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Defensive blunders cost Braves in 5-1 loss to Rockies

Adonis Garcia had a miserable night, and the Rockies evened this week's series with the Braves with a 5-1 decision at Turner Field.

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

August 25 was not a banner day at the office for Adonis Garcia.

Garcia was the starting third baseman for the Atlanta Braves, but he had all kinds of trouble fielding the ball. In total, Garcia committed three errors on the evening, but the first two defensive blunders led directly to four runs for the visiting Colorado Rockies, and that proved to be the difference in a 5-1 defeat.

The night began with Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz allowing singles to D.J. LeMahieu and Charlie Blackmon in the first inning, but the first run crossed the plate when Garcia committed an error on a ball hit by Nolan Arenado. Then, Ben Paulsen smacked a sacrifice fly to bring home a second run, and in the blink of an eye, Foltynewicz had issued two unearned runs with the "help" of Garcia.

Of course, Garcia wasn't done assisting the Rockies, as he committed an error to begin the fourth inning that allowed Nick Hundley to reach base as the lead-off man. Later in the inning, Foltynewicz gave up a two-run single to LeMahieu that gave Colorado a 4-0 lead (on four unearned runs), and the Braves would never fully recover.

Aside from the issues spurred on by Garcia's defense, Foltynewicz was encouragingly effective. The powerful right-hander allowed only five hits and one walk in five innings, and Foltynewicz didn't resemble the pitcher that has been battered a bit in the recent past. Unfortunately, it didn't matter given Atlanta's lack of offense.

The Braves manufactured a run on two hits (with a walk) in the fifth when Nick Markakis drove home Andrelton Simmons, but that was the extent of Atlanta's offensive output. Colorado reliever Tommy Kahnle tried his best to allow the home team to get back into the game with four (!) walks in the seventh inning, but the Braves couldn't push a run across due to an untimely double play. The final two frames ended with a whimper for Atlanta, while the Rockies added insurance in the ninth on the way to the 5-1 final score.

As for Garcia, the 30-year-old also went 0-for-4 at the plate in what will (hopefully) be one of the worst games of his MLB career. It would be unfair to suggest that he was the sole reason for the loss, but when four unearned runs cross the plate on two errors and a third goes unblemished, shades of historically bad defense from the past (hello, Brooks Conrad) come to light.

Fortunately for Garcia and the Braves, this was a relatively meaningless game in the midst of a lost season, but the Braves will still look to pick him up on Wednesday in the series finale. Stay tuned.

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