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Milwaukee Brewers lose opener to Rockies, 7-5

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And lose Junior Guerra to injury, too.

Colorado Rockies v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Box Score

The Milwaukee Brewers’ bullpen and defense were poor enough today to allow the Colorado Rockies to squeeze out a 7-5 win in the Brewers’ opener at Miller Park.

Brewers’ starter Junior Guerra went just three innings, allowing two runs on a second inning two run shot by ex-Brewer Mark Reynolds on a hanging split finger fastball. Guerra pulled a calf muscle after laying down a sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the third and limped off the field. He allowed just the one hit, hit a batter, walked a batter, and fanned four. After the game, Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said that Guerra would be re-evaluated, but would be going on the disabled list and would likely miss more than the ten days required. There was no word on the corresponding move, but with six relievers used Monday one would hope that somebody would be in Milwaukee to go to the pen for tomorrow’s game. Hope Tyler Cravy has his phone on.

Tommy Milone replaced Guerra for the fourth and fifth innings, allowing two earned runs in the fourth. A misplayed bloop off the bat of the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado by new first baseman Eric Thames that went as a single was followed by a double to left by Trevor Story. An RBI single by another ex-Brewers, Gerardo Parra, and an RBI fielder’s choice from Reynolds put Colorado up 4-0 into the bottom of the fourth.

Rockies starter Jon Gray breezed through the first four innings, allowing two hits, a walk, no runs, and fanning 7. Gray never retired a batter in the fifth, though, allowing a single to Jett Banty, a walk to Orlando Arcia, a pinch single to Jesus Aguilar, a two run double to Jonathan Villar, and a two run double to Thames. Gray was replaced by Scott Oberg, who allowed an RBI double to Eric Shaw (his second double of the game) before working out of the inning. The fifth ended with Milwaukee up 5-4.

The double by Shaw was the last hit the Brewers collected. Five Colorado relievers combined to go five innings, allowed one hit, four walks, and a hit batter, and struck out another seven. That adds up to 14 strikeouts for the day.

Milwaukee held the 5-4 lead until the top of the seventh, when Jhan Marinez couldn’t retire any of the four hitters he faced to start the inning. The Brewers prevented a run with a nice relay from Ryan Braun to Orlando Arcia on a double from Brewer Killer Mark Reynolds, when Arcia’s throw home easily beat Gerardo Parra for the first out of the inning. Troy Wolters singled, putting runners at the corners, and a walk to pinch hitter Stephen Cardulla brought Corey Knebel in to face Charlie Blackmon. Blackmon’s one hop smash to short looked like a sure double play, and Arcia’s flip to Villar at second easily forced Cardulla. But Villar mishandled the transfer and never got off a throw to first. Reynolds scored the tying run, and when Villar was late covering second on Blackmon’s steal attempt, Wolters trotted home with the lead run.

The Rockies added another unearned run in the top of the ninth off of newly acquired Jared Hughes. With two down and nobody on, Wolters grounded up the middle and Hughes slowed the ball with his glove. Villar had no chance at first, and his throw tipped off of Thames’ glove and into the dugout. Villar got the error. Bandy had two errors in the game.

In all, the Brewers’ bullpen worked six innings, allowing nine hits, five runs (three earned), with two walks and four strikeouts. Poor defense didn’t help, but the bullpen looks to be a weakness at this point. On a positive note, Jacob Barnes bounced back from a poor spring with a very good three up, three down eighth, striking out one and getting the other two on weak ground balls.

The two teams meet again tomorrow evening, with a 6:40 PM CST start. Milwaukee (0-1) righty Zach Davies makes his first start of the season and will face Colorado (1-0) lefty Tyler Anderson. We will get an early look at how the Brewers’ line-up will look vs. southpaws.