Photo by Rox Addict
Eric Young Jr is taking no prisoners. For the second straight night he led-off with a double for the Colorado Rockies, sparking a 4-run first that set the tone for Colorado’s fifth victory in eight games,
8-6 over Milwaukee Tuesday at Coors Field. Rex Brothers and Rafael Betancourt did their best to blow the lead in the Brewers’ ninth, surrendering three and bringing National League MVP Ryan Braun to the plate representing the lead run. Betancourt muscled-up, getting Braun and Rickie Weeks before him to lift easy fly-balls to the outfield.
The game featured a dazzling array of thrilling and appalling incidents. Dexter Fowler bailed Tyler Chatwood out with a spectacular diving catch in the Milwaukee third. Carlos Gomez and Jean Segura combined on a nifty relay play to nail Carlos Gonzalez, who had singled, at second-base in the bottom of the inning. Gonzalez, who went 4 for 4, also got caught stealing twice. Josh Rutledge committed two errors for the first time since his call-up. Young homered off the underside of the second deck into the Rockies’ bullpen in the sixth. Matt Belisle struck-out Braun and Aramis Ramirez with the bases loaded and one-out in the eighth.
Young grounded his double down the left-field line to open things up against Brewers’ left-hander Randy Wolf. Wolf then hit Rutledge and Fowler sacrificed him and Young to 2nd and 3rd. They scored on Gonzalez’ single. Gonzalez managed to negotiate the bases this time, coming around on a double by catcher Wilin Rosario. Rosario scored on a single by first-baseman Jordan Pacheco.
The Rockies added single runs in the third on Fowler, Gonzalez and Pacheco singles, and in the fifth on Rosario’s 19th homer. In the third Gonzalez lined a single to center with Fowler on first. Gomez fielded the ball with Fowler headed toward third, and threw a low-bullet in that direction. Segura, aware Fowler would be safe and that Gonzalez was headed for second, cut the throw about 10 yards into left-field and fired to second-baseman Weeks to retire the Colorado All Star. The Rockies’ final two runs came in the sixth on Young’s gigantic blast that drove-in Chris Nelson, who had doubled leading-off the inning.
Chatwood delivered a second straight competent start, lasting a full six innings and allowing one earned-run on a Martin Maldonado home-run leading-off the fifth. He threw 77 pitches, 51 strikes, surrendered 4 hits, and did not walk a batter. Chatwood also presided over an unearned run in the third when Gomez grounded a single into the hole that Rutledge corralled, but then heaved into the first-base seats, Gomez to second. Gomez moved to third on a grounder to first by Wolf, then scored on a beautiful bunt up the first-base line by Nori Aoki. Weeks then lifted a drive about 25 yards to Fowler’s right that the center-fielder raced-down and snagged with a belly-flop dive.
Milwaukee added a run in the seventh against Josh Roenicke when Ramirez led-off with a double and moved-up on a Corey Hart single, scoring on a 6-4-3 double-play off the bat of Maldonado. In the eighth Segura led-off with a ground-single to center, then Travis Ishikawa pinch-hit a single, moving Segura to second and ending Roenicke’s shaky inning-plus of work. Matt Reynolds relieved and got Aoki to pop-up, then Belisle came-on and Weeks promptly reached on Rutledge’s second error, bringing Braun to the plate. Belisle cut him down with an 85 MPH slider on a 1-2 count to bring on Ramirez. The Rockies’ right-hander dispatched him with four fastballs.
Colorado MFL Jim Tracy turned to lefty Rex Brothers for the ninth with near disastrous results. Hart singled to Gonzalez, then Maldonado pulled a weak drive down the left-field line that skipped-over the ball-boy and caromed awkwardly to Gonzalez, who dropped it and Hart scored. Then Gomez singled Maldonado to third, which prompted Tracy to conclude Brothers was not fooling anyone, and he called on the closer Betancourt. El Deliberado got Segura on a blistered liner to Nelson at third, but pinch-hitter Jonathan Lucroy singled Maldonado home, Gomez to third, and Aoki drove-in Gomez, Lucroy to second. Weeks stepped in and worked Betancourt to 2-2 before flying to Gonzalez in left-center, bringing on the slugger Braun. He lifted a long, high fly to center, but Fowler settled under it just short of the warning track for a Rockies triumph.
Colorado secured its first home series win since early June, the second in its last three. They’ll try for a sweep Wednesday afternoon when right-hander Guillermo Moscoso (0-1, 8.23) will be activated to face Brewers’ rookie Mark Rogers (0-1, 4.08), also a righty. Game time is 1:10 pm MDT. There is no TV, the ROOT crew getting a well-deserved rest, especially after the fascinating interview of Claudia Cuddyer in the third inning. Jerry and Jack have the radio broadcast on KOA 850 am.