DENVER (AP) — Tyler Chatwood fueled a stagnant Colorado offense with his bat and leaned on his arm to keep the opposition in check.
Chatwood pitched seven strong innings and went 2 for 2 with a two-run double to help the Rockies break out offensively in an 8-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.
Todd Helton and Nolan Arenado each had two hits and an RBI for the Rockies, who had scored an NL-low 58 runs in their 20 previous games in July.
“Our starters have been awesome, continuing to go out there, giving us a chance to win, and Chatwood did that both offensively and defensively,” said Michael Cuddyer, who had an RBI single and scored a run. “He was probably our best hitter tonight, too.”
Chatwood (7-3) allowed two runs on six hits and struck out the side in the first inning, finishing with a career-high 11 strikeouts on the night. He has been especially effective at hitter-friendly Coors Field, going 4-1 with a 3.47 ERA in eight home starts this season.
“His breaking ball was filthy, his curveball sharp, his fastball explosive and down,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “And he’s got the slider that he has a lot of confidence in now. He was really good.”
He was really good at the plate, too. Chatwood had his second multi-RBI game of the season and improved his batting average to .345, though he insisted his hits were “well-placed” rather than well hit.
“I got lucky. The ball found some holes again,” Chatwood said.
On the mound, he was just good.
“His fastball’s the biggest difference,” said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, who became familiar with Chatwood when they were both with the Los Angeles Angels. “Then his fastball was really straight. He’s got really nice movement on his ball now.”
The Rockies’ bats came alive against one of the Brewers’ top pitchers in recent weeks, Wily Peralta, who entered 3-1 with an 0.87 ERA in his previous six starts.
Peralta (7-10) allowed eight runs — five earned — and seven hits in 3 2-3 innings as the Rockies batted around during four-run innings in the second and fourth. He walked three and struck out two.
“It was a tough outing, man,” Peralta said. “A lot of fastballs up in the zone. The start before, I was doing good because I was able to keep the fastball down. Today, I didn’t have my slider, so I just left a lot of fastballs up in the zone.”
The Rockies loaded the bases in the second when Helton singled around walks to Cuddyer and Wilin Rosario. Arenado followed with an RBI single and Chatwood then lined a double down the third base line. Arenado put the Rockies up 4-0 when he scored on a fielder’s choice by D.J. LeMahieu.
LeMahieu, Troy Tulowitzki, Cuddyer, and Helton each had run-scoring hits in the fourth. An error by third baseman Yuniesky Betancourt when he failed to complete a force play by missing the bag opened the door to the final three runs of the inning.
Carlos Gomez homered off reliever Manuel Corpas in the ninth for the Brewers’ final run. The homer was the 17th of the season for Gomez and the 100th overall by the Brewers.
NOTES: Chatwood’s previous career high in strikeouts was 10 against Houston on May 29. … Right-hander Collin McHugh, acquired last month from the New York Mets for Eric Young, will start for the Rockies on Saturday in place of Drew Pomeranz, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of left bicep tendinitis. The Brewers counter with LHP Tom Gorzelanny (1-4). … Rockies slugger Carlos Gonzalez, forced to leave Thursday’s game against Miami after aggravating the sprained middle finger on his right hand while swinging the bat in the first inning, was held out of the starting lineup. He is day to day. … RHP Rob Wooten, called up from Triple-A Nashville by the Brewers prior to the game, made his major league debut when he relieved Peralta with two outs in the fourth. He went 2 1-3 innings, allowing two hits with one strikeout.