WP: Anthony Swarzak (6-3)
LP: Greg Holland (2-4)
SV: Corey Knebel (25)
HR: Travis Shaw (27), Jesus Aguilar (12)
With the Brewers facing another blown save from the bullpen, they needed some last inning offense, which has been hard to come by. However, this time they got it.
The Brewers built an early lead tonight, starting their scoring in the third inning. Starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff recorded his first career MLB hit in the top of the third on a hit to center field. Eric Thames followed with a hit to right field that Carlos Gonzalez misplayed, turning it into a triple and make it a 1-0 game. After Neil Walker flew out, Ryan Braun hit a ball to center that drove in Thames and increase the score to 2-0. Travis Shaw followed that up with a solo home run to make it 3-0.
Meanwhile, the Rockies got on the board in the fourth inning. It was a series of three single that did it, as three former Brewers (Gerardo Parra, Mark Reyonlds, and Jonathan Lucroy) all singled to close the gap to 3-1.
Woodruff pitched into the fifth inning, getting two groundouts to start the inning before walking Nolan Arenado. Josh Hader came on after that, getting a pop-up from Parra to end the inning. Woodruff’s day finished with 4.2 innings pitched on 81 pitches, allowing just one run on five hits and three walks, with four strikeouts.
Hader pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning, working around a single with a double-play ball to end the inning. In the seventh, Trevor story led off with a double, then pinch-hitter Pat Valaika struck out. Charlie Blackmon then hit a single to left to drive in Story, making the score 3-2. That ended the day for Hader, and Jacob Barnes came in to try to keep it a one-run game. However, the first batter he faced, DJ LeMahieu, hit a single to tie the game at 3-3.
Pat Neshek and Anthony Swarzak each pitched scoreless eighth innings, taking it to the ninth still tied at 3-3. Rockies closer Greg Holland came in to pitch the ninth to keep the game tied. Stephen Vogt led off with a strikeout. Keon Broxton was hit by a pitch in the next at-bat to put him on first. Orlando Arcia grounded out, moving Broxton to second but recording the second out. Jesus Aguilar was called on to pinch-hit, and worked the count full. On the sixth pitch, he hit the ball to straight away center field to give the Brewers a 5-3 lead.
The Brewers did tack on an insurance run after this. Eric Thames drew a four-pitch walk, then stole second base. Neil Walker brought him home with an RBI single to make it a 6-3 game. Corey Knebel came on in the ninth, allowed a walk but got Nolan Arenado to ground into a double play to end the game. It was only Knebel’s second appearance this year that he did not record a strikeout.
It was a spread out day for the offense. Though they recorded 10 hits, only Hernan Perez and Brandon Woodruff had multi-hit games with two hits apiece. Eric Thames, Neil Walker, Ryan Braun, and Travis Shaw each had a hit and an RBI, and Jesus Aguilar had the big hit of a day, driving in two runs in the process.
The Cubs also won against the Blue Jays today, keeping the Brewers two behind them in the NL Central standings. They do move back ahead of the Cardinals, who lost to the Pirates. They are also 3.5 games back in the Wild Card standings, behind both the Rockies and Diamondbacks.
Chase Anderson is back to action tomorrow as the Brewers go for the series win against the Rockies. A roster move will need to be made in advance of the game, though there’s no indication of what that move will be yet. Opposing will be Kyle Freeland, and first pitch is at 2:10 pm.