DENVER (AP) — Pitching well since coming back last month from reconstructive surgery on his right elbow, Gavin Floyd cemented his return with the only missing element — a win.
Floyd pitched effectively into the seventh inning for his first win in more than two years, leading theAtlanta Braves past the Colorado Rockies 3-1 on Monday night.
"Even though I've felt good and felt like I've been pitching really well, it's nice to get that first one," said Floyd (1-2), who allowed only one earned run for the third time in his seven starts. "I felt like I mixed up all my pitches and kept them off balance."
He even threw manager Fredi Gonzalez for a loop when he asked him for the lineup card after the game as a keepsake. Gonzalez said he didn't realize at first that it was his first win as a Brave and his first since undergoing Tommy John surgery.
"I thought he was 3-0, 4-0, that's how well he's pitched," Gonzalez said. "But it's his first win in two years. Good for him. It was a great outing."
Floyd, who was limited to five starts last season while with the Chicago White Sox because of the elbow injury, allowed one run and three hits in 6 2-3 innings in picking up his first victory since beating Cleveland on Oct. 3, 2012. Signed by Atlanta as a free agent last December, Floyd snapped a career-long six-game losing streaking dating to April 2013.
"Just for a keepsake," Floyd said of his request for the lineup card, which Gonzalez honored. "It's a new chapter with this team and it's exciting to me, the first win coming back from Tommy John. I'm just thankful and hopefully get on a roll."
Chris Johnson had three hits, including two RBI singles, to help the Braves beat the Rockies for the 15th time in 18 games since 2012. Evan Gattis had an RBI groundout and singled to extend his hitting streak to a career-best 10 games.
"It's nice to get back and get in that big part of the field and stay up the middle and have my bat be short to the ball," Johnson said. "It was good to give Gavin that cushion because that's all he needed."
Craig Kimbrel got three outs for his 17th save in 20 chances.
Christian Bergman, called up earlier Monday from Triple-A Colorado Springs to fill in for the injured Jordan Lyles (broken left hand), allowed two runs and five hits in six innings in his major league debut. Originally a 24th-round draft pick out of the University of California Irvine in 2010, Bergman (0-1) struck out four and walked two in a solid outing that included singling in the third for his first major league hit.
"Overall, it went pretty well," Bergman said. "The first two innings, the nerves were there. I was able to overcome that and settle in the last two innings. The only thing that would have made it better is if we came out with a win."
The Braves got to him for their first two runs in the fourth with B.J. Upton beating out a slow roller toward third base leading off the inning for Atlanta's first hit.
Upton stole second, and after Freddie Freeman walked, went to third on a deep flyout by Justin Upton before scoring on Gattis' grounder. Johnson followed with an RBI single to center.
Corey Dickerson homered off Floyd leading off the seventh. Floyd retired the next two batters but walked D.J. LeMahieu and was relieved by Luis Avilan. Pinch-hitter Brandon Barnes doubled but LeMahieu was stranded at third when Avilan induced an inning-ending groundout by Charlie Blackmon.
The Braves got a run back in the eighth on Johnson's second run-scoring single.
Before the game, the Rockies placed Michael Cuddyer on the 15-day disabled list with a shoulder fracture. He was injured diving for a ground ball at third base last Thursday against Arizona.
Cuddyer said after the game doctors told him the injury could take six weeks to heal.
"It was pretty painful the past few days," Cuddyer said. "Finishing that game (Thursday) was extremely painful and now we know why."