W: Jose Veras (2-0)
L: Esmil Rogers (0-1)
HR: Ryan Braun (2), Alex Gonzalez (3), Troy Tulowitzki (2), Todd Helton (3)
MVP: Ryan Braun (+.220)
LVP: Mike McClendon (-.152)
For most of the last week we've watched Brewer games come down to the final inning. Tonight they gave us a reprieve from that stress, scoring a combined seven runs in the sixth and seventh innings instead en route to a 9-4 win over the Rockies.
The best news of the night may be this: Ryan Braun busted out of his slump in a big way tonight. He hit a 440 foot blast in the sixth inning to tie the game, and narrowly missed another homer (settling for a triple) in the seventh. Alex Gonzalez blew the game open later that inning with a three run homer after the Rockies intentionally walked Corey Hart to get to him.
For Marco Estrada tonight we have good news and bad news. Starting with the good: Estrada had about as good of an outing as you could hope for from a guy who hadn't started a game since the second-to-last week of spring training. Pressed into service in place of Chris Narveson, Estrada pitched five innings and allowed just one run on two hits, walking none and striking out a career-high nine.
The bad news is that some questionable decision making cost him the win tonight. Rockies pitcher Drew Pomeranz was perfect through four innings, but the wheels came off for him in the fifth. Four straight Brewers reached base to start the inning, with a pair of doubles, two walks and a wild pitch tying the game.
With an opportunity to blow the game open and coming off a four-pitch walk, however, Ron Roenicke sent Jonathan Lucroy up to bunt. He successfully advanced two runners, but neither scored and the Brewers got just two runs out of a possible big inning. The Rockies, meanwhile, retook the lead their next time up on a Manny Parra leadoff walk, stolen base, bunt single, fielder's choice, stolen base and single.
In the end the point is moot as the Brewers came away with a big win to improve to 7-8 on the season. They'll get a chance to get back to .500 tomorrow when Yovani Gallardo takes on Jeremy Guthrie. A ceremony is scheduled to honor Ryan Braun for winning the 2011 NL MVP at 1:10, and the first pitch has been moved back to 1:25.