05/20/09 11:28 PM ET
Braves put up nine-run fourth inning
Escobar's three-run shot the centerpiece of outburst
By Mark Bowman / MLB.com
Having matched their season-high run total at home during an 8-1 win over the Rockies on Tuesday night, the Braves kept the momentum rolling during this fourth inning that included four walks, one hit batter and six hits, just one of which went for extra bases.
"We had some good at-bats early," said Matt Diaz, who walked and singled during the inning. "We did the little things that inning and it led to a huge inning. That's something that's kind of been missing this year and it's kind of fun to have. Putting a nine spot on someone in one inning kind of lets you relax the rest of the game."
Yunel Escobar's two-out, opposite-field three-run homer ended a forgettable evening for Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa, who allowed the Braves to score their first fourth-inning run without putting a ball in play. With his first 20 pitches of the inning, De La Rosa issued three walks and hit Jeff Francoeur with a pitch.
"The scouting report showed that the last time that [De La Rosa] pitched, he was very wild," said Martin Prado, who opened the inning with a walk and then added a single when the Braves went through the order. "One of the things that worked out for us today was we saw a lot of pitches and had good at-bats."
After a Jordan Schafer sacrifice fly and Javier Vazquez sacrifice bunt accounted for the first two outs, Omar Infante prolonged the inning by beating out an RBI infield single. Five pitches later, Escobar sent De La Rosa's 3-1 fastball over the right-field wall.
The Braves kept things rolling against Rockies reliever Matt Belisle, who walked Chipper Jones before allowing four consecutive singles to Prado, Diaz, Francoeur and David Ross. Belisle, a former top prospect in the Atlanta organization, mercifully put the inning to an end with a strikeout of Schafer.
The Braves' previous season high for runs in an inning occurred at Citizens Bank Park on April 8, when they compiled five hits during a five-run third inning against the Phillies. Entering Wednesday, the Braves had scored a total of 20 fourth-inning runs this year.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.