The Colorado Rockies lost to the Milwaukee Brewers 6-3, despite a strong starting effort from Chad Bettis. When you consider that there was a runner on in every half inning except for two frames of the first seven innings, the top of the fifth and the top of the seventh, there was very little scoring. Every Rockies position player in the starting lineup had a hit, but the team only managed three runs. Meanwhile, the Brewers scored three runs off Greg Holland in the top of the ninth, continuing the Holland’s August struggles.
Bettis was very effective in his second start since returning from his cancer treatments. He got touched up in the fourth inning when he gave up a hit to opposing pitcher Brandon Woodruff. He scored on a triple to center field from Eric Thames. Thames was brought home on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Braun. Travis Shaw then hit a home run to make the score 3-0 Brewers. Those were the only runs Bettis allowed as he went seven innings, giving up eight hits and a walk versus six strikeouts.
Brewers starter Woodruff was a bit wilder than Bettis but only gave up one run. Jonathan Lucroy hit a single against his former team to drive in Gerardo Parra. However, Woodruff didn’t make it through five innings, throwing just four and two thirds while allowing five hits and three walks. Josh Hader came on in relief of Woodruff and threw one and two thirds of an inning, getting pulled after running into trouble in the bottom of seventh when Trevor Story hit a double. Story scored on a single from Charlie Blackmon, nudging the Rockies to within one run of the Brewers.
Righty Jacob Barnes was brought on to stop the rally, but Blackmon was able to steal second base, then scored the tying run on the single Barnes gave up to DJ LeMahieu. Though Barnes gave up a single to Nolan Arenado, putting runners on first and third with one out, he got Parra to strike out and Mark Reynolds to fly out, stopping the rally with the score tied 3-3 after seven innings. In a little statistical quirk, this was the first time all season that Hader had more than one run charged to him in an appearance.
Pat Neshek came on in the eighth inning to relieve Bettis. He worked through the heart of the Brewers order without allowing a baserunner, getting Braun and Shaw to fly out and striking out Brewers right fielder Hernan Perez. Of course, not all fly balls are created equal, as LeMahieu displayed catching Shaw’s flyball.
In the top of the eighth, Brewers reliever Anthony Swarzak gave the right side of his infield some defensive practice, generating ground balls from Carlos Gonzalez to first and Lucroy to second. He gave up a double to Trevor Story but was stranded when pinch hitter Mike Tauchman struck out.
Holland came in to the tied game at the top of the ninth and started off well, striking out Stephen Vogt. However, he hit center fielder Keon Broxton with a pitch. Pinch hitter Jesus Aguilar came off the bench and hit a two run home run to center field, putting the Brewers up 5-3. Holland then allowed a walk to Thames, who subsequently scored on Walker’s single to right field, giving the Brewers a 6-3 edge. Holland has allowed nine of the sixteen runs he’s allowed all season in the last two weeks.
His night was done as Scott Oberg, making his first appearance since returning from Triple-A Albuquerue, replaced him. Oberg got Braun to a full count before walking him but he got Shaw to fly out to left field to end the frame. Brewers closer Corey Knebel slammed the door on the Rockies in the bottom of the ninth, inducing a double play from Nolan Arenado to earn his 25th save.
With the series tied at a game a piece, they’ll conclude the series on Sunday. Kyle Freeland with a record of 11-7 will face off against the Brewers’ Chase Anderson, who has a record of 6-3. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 pm MST.