Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Rockies prove to be double the trouble for Brewers

The visitors stayed hot, the home team did not, and now the Rockies are a win away from sweeping the slumping Brewers in the opening series at Miller Park.
Troy TulowitzkiNolan ArenadoNick Hundley and DJ LeMahieu each logged multiple hits as the Rockies reached double digits in that category for the second straight day in a 5-2 win Tuesday. Including their 10-run, 16-hit effort on Opening Day, plus the first 4 1/2 innings of Game 2, the Rockies scored 14 times this season before the Brewers tallied their first run, and hit nine doubles and two home runs before the Brewers logged their first extra-base hit.
While Colorado starter Jordan Lyles pitched through the sixth inning for the Rockies' second quality start in as many days, Brewers starter Matt Garza was touched for four earned runs on eight hits in five innings. He and Opening Day pitcher Kyle Lohse have combined for a 12.96 ERA (12 earned runs in 8 1/3 innings) for Brewers starters.
"Mentally, our team is in the right place, and we're just executing really well right now," LeMahieu said.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Double the fun: Tulowitzki, Arenado and Corey Dickerson each doubled in the three-run fourth inning, in what turned out to be a continuation of Monday and a sign of doubles to come. The Rockies led off the fifth (Carlos Gonzalez), sixth (Hundley) and seventh (Justin Morneau) with doubles. Morneau's was the 12th double in the first two games of the season, which tied the modern Major League record established by the 1912 New York Giants against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Garza was so befuddled that he wondered whether he was tipping pitches, and he switched his signs mid-outing. More >
First out at third: When Adam Lind stepped to the plate leading off the fourth inning Tuesday, the Brewers had 12 innings of at-bats in the books this season without a run or an extra-base hit. Lind took care of the latter with a double off the center-field wall, but he was out at third easily, with center fielder Charlie Blackmon throwing to second baseman LeMahieu, who threw to third baseman Arenado. LeMahieu, who made a strong throw, and Arenado, who applied a sure tag, won Gold Glove Awards last season, and they helped keep the Brewers off the scoreboard for a 13th consecutive inning to begin 2015.
A scare, then a score: The Brewers got another leadoff double in the fifth inning (from Gerardo Parra) before a Lyles pitch high and tight glanced off Milwaukee shortstop Jean Segura's helmet and struck his forehead. Colorado catcher Hundley called urgently to the Brewers' dugout for help, but Segura quickly popped up, unscathed, and took his position at first base. AfterScooter Gennett loaded the bases with an infield single, pinch-hitter Logan Schafer gave the Brewers their first run of the season -- by grounding into a double play. More >
13 a lucky number: Before the scary fifth, Lyles subdued the Brewers the wayKyle Kendrick and two relievers did on Opening Day. In fact, the 13 scoreless innings to open a season established a club record. Lyles, using his split-finger changeup as a put-away pitch, held the Brewers to five hits and struck out two. It was the changeup that slipped and hit Segura. More >
Morneau exits the game: In the seventh, Morneau collided with Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez while scrambling back to the bag after Arenado's single. The throw from Segura hit Morneau as he slid, then the collision occurred. Manager Walt Weiss removed Morneau for precautionary reasons before the bottom of the eighth, citing his history of neck injuries.
QUOTABLE
"It wasn't a great day, but it wasn't a bad day. It was one of those, 'You want to kick yourself in the teeth'-type of days." -- Garza, on his outing
"What sticks out to me when I hear that is that I'm really happy that it's on the road. The first thing we would hear if we are at home was about how it's a hitters' ballpark, and they are at home, so that's why all the doubles. So wait until they go on the road." -- Tulowitzki, on the record-tying early offense
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Tulowitzki feasts on many pitchers, but particularly those wearing Brewers uniforms. With his leadoff double in the fourth inning Tuesday, he's hit safely in 17 of his last 18 games and owns a .412 lifetime average (70-for-170) against the Brewers, the highest among active players with at least 150 career at-bats against Milwaukee.
WHAT'S NEXT
Rockies: Righty Eddie Butler, ranked by MLBPipeline.com as the Rockies' No. 2 prospect, made just three Major League starts while batting right shoulder issues last season. After a winter of rehab, Butler, 24, regained his heavy sinker -- and matched it with a 96-mph fastball -- to make the squad out of Spring Training. Wednesday night will be his 2015 debut.
Brewers: Wily Peralta's bid to build on a breakthrough 2014 season begins Wednesday, when he starts the finale of the series against the Rockies. Peralta won the team's most valuable pitcher award last year after leading the club in wins (17), innings (198 2/3), strikeouts (154) and quality starts (22), all career highs. In those quality starts (six or more innings with three or fewer earned runs), Peralta had a 1.95 ERA.

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