Monday, June 23, 2014
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Brewers hold off Rockies to cap 6-1 trip

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[June 23, 2014]  DENVER -- The Milwaukee Brewers caught a huge break on an improbable play in the ninth inning Sunday and completed a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies with a 6-5 win.

With Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez trying to preserve a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the ninth, Rockies left fielder Corey Dickerson hit a leadoff triple when the ball caromed far off the wall in right. Rodriguez turned his left ankle and did not back up third base.

Milwaukee center fielder Carlos Gomez made a long run to retrieve the ball, and his throw was wide of third and rolled toward the Brewers' dugout.

Dickerson broke for home and seemed a sure bet to score, but he stumbled. He retreated, but third baseman Aramis Ramirez picked up the ball and threw to catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who ran Dickerson down and tagged him out.

Wilin Rosario followed with a home run to straightaway center field that cut Milwaukee's lead to one run before Rodriguez retired the next two batters to end the game. Rosario finished with four hits and three RBIs, but he made a mental lapse on a play at the plate in the fifth.

"I guess when you're good, things go good," Ramirez said. "If that guy (doesn't fall), Rosario hits that homer to tie it up. We'll take it any way we can."

The Brewers (47-30) completed a 6-1 road trip that began in Arizona, and they improved their major-league-leading road record to 27-15. The Brewers are 20-15 at Miller Park, where they play 14 of their next 19 games leading up to the All-Star break.

The loss was the sixth straight for the Rockies, who are 6-14 this month and 8-27 in their past 35 games. The Rockies (34-41) outhit the Brewers 15-10 but went 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position. They stranded 12 runners, seven at either second or third base.

Before Milwaukee's good fortune in the bottom of the ninth, Lyle Overbay connected for the Brewers' first pinch-hit homer of the season in the top of the inning. It came against struggling Adam Ottavino, who was scored upon for the fifth time in six outings.

"That was a terrible pitch I threw," Ottavino said of the 2-2 slider that Overbay walloped. "But in general, I'm not getting away with anything. I'm trying to attack, let them put it in play, but it's just that they're getting what they want with it when they put it in play, and I'm not."

Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the second to back Kyle Lohse, who worked five innings, matching his shortest start of the year, before five relievers finished up. Lohse (9-2) allowed seven hits, three walks and three runs.

"It's always hard here," Lohse said. "I'm a control guy, so I need to know exactly where the ball's moving. (With) the elevation, it's never breaking the way you want it to. So I was just trying to be careful not to make a big mistake and give up a long fly ball that ended up in seats."

Overbay's homer gave Rodriguez what proved to be necessary breathing room, and Rodriguez earned his major-league-leading 25th save. He opted not to throw any warm-up pitches before facing Rosario after turning his ankle.

"I don't want to cool off," Rodriguez said. "Might be a little swollen. Might be a little sore, pain. I just want to get to the mound as quick as possible, end the inning quick as I can."

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He did just that by striking out pinch hitter Ryan Wheeler and getting Charlie Culberson to ground out.

Rockies starter Tyler Matzek (1-2) threw 96 pitches, just 50 for strikes, in 5 1/3 innings.

The Brewers scored twice with two outs in the fifth, aided by Rosario's mental lapse. With Braun on first and second baseman Rickie Weeks on second, the Brewers attempted a double steal. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy singled, scoring Weeks, and Braun scored when Lucroy was trapped in a rundown that saw first baseman Justin Morneau throw home seemingly in time to get Braun only to have Rosario not try to tag him. Braun scored as Rosario instead threw out Lucroy at second.

"I could tell that the ball was hit, and when I looked back to see where the ball was, I was closer to second than I realized," Braun said. "So I passed second without touching it, had to go back and touch second, and then once I saw Luc in the rundown, I was just trying to wait for an opportunity to run."

Asked whether he would have been out had Rosario tried to tag him, Braun said, "I haven't watched the replay, but I felt like it definitely would have been close. I didn't anticipate, when I took off for home, there not being a play, I'll put it that way."

NOTES: Brewers CF Carlos Gomez extended his career-high hitting streak to 18 games with a bunt single in the second. He has also reached base safely in 35 consecutive games, putting him one shy of tying for the fourth longest such streak in franchise history. Thanks to Sunday's win, Ron Roenicke became the fifth manager in Brewers history to earn at least 300 victories. ... Rockies C Michael McKenry will go on the bereavement list Monday. C Jackson Williams will be promoted from Triple-A Colorado Springs to replace McKenry on the roster. ... RHP Rob Scahill was recalled from Colorado Springs. RHP Wilton Lopez was returned to Colorado Springs after the Rockies brought him to Denver on Saturday but were unable to activate him due to roster rules the Rockies overlooked. ... Brewers 3B Aramis Ramirez, who was lifted for a pinch hitter in the ninth inning Saturday due to lower back stiffness, started and went 2-for-4 Sunday.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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