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AP photo by Davis Zalubowski / Atlanta Braves pitching coach Rick Kranitz, left front, confers with starter Ian Anderson, right front, after he walked Elias Diaz during the second inning of Saturday night's game against the Colorado Rockies in Denver. Braves catcher Stephen Vogt, back left, and shortstop Dansby Swanson, back right, listen in.

DENVER — Charlie Blackmon homered for the third straight game, C.J. Cron also went deep and Raimel Tapia hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly as the Colorado Rockies hung on to beat the Atlanta Braves 7-6 on Saturday night.

Ozzie Albies homered for the second time in as many games for the Braves, the National League East Division leaders who remained two games in front of the second-place Philadelphia Phillies. Travis d'Arnaud added a homer in the ninth, for the Braves, whose past five games have been decided by one run, with four of them losses.

"We play the same game every day," Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. "We've been real successful, but we're going through a stretch now where we're not.

"You weather these storms. You fight through them and you keep working. We're putting ourselves in a position, and it can change just like that, where all of the sudden you're getting the big hit or you're getting the big pitch."

The Braves loaded the bases with one out in the top of the eighth off Daniel Bard, but Robert Stephenson relieved and limited the damage to a run on Dansby Swanson's sacrifice fly. He struck out Joc Pederson for the final out of the inning.

"That was pivotal," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "Bases loaded, one out, up three. One hit there, the game goes a different direction. Good for (Stephenson). That was a big spot."

Carlos Estévez weathered a one-out solo home run by pinch-hitter d'Arnaud, retiring Albies and Jorge Soler on fly balls to the outfield for his fifth save in nine chances.

With the score tied at 4 heading into the bottom of the sixth, the Rockies finally broke through against a Braves bullpen that had thrown 10 1/3 scoreless innings to that point in the first three games of the teams' four-game set.

A.J. Minter (2-5) walked Ryan McMahon to start the inning, and Elías Díaz doubled. Tapia hit a sacrifice fly and Jesse Chavez relieved. He struck out pinch-hitter Joshua Fuentes, batting for Tyler Kinley (3-2), before giving up an RBI single to Garrett Hampson as the Rockies pulled in front by two runs.

Trevor Story added a run-scoring triple in the bottom of the seventh.

Neither starter figured in the decision, though Germán Márquez executed a suicide squeeze bunt to drive in a second run in the second inning, after Cron led off with his 26th home run of the year.

Blackmon connected for his 13th homer this season, a two-run drive, in the third off Ian Anderson, who went three innings and allowed four runs on five hits. Two of Blackmon's homers, including his most recent, were to straightaway center, and he's also had a spate of hits with drives toward the middle of the field, a sign he's making solid contact after struggling to hit the ball consistently earlier in the season.

"Hitting the ball back up the middle is kind of a goal for most hitters; that's where the pitch is coming from, and I want everything to be for the most part, linear back through the middle," Blackmon said.

The Braves got a pair of unearned runs in the first inning after Freddie Freeman's one-out grounder got past first baseman Cron's glove. Austin Riley followed with an RBI groundout and Adam Duvall added an RBI double.

Albies homered to start the top of the third and Soler evened the score at 4 in the fifth with an RBI single.

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