Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Rickie Weeks hit a first-pitch homer and added a single and double, while platoon partner Scooter Gennett came on in the bottom of the eighth and popped a pinch-hit homer to lead the Milwaukee Brewers to a 7-4 win over the visiting Colorado Rockies Thursday evening at Miller Park in a nearly four-hour contest.
The starters for the game were the same two that faced each other last Saturday. Wily Peralta (8-5, 3.02 ERA) took the mound for the N.L. Central leading Brewers, while southpaw Christian Friedrich–he of Saturday’s three-run wild pitch fame–started for Colorado. Friedrich (0-1, 6.00 ERA) was looking for his first win of the season while winning five for Colorado two years ago.
The roof and panels were all closed as the game-time temperature read 69 degrees.
Justin Morneau extended the inning with a slicing double down the left field line that evaded the glove of LF Khris Davis and rolled to the fence, allowing the Rockies first baseman to stroll into third on the outfielder’s error. Troy Tulowitzki ended the frame with a fly ball to no-man’s land in short left-center that CF Carlos Gomez took control of for the final out.
Weeks got the Brewers on the board early when he hammered a first pitch belt-high fastball to the second deck in left field for the 1-0 lead. The homer was Week’s 26th career lead-off dinger.
Ryan Braun walked on a full-count pitch and when Jonathan Lucroy struck out for the first out, advanced to second base on a dropped third strike. Rockies manager Walt Weiss and catcher Wilin Rosario contended that Lucroy kicked the ball, interfering with a potential play at second. After a few minutes of umpire discussion, Braun was returned to first base.
Carlos Gomez popped up to first before Aramis Ramirez smacked his 11th homer of the season over the left field fence for a 3-0 lead.
Ryan Wheeler had a two-out single to right in the top of the second for Colorado but was forced at second for the third out.
Friedrich struck out the Brewers in order in the bottom half of the frame to keep the score at 3-0.
Peralta sent some business to Jean Segura at short in the top half of the third, when the SS grabbed a grounder and a pop-up for the first two outs. Stubbs singled to right, but Segura got the trifecta as he tagged out Stubbs on a stolen base attempt for three total chances in the inning.
The Brew Crew had a golden opportunity in the bottom half of the third to tack on a run or two when Weeks and Braun singled to begin the frame. Things looked even better when Rosario was unable to corral a Friedrich wild pitch that bounced a few feet away and both runners moved up a base.
Lucroy hit the ball hard but right at third baseman Wheeler, who snagged the ball and dove to the bag, doubling off Weeks, who had a ten foot lead down the line. Braun then moved to third on a passed ball with Gomez at the dish, but was stranded as ‘Go-Go’ whiffed on a pitch in the dirt for the final out.
The Rockies came out attacking in the top of the fourth, with three straight singles by Morneau, Tulowitzki, and Corey Dickerson. Rosario struck out on a slider and it looked like Peralta was starting to take control.
Not so fast.
Wheeler had his second big play of the inning as he crushed a hanging slider to the back wall of the Rockies bullpen for his first career granny, giving the Rockies a 4-3 lead.
DJ LeMahieu dusted himself off after some chin music on the next pitch from Peralta and grounded a single to left. Friedrich struck out on a bunt attempt for the second out. LeMahieu pilfered second before Blackmon fanned to end the inning.
The Brewers made some noise to begin the last half of the fourth with singles from Ramirez and Davis. But Friedrich quickly took control of the inning by striking out Reynolds and Peralta with a Segura flyout mixed in.
Peralta got two quick outs–for the fourth time in the game–to start the fifth before Tulowitzki reached on a walk. Dickerson lined to short to end the inning.
As was the Brewers wont this game, the first two batters reached to start the bottom of the fifth.
Weeks hit a hard smash down the third baseline that bounced off Wheeler’s glove and rolled to the tarp, allowing Weeks to coast into second with a two-base hit. Braun then ripped a one-hopper to Blackmon in right, but third base coach Ed Sedar held Weeks at third, giving the Brewers runners at the corners.
Lucroy battled in a nine-pitch AB before cracking a deep fly to center. Stubbs backed up and leaped just in front of the fence, but the ball ticked off his glove and dropped for a 400-foot single, scoring Weeks and moving Braun to second.
Righthander Rob Scahill came in for Friedrich with runners at first and second and nobody out and got Gomez to pop to short for the first out.
Ramirez swung at a couple sliders before working a full-count walk to load the sacks.
Davis gave the Brewers a 5-4 lead with his sacrifice fly to deep right, scoring Braun and advancing Lucroy to third. The ribbie was a team-high 42nd for Davis. Reynolds struck out to end the inning.
Rosario walked to start the sixth before Wheeler struck out looking. LeMahieu hit a roller to short that Segura bobbled, but was able to start the 6-4-3 twin killing to end the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth, Segura hit a little chopper in front of the plate that Rosario grabbed and applied the tag for the first out. Lyle Overbay pinch-hit for Peralta and drew a one-out walk. Weeks hit a soft liner to second and LeMahieu threw to first, with Overbay beating the throw back to first. Weiss came out of the Colorado dugout to challenge the call and after a couple moments of umpire review, Overbay was ruled safe.
Braun had the fans standing with his drive to deep right, but Blackmon pulled it down just short of the right field fence to end the inning.
Rob Wooten came out to face the Rockies to begin the seventh.
Josh Rutledge pinch-hit for Scahill and lined to short, with Segura climbing the ladder on a nice leaping grab. Blackmon singled and Stubbs walked to end Wooten’s night. Brewer manager Ron Roenicke called on southpaw Will Smith, who came on for his 42nd appearance of the year.
Smith whiffed Morneau on a breaking ball for the second out, but then Tulowitzki coaxed a walk to load the bases. The tough lefty got out of the inning when he struck out Dickerson on a slider in the dirt.
Gomez singled with one out and after a Ramirez fly out, stole second. Davis then flied to the track in right to end the frame.
Brandon Kintzler was called upon to pitch the eighth, but was greeted rudely by a leadoff two-bagger by McKenry.
Wheeler and LeMahieu each grounded to short, with McKenry moving to third on the second out. Kintzler masterfully dispatched pinch-hitter Brandon Barnes on a called strike three on the outside corner to maintain a narrow 5-4 lead.
Tommy Kahnle was brought in to pitch the bottom of the eighth.
Reynolds led off with a rope to center to start the inning before being sacrificed to second by Segura. Reynolds moved to third on a passed ball, forcing the Colorado infield to play in.
It didn’t matter where they were stationed, as pinch-hitter Gennett smacked a two-run homer to right to give the Brewers a 7-4 lead.
Weeks flied to center for the second out. Braun walked and stole second before Lucroy skied to deep right to end the damage.
Francisco Rodriguez came on to face the Rockies in the top of the ninth and did not disappoint, setting down the Rockies in order for his 26th save.
Peralta got the win after going six innings, improving to 9-5. Friedrich took the loss and dropped to 0-2.