ATLANTA (AP) - The pop Charlie Blackmon heard in his left foot was more bad news for the depleted Rockies.
Colorado, already struggling with injuries, lost the outfielder to a broken foot as the Atlanta Braves beat the Rockies 6-3 on Thursday.
The Braves completed their first four-game sweep of the Rockies in 18 years as Freddie Freeman and Jason Heyward hit home runs.
Colorado has lost five straight as manager Jim Tracy attempts to deal with his ever-growing injury list.
The depleted Rockies were already playing without injured regulars Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki before Blackmon broke a metatarsal in his left foot while running the bases in the third inning.
Blackmon will return to Colorado where doctors will determine if surgery is necessary.
``Basically what it gets down to is you win and you lose,' said Ty Wigginton, who replaced Blackmon in left field. ``And today we lost. And that's not a good thing. The injury thing, personally, I've always looked at that as an excuse.
``Every single team in baseball throughout the season is going to have an injury. It's our job to go out there and get the job done.'
Wigginton entered the game as a pinch-runner after Blackmon was hurt while advancing from first to third on Herrera's single. Blackmon appeared to falter slightly near second base before his left foot made initial contact with the bag on his slide into third.
Tracy said Blackmon heard a pop in his foot while running between second and third.
Freeman hit four homers and drove in seven runs in the series. His third-inning homer was the highlight of a five-run inning that knocked Juan Nicasio (3-2) out of the game. Nicasio gave up six straight hits in the inning.
The Rockies led 2-0 before the Braves' big inning.
Tracy said it was ``somewhat incredible' the Rockies were still in the game after Nicasio gave up five runs on seven hits and three walks in 2 1-3 innings.
``We couldn't get a hit,' Tracy said. ``We couldn't get a ball toward the gap.'
Tracy said Gonzalez, who has a bruised right wrist, is close to returning to the lineup. Gonzalez was injured Sunday and missed the series.
Tulowitzki left Monday's first game of the series with a strained right quadriceps.
Jason Giambi, starting at first base for Todd Helton, drove in two runs. The Rockies took a 1-0 lead in the first when Giambi's RBI double scored Jonathan Herrera from first. Giambi's fielder's choice grounder in the third drove in Ty Wigginton.
Freeman, the rookie first baseman, is hitting .279 with 13 homers and 42 RBIs. One of his biggest rivals in the race for NL Rookie of the Year is Kimbrel, who passed Boston's Jonathan Papelbon for the most saves by a rookie before the All-Star break since 1969. Papelbon had 26 saves before the break in 2006.
The streaking Braves have won nine of 10 and 14 of 17 as they head into a series with NL East-leading Philadelphia.
Tim Hudson (8-6) pitched 7 1-3 innings, giving up five hits and three runs, to win his third straight decision.
Heyward and Freeman each had three hits for Atlanta, which enjoyed an offensive resurgence while scoring four or more runs in every game of its 6-1 homestand. The Braves outscored the Rockies 15-4 in the final two games of the series.
Nicasio intentionally walked Nate McLouth to load the bases in the second, but escaped the jam by striking out Hudson. Alex Gonzalez and Heyward had run-scoring singles in the Braves' five-run third inning. Heyward hit his ninth homer in the fifth.
Eric O'Flaherty took over for Hudson with one out in the eighth. O'Flaherty's wild pitch with the bases loaded allowed Mark Ellis to score from third.
The Braves' only other four-game sweep of the Rockies came on May 6-9, 1993, in Colorado.
NOTES: The Rockies will recall OF Cole Garner from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Garner will join the team on Friday in Washington. ... The Braves are 23-10 since June 1, the best mark in the majors in that span. ... The Rockies have lost seven straight day games since beating Detroit on June 19. They are a season-worst six games under .500.
The Associated Press News Service
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