Brewers pitcher Nelson gets back on track with win over Rockies
MILWAUKEE -- Although Jimmy Nelson hadn't won a game in more than a month, he kept insisting he wasn't pitching as poorly as it seemed.
Nelson provided proof on Monday night, winning for the first time in seven starts and not issuing a walk for the first time this season as the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Colorado Rockies 4-2.
"We focused on quality pitches. Even the misses were small," Nelson said.
Nelson (7-13) gave up two runs and seven hits in six innings while striking out four. He hadn't pitched past the fifth in any of his previous six starts.
"I honestly felt really good, like I could have gone back out there," he said. "With the tempo and effort of my delivery, I felt like I didn't really get tired out there."
Nelson threw 71 of 95 pitches for strikes.
"He was pounding the zone very well tonight," Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said.
Chris Carter homered for the Brewers and Tyler Thornburg got the last three outs for his fifth save in nine chances.
The Rockies got a run in the first when David Dahl scored on a wild pitch by Nelson.
The Brewers tied it in the bottom of the inning when Jonathan Villar scored from third on an error by Colorado shortstop Daniel Descalso. Kirk Nieuwenhuis added a two-run single.
Carter's solo homer to left in the third, his 30th of the season, off Chad Bettis (10-7) extended Milwaukee's lead to 4-1.
Bettis gave up four runs and four hits. He struck out three and issued a career-high seven walks. He walked multiple batters in the first, second and fifth innings. He threw 111 pitches, second only to his career-high 114 on April 25 against Pittsburgh.
DJ LaMahieu's run scoring single in the fifth brought the Rockies within two runs.
Dahl finished with two singles and two stolen bases for the Rockies.
It was only the second batter of the game, but Nieuwenhuis' diving catch of LaMahieu's tailing shot down the right-field line prevented the Rockies from a potentially big inning.
"They had a big inning working, for sure," Counsell said. "If that ball gets through, the middle of their lineup is obviously very dangerous. That catch was the play of the game, really."
Nieuwenhuis said he felt the ball begin to pop out of his glove as he crashed to the ground. "I knew I was going to be able to get there but it ended up being a little further than I thought," he said. "I was able to pin it to my chest."
Carter became the first Brewer to reach 30 home runs in a season since 2012 when Ryan Braun hit 41 and Corey Hart had 30. He has hit 21 home runs at Miller Park.
"I always love coming back here and hitting," Carter said.
VILLAR SWIPES 50th
Jonathan Villar stole bases in the first and second innings, giving him 50 for the season. He's the first Brewers player to reach that mark since Scott Podsednik stole 70 bases in 2004. "Every pitch I'm ready," Villar said.
Rockies: RHP Scott Oberg was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Aug. 20, with axillary artery thrombosis in his right arm. "(Oberg) went for some tests yesterday. It showed some clots," manager Walt Weiss said. "Scary situation." RHP Carlos Estevez was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque. ... CF Charlie Blackmon was not in the starting lineup for the fourth straight game because of a bruised right toe. He struck out as a pinch hitter in the ninth.
Brewers: RHP Junior Guerra, who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 8 with right elbow inflammation, will make a minor league rehab start before rejoining the Brewers.
Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (8-6, 4.69) will start against the Brewers for the first time. The rookie hasn't pitched more than five innings in any of his last four starts.
Brewers: RHP Chase Anderson (7-10, 4.97) is 3-0 with a 2.45 ERA in his last five starts. He is 3-3 with a 5.29 ERA in nine career starts against the Rockies.