Brewers begin road trip at Colorado

DENVER — The Milwaukee Brewers will begin a formidable road trip Thursday when they open a four-game series with the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.

Both teams are 21-16 and coming off Wednesday losses, the Brewers falling 6-2 at home to the Cleveland Indians and the Rockies suffering their third shutout loss of the season and second at home when they fell 8-0 to the Los Angeles Angels.

In a matchup of two Venezuelan right-handers, Colorado’s German Marquez, who is 2-3 with a 4.96 ERA, will oppose Jhoulys Chacin, who is 2-1 with a 4.08 ERA and began his career in the Rockies organization.

The Brewers are 6-14 against teams over .500 and 15-2 against sub-.500 teams. They are 11-7 on the road and launching a 10-game, 11-day trip that will continue with three-game series at Arizona and Minnesota.

Milwaukee’s two games against the Indians began a stretch of 15 consecutive games against teams that were in the playoffs last year.

After beating Indians ace Corey Kluber 3-2 on Tuesday, the Brewers were overwhelmed Wednesday by Carlos Carrasco, who threw a complete game five-hitter with one walk and 14 strikeouts.

“(Bench coach) Pat Murphy always says there are no Western Illinois on the schedule,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell told reporters. “I don’t mean to knock Western Illinois, (but) there’s no softballs on a major league schedule.

“…You take the series as they come, and you move on. The Indians are a really good baseball team, and we faced their two best pitchers and got a split. The Rockies have been hot, and the Diamondbacks have been of the better teams in baseball. It’s a challenging road trip, for sure.”

The Brewers have won six of eight games started by Chacin, including the past four. He received a no-decision Saturday in Milwaukee’s 5-3 win against Pittsburgh, allowing three hits and one run in six innings before the bullpen blew a save.

Chacin is 1-1 with a 3.31 ERA in three starts against Colorado. Having pitched all or parts of six seasons for the Rockies, Chacin has vast experience at Coors Field where he’s 23-23 with a 4.23 ERA in 69 games (62 starts).

The 8-0 trouncing by the Angels ended Colorado’s season-high six-game winning streak and franchise-record nine consecutive quality starts.

In two starts against the Brewers, Marquez is 1-0 with a 4.63 ERA. At the suggestion of veteran relievers Adam Ottavino and Wade Davis, as well as bullpen coach Darren Holmes and pitching coach Steve Foster, Marquez said he moved to the middle of the rubber from the third-base side in a side session before winning his last start Friday at New York.

Marquez limited the Mets to six hits and two runs in six innings with no walks and a season-high eight strikeouts in Colorado’s 8-7 victory.

“I made an adjustment (that led to) the walks (going) down and the changeup getting better,” Marquez said. “I moved to the middle of the rubber from the third base side. I got more room to the glove side, because I’ve been cutting my fastball. I got more angle to get down and away (to the right-handed hitters).”

Marquez said he stood in the middle of the rubber when he was pitching at the Class A level in the Tampa Bay organization before being traded to the Rockies organization in January 2016 but then began creeping toward the third base corner of the rubber.

Colorado will be trying to rebound from a deflating loss. Starter Tyler Anderson gave up four runs on six hits, two of them homers, in five innings — not great but not disastrous had the Rockies mounted any offense. But they didn’t.

The Rockies went 0-for-12 with eight strikeouts with runners in scoring position, the ninth time in franchise history they went hitless in 12 or more at-bats with runners in scoring position. The eight strikeouts with runners in scoring position were the most in franchise history in any game where they went hitless in 12 or more at-bats with runners in scoring position.