Braun homers twice as Brewers sweep Rockies
MILWAUKEE — Ryan Braun shook off a tough second inning and came on strong when it mattered.
Braun hit two home runs and the Milwaukee Brewers tied a season high with their fourth straight win, beating the Colorado Rockies 7-1 Wednesday.
Braun tracked Christhian Adames’ long fly ball in the second, but then watched it clank off the heel of his glove and roll onto the warning track. It was his second error of the season, but Zach Davies (10-6) stranded Adames at second by striking out the side.
"Ugly start," Braun said. "So I was happy to have a good finish."
Braun hit a solo drive off Tyler Anderson in the fourth inning. He connected for his 24th homer, a two-run drive, off Chad Qualls during a four-run seventh. The two were the 199th and 200th different pitchers that have given up homers to Braun, a bit of trivia that had escaped him.
"I had no idea," he said. "If I have been able to do that, obviously that speaks to some longevity, some consistency. So it’s a pretty cool accomplishment, but not something I was aware of."
Brewers manager Craig Counsell brought out the compliments for Braun, especially what he did against a left-hander.
"There’s no question, he’s the main guy, the center of the lineup, the guy who drives the bus most often, for sure," Counsell said. "Against these lefties, these are good days for Ryan."
The Brewers posted their first three-game sweep over Colorado at Miller Park since 2011. It was Milwaukee’s fourth sweep of the season and third at home.
Nolan Arenado hit his NL-leading 34th homer in the first, his fourth shot in 15 plate appearances. The Rockies went on to load the bases, but Davies escaped further trouble.
Arenado downplayed his success.
"I know I’ll be able to sleep a little better knowing that I am swinging the bat like I know I can, but it’s tough going home knowing we got swept like this," he said.
Davis struck out eight in six innings.
"We’re struggling out there right now," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "We got some young guys out there that are very talented, they’re learning on the job. We got some veterans that are searching for some confidence right now."
Anderson (4-5) fanned a career-high 10 in five innings.
Braun was impressed with Anderson’s effort.
"I thought (Anderson) was good the whole time," Braun said. "He really kept us off-balance. He had good stuff, cutter, fastball was getting up to 95, really good changeup. Certainly some deception in his delivery, too."
The Brewers manufactured the go-ahead run in the fifth. Orlando Arcia walked, advanced on a groundout, stole third and scored on Jonathan Villar’s second hit of the game.
Milwaukee tacked on another run on Arcia’s bunt single in the sixth off reliever Chris Rushin. Arcia pushed a bunt in front of the plate. Catcher Tony Wolters chased it down and flipped it to Rushin covering the plate, but Hernan Perez stepped around the tag and scored.
Chris Carter hit a RBI double and scored on a single by Domingo Santana in the seventh.
Anderson’s strikeouts came a day after Jon Gray fanned 10. According to STATS, this was the first time Rockies starters had reached double-digit strikeouts in consecutive games.
Gerardo Parra started at first base for the first time in 988 career games. "He’s done it before (in spring training), but briefly," Weiss said. "He’s been working out over there. I’m just trying to find a way to keep him involved."
Rockies: 2B DJ LeMahieu, second in the NL in batting at .344, missed his second consecutive game with inflammation in left wrist. "He’s still available to do some of the other things, but I’m not going to use him to hit," Weiss said. "When you hurt your wrist, your fingers or anything to your hand as a hitter, it is going to take a while." The Rockies have an off day Thursday. . . . CF Charlie Blackmon returned to the lineup after not starting four games with a bruised right toe.
Brewers: RHPs Junior Guerra and Jacob Barnes and 3B Will Middlebrooks are headed out on rehab assignments. Guerra makes a start for Triple-A Colorado Springs on Saturday. Barnes is expected to pitch out of the bullpen on Friday with Double-A Biloxi. Middlebrooks takes the field with Class-A Wisconsin on Wednesday night. All three players are expected to rejoin the team when rosters expand on September 1.
Rockies: RHP Jeff Hoffman (0-1, 13.50 ERA) makes his second career start and first on the road in the opener Friday of a three-game series against the Washington Nationals. Two years removed from Tommy John surgery, Hoffman was acquired from Toronto on July 28, 2015, as part of a deal for RHP LaTroy Hawkins and SS Troy Tulowitzki.
Brewers: RHP Wily Peralta (5-9, 6.00) makes his first start this season against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He is 2-2 with a 3.55 ERA in six career starts against Pittsburgh. The Opening Day starter, he made 10 starts for Triple-A Colorado Springs after being optioned there on June 12. He is 1-2 in three starts since rejoining the rotation.