Wily Peralta was pitching so well in July it was easy to forget he was still a rookie.
The rookie struggles returned to the right-hander Friday night, as Peralta allowed five earned runs on seven hits and three walks in just 3 2/3 innings in Milwaukee’s 8-3 loss in Colorado.
Colorado scored three unearned runs off Peralta, and the Rockies certainly didn’t hit the ball hard to jump out to an 8-0 lead. From seeing-eye singles to plays the Brewers likely should have made behind him, Peralta didn’t get much help.
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After a walk to Michael Cuddyer to start the second inning, Rockies first baseman Todd Helton had the only hard-hit ball of the inning, a sharp single to right sending Cuddyer to third. Peralta then walked Wilin Rosario to load the bases.
Jean Segura made a sensational diving catch for the first out of the inning, but Colorado got on the board when Nolan Arenado hit what appeared to be an easy ground ball to second baseman Rickie Weeks.
Inexperienced frst baseman Juan Francisco cut in front of Weeks and deflected the ball, leaving every one safe all around.
Rockies pitcher Tyler Chatwood followed with a double that just snuck fair down the third-base line, scoring two more to make it 3-0. One batter later, D.J. LeMahieu hit a weak grounder up the middle that Segura made a nice play and flip to Weeks for the force out at second. The return throw to first was just late, allowing another run to score.
“One hard-hit ball, at least the inning they got all the four runs,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “Two walks really hurt him in that inning, but then every other ball was not hit hard. Chopper hit down third base, squibber in between first and second, chopper up the middle that we almost turned a double play on.
“He wasn’t on his game. His command was off today — even though it was off, if he had any breaks, he certainly doesn’t give up that many runs. In this ballpark, you open it up when you walk people. It’s a good hitting park just like ours is and when you walk people you are asking for trouble.”
A defensive mistake allowed Colorado to open the game up and chase Peralta in the fourth inning. With runners on first and second and one out, Segura made a nice play on LeMahieu’s groundball and had the force out at third base. Third baseman Yuniesky Betancourt had his feet around the base instead of touching it for the force and tried to tag the runner but was too late.
“He didn’t tag the base and he didn’t tag the guy sliding in,” Roenicke said. “I guess he was too far away and couldn’t get back for the force. That’s why he tried to tag the runner.”
If there was a silver lining in Friday’s one-sided loss, rookie right-hander Rob Wooten and Burke Badenhop allowed Roenicke and the Brewers to get through the game without completely taxing an already tired bullpen.
“That’s fortunate for us,” Roenicke said. “That’s about all we had that we could pitch for any length. You add a reliever and you’d think we’d be fine in the bullpen and it doesn’t take long for you to all of a sudden be pitching guys too much.”