published Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Matzek shines in debut as Rockies beat Braves 8-2

Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Tyler Matzek works against the Atlanta Braves in the sixth inning of a baseball game in Denver on Wednesday, June 11, 2014.
Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Tyler Matzek works against the Atlanta Braves in the sixth inning of a baseball game in Denver on Wednesday, June 11, 2014.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

DENVER — Tyler Matzek pitched two-hit ball for the first seven innings of his major league debut before faltering in the eighth, and the Colorado Rockies beat the Atlanta Braves 8-2 on Wednesday night.

The left-hander retired the first 13 hitters and 21 of 23 before allowing three straight singles to start the eighth. He is the third Colorado pitcher in the last six days to make his debut.

Matzek (1-0) allowed two runs on five hits and struck out seven in seven-plus innings. He also had his first hit and run scored. The Rockies had lost 11 of 12.

Julio Teheran (6-4) entered Wednesday with a 1.89 ERA, best in the majors, but Colorado scored three in the first on Drew Stubbs' RBI double and Corey Dickerson's two-run triple.

Troy Tulowitzki and Justin Morneau had three hits each for Colorado.

Matzek breezed through the first four innings on 39 pitches. Atlanta hit three balls hard, including a line drive by Teheran snared by Morneau to end the third.

Morneau couldn't come down with Justin Upton's single with one out in the fifth to give the Braves their first baserunner. The Coors Field crowd acknowledged Matzek's early work with applause after Upton's hit.

Chris Johnson followed with a single to right but Matzek retired the next two batters to get out of the inning.

Johnson, Tommy La Stella and Andrelton Simmons singled to start the eight and make it 8-1. Franklin Morales came on and gave up a two-out RBI single to B.J. Upton before getting Freddie Freeman to fly out

The Rockies made it 4-0 in the third when Tulowitzki scored on a sacrifice fly by Stubbs.

Josh Rutledge scored from third when Tulowitzki, who singled, was caught in a rundown between first and second in the fifth. Stubbs and Dickerson led off the sixth with consecutive doubles to give Colorado a 6-0 lead.

Tulowitzki and Morneau had RBI singles in the seventh.

Teheran allowed seven runs on 10 hits and struck out five in 6 1-3 innings.

NOTES: Atlanta C Evan Gattis singled in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. ... Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez was named one of the coaches for the NL at the All-Star Game in Minnesota next month. ... The Rockies optioned RHP Chad Bettis to Triple A to make room for Matzek. ... Justin Upton returned to the lineup after being removed in the first inning Tuesday because of a left hamstring injury. ... Atlanta will send Ervin Santana (5-2, 3.69) against Colorado's Jhoulys Chacin (0-4, 5.35) on Thursday.

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