ATLANTA (AP) — Everything was in place for Shelby Miller to end his frustrating winless streak. And then everything fell apart in the seventh inning.
Brandon Barnes had three hits, including a two-run homer, and the Colorado Rockies rallied from a 3-0 deficit to top the Atlanta Braves 6-3 on Wednesday night.
Miller’s winless streak reached 18 games, the longest in-season streak for a Braves pitcher since the team moved to Atlanta in 1966.
The Braves gave Miller (5-11) a 3-0 lead after six innings thanks in part to back-to-back home runs by Jonny Gomes and rookie Adonis Garcia in the sixth.
“Those are the type of games you like to have Shelby in there,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “You’re up 3-0 and you run him back out there, you feel pretty good.”
Miller had set down 14 straight Rockies entering the seventh inning and seemed poised to record his first win since May 17. But he gave up a double to Ben Paulsen, a single to Daniel Descalso and a double to Barnes that cut the deficit to 3-1. Charlie Blackmon hit a two-out infield chopper to make the score 3-2 before Jose Reyes launched a triple to right-center to score Barnes and Blackmon.
“That was some bad luck,” Gonzalez said. “He made a nice pitch to Blackmon. The ball hit off the plate.”
Barnes tacked on a two-run homer in the eighth off Edwin Jackson to push the lead to 6-3.
The Braves threatened in the late innings, loading the bases in the seventh and getting two men on in the ninth, but the Rockies’ bullpen managed its fourth straight scoreless game. John Axford struck out Pedro Ciriaco to earn his 18th save.
Simon Castro (1-0) picked up the win in relief for the Rockies, who won two out of three for their first series win at Turner Field since 2005.
During his winless streak, Miller has an ERA of 3.24 and has given up one earned run or less eight times. He broke Nolan Ryan’s record of longest winless streak by an All-Star, which was 13 starts.
“Everyone knows it’s going on,” second baseman Jace Peterson said of the streak. “It is one of those things that’s terrible, but I know we are going to keep battling.”
The Braves got on the board on an RBI groundout by rookie Christian Bethancourt in the second inning that scored Gomes.