By DENNIS GEORGATOS, Associated Press
DENVER (AP) —Trevor Story had a feeling the Colorado Rockies were about to snap out of their offensive slump, and when they did, his bat led the way.
Story had two homers and a career-high six RBIs, Jon Gray pitched six strong innings, and the Rockies beat the Atlanta Braves 17-2 on Wednesday night.
“I felt like one of those games was coming for us eventually,” Story said. “We definitely haven’t been swinging the bats the past two weeks like we wanted to. Hopefully, tonight was a good sign.”
Mark Reynolds also homered and drove in four runs, and DJ LeMahieu had a double and RBI single in his fifth four-hit game of the season for the Rockies, who had scored three or fewer runs in their previous eight games, going 2-6 in that span.
Gerardo Parra added three hits and four RBIs for the Rockies, who finished the night one run shy of their season-high. They beat San Diego 18-4 on July 19 in a game that Gray also started.
“Every team in baseball goes through a little lull where they can’t seem to get the big hit or string hits together,” Reynolds said. “We kind of had that in Cleveland and Miami and the first two games here. Today was huge for everyone on the team, confidence-wise. I think this will keep our confidence heading in the right direction, knowing we can be this kind of offense.”
Gray (5-2) allowed two runs and five hits to win for the second time in three starts this month. He struck out six and walked two.
Leading 6-0, the Rockies broke the game open with a five-run fourth. Para’s one-out single put runners at the corners and chased Mike Foltynewicz (10-8). Reynolds hit Luke Jackson’s first pitch over the center-field wall for his 25th home run and Story had a two-run shot later in the inning to make it 11-0.
Story connected again in the seventh, a three-run drive off reliever Max Fried, for his 18th of the season and fifth career multihomer game.
Colorado scored runs in each of the first five innings in a hit parade that featured a two-run double by Nolan Arenado in a three-run fifth and a two-run single by Parra in a three-run second.
Atlanta had runners on second and third with two outs in the fifth but Dansby Swanson’s liner was picked out of the air on a leaping catch by shortstop Story to end the inning.
The Braves trailed 14-0 before getting on the scoreboard in the sixth with a two-run single by Nick Markakis. Colorado’s run total represented a season high in runs allowed by the Braves.
Foltynewicz went 3 1/3 innings and allowed eight hits and career-high nine runs in falling to 0-3 lifetime against Colorado in six appearances, four of them starts.
“It was just one of those times where I got ahead of guys and I just couldn’t finish,” Foltynewicz said. “I don’t know what it was. Really, things just weren’t working out for me and I was just leaving balls over the middle of the plate with two strikes and then bloop hits and gappers. Walking people doesn’t help either.”
The start of the game was delayed 16 minutes because of bad weather.
Braves: OF Matt Kemp ran the bases Wednesday at Coors Field and came out of the conditioning drills well. He’s expected to repeat the exercises Friday and his status will then be re-evaluated. Kemp has been on the 10-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain since July 29.
Rockies: LHP Tyler Anderson is scheduled to throw a second bullpen session from the standard pitching distance on Thursday as he continues his rehab from a left knee injury. Anderson, who is on the 60-day disabled list, underwent surgery July 3.
Braves: RHP Lucas Sims (0-3, 5.71 ERA) seeks his first win of the season with his scheduled start in Thursday’s series finale.
Rockies: RHP Jeff Hoffman (6-4, 5.15 ERA) is slated to make his fifth start of the season in a day game. He has gone 3-0 with a 2.39 ERA in four previous day-game starts.