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Charlie Blackmon homers as Rockies defeat Brewers 8-4

Rockies take first game in series with playoff and wild card implications

The Colorado Rockies won the first game of an important three game series against the Milwaukee Brewers 8-4. The Brewers, along with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs, are in a tight race to win the NL Central but also started the day four and a half games back of the Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Wild Card race. Friday night, the hits were flying out of Coors Field as both teams combined to hit six home runs.

German Marquez took the mound for the Rockies. Matt Garza started the game for the Brewers and his Coors Field struggles continued. Coming into today, Garza had allowed nineteen runs in sixteen innings. Today’s start was no different as he gave another poor performance.

The Rockies got on the board in the bottom of the first with a leadoff home run from Charlie Blackmon, his 29th of the year.

Though the Brewers tied the score in the second because of a Domingo Santana home run and got ahead 2-1 in the third inning after new Brewer Neil Walker drove in Eric Thames, it was their last lead of the night. In the third inning, a triple from Nolan Arenado scored Marquez and Blackmon, giving the Rockies a 3-2 lead. Gerardo Parra then drove in Arenado with a single to left field to make the score 4-2 after three innings. The Rockies didn’t let Garza off the hook after that though. They tacked on a run in the bottom of the fourth when Trevor Story’s groundball scored Carlos Gonzalez.

In the fifth, Gerardo Parra hit his tenth home run of the year on a solo shot to right field. After a Mark Reynolds walk, Carlos Gonzalez lined a home run the opposite way into the left field pavilion to tick up the score to 8-2 Rockies. Garza was done after four and a third innings. He gave up eight runs, seven of which were earned, off of nine hits, three of which were home runs.

Marquez was competent through his start, though he ran into trouble in the sixth inning. He gave up back-to-back solo shots to Keon Broxton and Orlando Arcia, the seventh and eighth batters in the Brewers’ order. Rockies manager Bud Black brought in Mike Dunn, who successfully finished off the sixth to keep the Rockies with an 8-4 lead. Marquez’s night finished with him allowing four runs on three home runs and seven hits, yielding just one walk while striking out six over five and two thirds of an inning.

No runs were scored on either bullpen, though the Rockies coaxed three walks out of the two innings that ex-Rockie Carlos Torres logged for the Brewers. Jake McGee meanwhile pitched one and a third innings, striking out two while allowing just a hit. Pat Neshek keeps throwing strikes and striking out batters, but he allowed another hit (and got another strikeout) in the two thirds of an inning that he worked. Greg Holland, in a non-save situation, pitched the ninth and allowed just a walk to Eric Sogard, to finish out the game.

The Rockies go for the series win against the Brewers tomorrow. The game starts at 6:10pm. Chad Bettis will be making his second start since returning from the disabled list. Bettis provided seven innings of shutout baseball in his inspirational return from cancer. He will be facing Brewers rookie right hander Brandon Woodruff, who has a 1.50 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in the two starts and twelve innings that he has worked.