a double in the sixth inning.

The 39-year-old, who recently signed a contract extension for 2008 with options for 2009 and 2010, was aided by an efficient offense that used three hits including a two-run single by Jones, a solo home run by Jeff Francoeur and a triple by Kelly Johnson in the first four innings to build a 5-2 lead.

Jones has seven home runs and 16 RBIs in his last 16 games.

Andruw Jones made a leaping catch to rob Garrett Atkins of a home run in the third inning and preserve the lead.

Colorado starter Jason Hirsh (2-2) allowed five runs, five hits and four walks over six innings.

Matt Holliday was 2-for-4 with two doubles.

Troy Tulowitzki hit his second home run in as many games, a towering shot into the Braves' bullpen in center field after a leadoff walk to Willy Taveras in the first inning.

The Braves took a 3-2 lead in the third inning. Ryan Langerhans reached on Tulowitzki error at shortstop and Kelly Johnson and Edgar Renteria walked to load the bases before Chipper Jones singled off Jamey Carroll's glove at second base to drive in two runs. Andruw Jones added a sacrifice fly.

Francoeur homered to left, his fifth of the year, leading off the fourth. Langerhans drew a one-out walk and an out later scored when Johnson tripled to center to make it 5-2.

Smoltz settled down, pitching six scoreless innings after the first.

He induced a two-out ground ball by Brad Hawpe with runners on second and third in the third inning and got Holliday to ground out after two-out hits by Atkins and Todd Helton in the fifth.

Renteria added his fourth homer of the season in the ninth to make it 6-2.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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