ATLANTA -- A breezy and pleasant afternoon at Turner Field and an opponent the Braves have owned for the past three seasons would seem a pretty good mix for some Memorial Day weekend fun.
But looks were deceiving during Saturday afternoon's tilt between the Braves and Rockies.
Mike Minor had never lost to the Rockies (3-0 in four starts) but did on Saturday to a pitcher in Juan Nicasio, who had never beaten the Braves (0-3 in four starts) until Saturday.
The Rockies used solo home runs from Michael Cuddyer and Troy Tulowitzki and an overturned call at home plate to take a 3-1 win over the Braves and split the series at one game apiece.
The Braves lost for only the third time in 16 games against the Rockies since the start of the 2012 season.
It was a familiar fate for Minor, though, and that was aggravation by solo home runs. Solo shots, like those by Cuddyer and Tulowitzi account for six of the 13 runs he's given up in five starts all year. All six home runs Minor has allowed this year have come with nobody on base.
For Cuddyer, it was his second career home run off Minor in his seventh at-bats. Tulowitzki broke an 0-for-9 all-time against Minor with his home run to left field in the sixth inning. It was his 14th home run of the season, which tied him with Giancarlo Stanton for the National League lead.
Minor gave up a third run after Charlie Culberson led off the seventh with a double and scored on a fielder's choice two batters later. He was originally called out, but after a video review umpires determined he'd gotten his right hand in safely ahead of Evan Gattis' tag on his back.
The Braves, meanwhile, managed only two hits in six innings against Nicasio, a pitcher they had pounded for eight runs in four innings of an 11-3 win last July 30.
B.J. Upton had his second consecutive two-hit game. His single in the eighth, followed by a Freddie Freeman double up the first base line, helped the Braves cut into the Rockies lead 3-1 on a Justin Upton sacrifice fly. But Freeman was stranded at third on a strikeout by Evan Gattis.
B.J. Upton had singled in an eight-pitch at bat in the third inning to help the Braves load the bases on Nicasio. But he was stranded when Justin Upton popped up to end the inning.
Justin Upton doubled with one out in the sixth but Nicasio got back-to-back groundouts to end the threat. Jason Heyward put a charge in one in the fifth inning but it was caught by Cuddyer, and he watched his season-long 11-game hit streak come to an end.
Nicasio, who entered the game 0-3 with a 9.82 ERA against the Braves, won for the first time in five starts against them.
Cuddyer homered for the second straight game in the series -- and for the second time with nobody on base. He sent a 3-0 fastball off Minor into the seats in left field to give the Rockies a 1-0 lead in the second inning. It was only one swing but it wasn't a good omen for the Braves, who entered the game 17-3 in games when they scored first and 10-17 when their opponent did.
Minor has allowed home runs in four of his five starts this season. The only exception was his May 13 start in San Francisco, when he pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings.
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