Helton Halts Hudson, Braves

DENVER (AP) — Todd Helton’s first four-hit game in more than a year included the tiebreaking RBI single off Jonny Venters in the eighth inning Monday night that lifted the Colorado Rockies to a 5-4 win over the Atlanta Braves.

Helton singled over second base to score Carlos Gonzalez from second and make a winner of reliever Rafael Betancourt (4-1), who gave up the tying run in the top of the eighth.

Huston Street got the final three outs for his 11th save in 15 chances.

Venters fell to 4-1.

Helton, who has started to break out of a season-long slump this month, hadn’t had a four-hit game since July 16, 2009, against San Diego. He’s hitting .308 (16-for-52) since coming off the DL on Aug. 3.

Tim Hudson was on the hook for his first loss since July 17 and Jason Hammel was in line for his first win at Coors Field since July 10 until Betancourt blew it in the eighth, when he struck out the side but not before allowing a two-out RBI single to Alex Gonzalez.

Hammel allowed three runs on nine hits with no walks and six strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings, and Hudson gave up four runs on seven hits over six innings.

The Rockies went ahead 1-0 in the third when Gonzalez doubled over right fielder Jason Heyward’s outstretched glove, scoring Dexter Fowler from first with two outs. And Ian Stewart’s 18th homer followed a double by Helton in the fourth that gave Colorado a 3-0 lead.

Martin Prado trimmed it to 3-2 with his own two-run shot an inning later. He deposited a high, 1-2 fastball into the rock pile in center field with two outs following Heyward’s third single of the night.

Helton’s third hit was a single to center that scored Troy Tulowitzki in the sixth that made it 4-2 before Rick Ankiel made it a one-run game again when he led off the seventh with his fifth homer — and his first since Atlanta acquired him from Kansas City in a five-player deal last month.

Game notes
Helton’s double leading off the fourth was the 523rd of his career, tying him with Willie Mays for 37th all-time. … Rockies RHP Aaron Cook (turf toe) is slated for two minor league starts before a possible Sept. 2 activation. … Colorado LHP Jeff Francis (sore shoulder) threw a light bullpen on Monday. … Despite a decent-sized crowd, a foul ball off Chris Iannetta’s bat bounced off the top and middle decks before falling to the field-level seats in the fourth inning. … The Braves (73-52) missed a chance to go 23 games over .500 for the first time since Sept. 11, 2005.