C. Johnson gets consecutive starts at Coors Field, where he’s thrived

DENVER – Chris Johnson was in the Braves lineup Thursday and Friday against the Rockies, marking the first time he started consecutive games since the end of April.

Making it more unusual was that neither start in the past two nights – at third base on Thursday and first base Friday — came against a left-hander. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez has used Johnson as a platoon player for most of the season, starting him against lefties and only occasionally against right-handers.

The Braves have tried since the end of last season to trade Johnson, who is in the first season of a three-year, $$23.5 million contract extension he got from former general manager Frank Wren.

The reason for the back-to-back starts against Rockies right-handers was Johnson’s unabated success at Coors Field, where he had three hits Thursday to raise his career-best average at the Denver ballpark to .458 (22-for-48), albeit with only one homer. (His home-run park is Chicago’s Wrigley Field, where Johnson has seven homers in 90 at-bats.)

Lately it hasn’t mattered whether Johnson has faced the Rockies at home or away, he’s raked against them. In his past 12 games against them before Friday, he was 22-for-48 (.458) with a home run and nine RBIs. Of the 11 games he started in that stretch, he had nine multi-hit games, including four three-hit games.

He entered Friday with a career average of .389 in 29 games against the Rockies — his best against any team he’s played more than six games against — with six doubles, two homers, 18 RBIs and a .500 slugging percentage.

Besides April 29 and April 30, when Johnson started back-to-back games at third base against the Nationals and Reds. his only other starts in consecutive games this season were April 17-21, when he was in the lineup in four consecutive games against the Blue Jays and Mets — once at designated hitter, once at first base, and twice at third base.