Although Sunday's game casts a shadow on their recent success, the Brewers finished up their stretch of 20 games in 20 days with a 13-7 record and increased their division lead in that timeframe to 6 1/2 games over St. Louis and Cincinnati.
MILWAUKEE — With the way the Milwaukee Brewers have been a playing, a well-played loss Sunday in their final game of a 20-day stretch without an off day wouldn’t have stuck with Ron Roenicke very long.
What will stick with the skipper is the way the Brewers let the Colorado Rockies put the game away. After Milwaukee’s offense cut a five-run deficit to 5-2, two errors on one play allowed two runners to score and Wilin Rosario to complete a trip around the bases.
Third baseman Aramis Ramirez booted a groundball with two on and nobody out in the 5th, allowing Troy Tulowitzki and Corey Dickerson to score. Shortstop Jeff Bianchi then threw home, as catcher Jonathan Lucroy cut the ball off to attempt to throw Rosario out at third. His throw sailed into left field, as Rosario trotted home to make it 8-2 Rockies.
Colorado held on from there, beating Milwaukee for the first time this season in a 10-4 rout of the Brewers in front of a sellout crowd of 43,656 at Miller Park.
"We just played a bad game," Ramirez said. "This was a bad game today. For everybody."
Like when the Rockies helped the Brewers score three runs on a wild pitch by throwing the ball around last weekend at Coors Field, Milwaukee gift-wrapped three runs to Colorado — putting a close game out of reach.
"We just, we had a meltdown, so that’s hard on an offense when you come back and then you have that type of inning to get three runs more down and now you got an 8-2 game," Roenicke said. "It feels like anyway that it’s out of touch, but guys kept playing, get another run. And then Aramis gets on, steals third, which I thought was a big run, we get to 8-4, but it’s hard to keep coming back.
"You can have those plays any time. You just hate to see them, changes a ballgame, and you get down when you see it, so it’s hard to bounce back after a play like that."
The fifth inning started with Bianchi throwing a ball off the bag on a groundball by Tulowitzki, while Dickerson followed with a single just out of the reach of Ramirez. Rosario’s ball was hit right at the third baseman and could have been a double play. Instead, the Rockies got three runs.
"No excuses," Ramirez said. "I should have made that play."
Although those three runs were unearned against Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo, the right-hander struggled for the first time in nearly a month. After allowing just three earned runs over his last four starts, Gallardo gave up three in the first inning Sunday.
Gallardo got the first two outs of the opening frame before issuing a walk to Justin Morneau and surrendering four straight hits.
"I was battling since the first hitter," Gallardo said. "Obviously, my command wasn’t the greatest. That pitch to Tulowitzki in the first inning was off the plate a little. There’s not much you can do about that.
"I just couldn’t put away guys, to be honest with you. I would get to two strikes and then I would just leave a pitch up out over the plate, which they took advantage of."
Regardless of how Sunday’s game got away from them, the Brewers finished up their stretch of 20 games in 20 days with a 13-7 record and increased their division lead in that timeframe to 6 1/2 games over St. Louis and Cincinnati.
"It’s going to happen," Ramirez said. "It’s a 162-game season, a long season, so you’re going to have days like this that we don’t pitch well and don’t play defense. We only got four hits so we didn’t do anything right."
Gomez, Segura sit: After banging his head in an outfield collision with Ryan Braun in Saturday’s victory over the Rockies, Carlos Gomez was unsure how he would be feeling the following day.
Gomez reported to Miller Park feeling well enough that Brewers manager Ron Roenicke considered putting the center fielder in the lineup Sunday afternoon but decided to take a more precautionary approach.
"Gomez is actually pretty good, and we were going back and forth on whether to play him or not," Roenicke said prior to Sunday’s game. "I asked him how he was doing, and we decided off (Sunday) would help with the (off day Monday)."
It was the second blow to the head Gomez suffered in as many days, as he hit his chin on the ground and then his head on the shin of Rockies second baseman Josh Rutledge while attempting to steal Friday night.
Gomez passed a concussion test Saturday and even recited the three words he was asked to remember — as part of the test — to reporters Sunday morning.
"In the moment yesterday I feel scary, because I had tingling in all my body, and I feel, I’m conscious but it was scary," Gomez said of Saturday. "I went through the concussion test and everything, it’s fine."
Gomez was available to enter the game as a pinch hitter, pinch runner or a defensive replacement Sunday, but Roenicke stayed away from using him in a blowout loss.
Shortstop Jean Segura was out of the lineup Sunday after leaving Saturday’s game with cramping in his left quad. After the game, Roenicke was optimistic Gomez would return for Tuesday’s series opener in Toronto but was unsure on Segura’s status.
Bianchi returns: Because of Segura and Gomez being banged up, the Brewers filled the open spot on the 40-man roster a bit sooner than they anticipated.
The Brewers opted to return to a five-man bench by selecting the contract of infielder Jeff Bianchi from Triple-A Nashville, optioning right-hander Alfredo Figaro to the Sounds.
"I’m hoping for a while, and I think with the off-day before and after Toronto, it allows us to do that," Roenicke said when asked how long he anticipates staying with the five-man bench. "Hopefully, this starting pitching continues and we’ll be able to do this after the break."
Bianchi hit .145 (8-for-55) in his first stint with the Brewers this season, struggling to provide much offensively in limited playing time. The Brewers hoped he could get his swing on track while playing regularly in Triple A, as he hit .276 with three home runs and 12 RBI in 24 games for Nashville.
The 27-year-old started at shortstop in place of Segura on Sunday and went 0-for-4 to lower his batting average to .136.