The Milwaukee Brewers came into the series opener against Colorado struggling mightily at the plate and hoping that a trip to Coors Field would be just the medicine their offense needed to get going. After the game’s first pitch, things looked promising - Lorenzo Cain took German Marquez deep on his first offering of the contest to give the Brew Crew a 1-0 lead.
Facing off against former-Rockie Jhoulys Chacin, Colorado answered back in the bottom of the second when Trevor Story clobbered a home run of his own, number eight on the year, to tie the game at 1-1. It wouldn’t stay knotted up for long, though, as Milwaukee got a rally going in the top of the third. After a one-out single by Travis Shaw, Jesus Aguilar came to the plate and was plunked, putting runners on first and second. Hernan Perez followed with a sharp single to left that loaded the bases for Manny Pina. The Pineapple has struggled this season but managed to lift a fly ball deep enough to score Shaw on a sacrifice fly and make it a 2-1 game. Orlando Arcia singled after Pina to reload the bases, but that brought Chacin to the plate and he struck out to end the threat.
The Brewers gave themselves some more breathing room in the fifth. Shaw singled to lead off the inning, and Aguilar doubled to put runners on second and third with nobody out. That brought Perez to the plate, and his single to center field plated both runners to make it a 4-1 game. Pina grounded out and Arcia struck out to bring Chacin to the plate with two outs, but he managed to put on in play and leg out a single to keep the inning alive. That brought Cain back up to the dish, and he lined one that deflected off of first baseman Ian Desmond and found the right field grass to make it 5-1.
Desmond led off the bottom of the fifth with what was scored a triple, but he came around all the way to score on Arcia’s throwing error to make it 5-2. That’s all Colorado would be able to get off of Chacin, though, who pitched well in his return to the place he called home for the first half-dozen years of his career. He wound up going 5.1 innings with four hits and just the two runs allowed, walking two while fanning five. Chacin threw 74 pitches before Boone Logan, fresh off the DL, came on for his first regular season appearance of 2018. He faced only one batter and allowed a single to David Dahl before getting lifted in favor of Matt Albers, who tossed a scoreless 1.2 innings. Corey Knebel came on for the eighth and pitched a scoreless frame with a walk and two punchouts, and then Jeremy Jeffress tossed a clean ninth and struck out the side to log his third save of the season and lower his ERA to 0.43.
Milwaukee was able to knock 12 hits in the opening contest of the series, and even though they stranded 10 base runners, the five runs they plated was an improved performance over the output they’ve had lately. They’ll look to keep the ball rolling in game two of the series at 7:40 PM CDT on Friday. Brandon Woodruff (1-0, 3.86 ERA) will be recalled from Colorado Springs to face off against Chad Bettis (4-1, 2.05 ERA).