ATLANTA (AP) — Nolan Arenado’s ill-fated head-first slide into second base left the Rockies without a key bat in the middle of their lineup.
Arenado appears bound for the disabled list after breaking his left middle finger in Colorado’s 3-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.
Rockies manager Walt Weiss said he didn’t know details of the injury, including if Arenado will need surgery.
“He’ll miss some time,” Weiss said. “It’s tough news for our club. He’s off to a great start and a hell of a player.
“That’s all part of it. Guys are going to get hurt. We’ve got to deal with injuries.”
Shortly after Arenado’s injury, infielder Josh Rutledge was pulled from Triple-A Colorado Springs’ game. Rutledge could be recalled if Arenado is placed on the disabled list, but Arenado won’t be easily replaced.
Arenado is hitting .305 with six homers and 28 RBIs. He leads the team with 17 doubles, and his 28-game hitting streak from April 9 to May 8 is the longest in the National League this season.
“We’ve dealt with our share (of injuries) already and this is another one,” Weiss said. “But our guys will step up.”
Michael Cuddyer hit a home run for Colorado.
Jordan Lyles gave up two runs on six hits and one walk in six innings for Colorado.
“Jordan did an outstanding job,” Weiss said. “That’s all we can ask for. He put us in position to win the game.”
The Braves broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth when Gerald Laird’s two-out single off Adam Ottavino (0-1) drove in Ramiro Pena from second base.
Arenado led off the second with a double to left field. Left fielder Justin Upton’s throw was caught by Dan Uggla, who flipped the ball to shortstop Andrelton Simmons at second base. Simmons kept the glove down as Arenado slid past the bag.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez asked for a review as replays indicated Simmons might have tagged Arenado’s foot off the bag. The play stood following the review of 3 minutes, 48 seconds.
Arenado grabbed his hand following the slide but remained in the game to score from third on Pacheco’s groundout. Charlie Culberson replaced Arenado at third base in the bottom of the inning.
Laird, 34, has started four straight games as Evan Gattis was held out with viral symptoms. Laird went 5 for 15 with three RBIs in the four games.
“He’s supposed to be a guy that’s going to fill in once a week, twice a week,” Gonzalez said. “He’s played four days in a row and he’s come up big.”
Braves third baseman Chris Johnson was pulled from the game by Gonzalez in the second. Johnson said he lost his temper in the tunnel after striking out. Johnson, who has a history of similar incidents, said he apologized to the team.
Pena, who replaced Johnson, led off the eighth with a double to the centerfield wall off Ottavino. After Andrelton Simmons and Dan Uggla struck out, Laird lined the single to left field and advanced to second when Corey Dickerson’s throw bounced past catcher Jordan Pacheco.
Ottavino said Laird hit a slider.
“I threw a hittable one and he hit it,” Ottavino said. “He did a good job. He committed to it and got the barrel on it.”
David Carpenter (4-0) pitched a scoreless eighth and Craig Kimbrel struck out the side in the ninth for his 13th save.
Uggla walked and scored on Laird’s double in the second. The Braves took a 2-1 lead in the third. B.J. Upton scored from third base on Justin Upton’s groundout.
Cuddyer’s homer, his fourth, tied the game in the sixth.
Gavin Floyd allowed two runs on seven hits in 6 2-3 innings for Atlanta.
NOTES: Weiss said OF Carlos Gonzalez (swollen left index finger), who didn’t start for the second straight day, was available. Gonzalez aggravated the inflammation in the finger on Wednesday night. … First base umpire Lance Barksdale called Pacheco out on a pickoff throw to first by Floyd in the seventh. The call was overturned following a review which lasted 1:30. … Braves LHP Mike Minor will face Rockies RHP Juan Nicasio on Saturday.
By Charles Odum, AP Sports Writer
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