Braun’s single in 9th sends Brewers by Rockies 3-2
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Ryan Braun hadn’t done much except get hit by a pitch. He made up for it with one swing in the bottom of the ninth.
Braun was hit by a pitch in the seventh inning that scored a run and had an RBI single in the ninth, lifting the Milwaukee Brewers to a 3-2 win over the Colorado Rockies on Friday night.
“I got beat up pretty good,” Braun said. “I’ll take it. I’ll take them both.”
Braun thought the Rockies might pitch around him. He had already struck out twice and grounded out while Jonathan Lucroy had two hits and a RBI.
“Typically, there is probably a higher likelihood that they pitch around me,” Braun said. “I have been swinging so terribly and Luc has been swinging so great that that combination probably enticed them to at least come at me a little bit.”
Rockies manager Walt Weiss told reliever Matt Belisle to pitch carefully to Braun, but the strategy didn’t work.
“I’ll always take responsibility for that one,” Walt Weiss said. “Could have put him on. It’s a tough situation for Mattie. He’s trying to get him to expand for a couple of pitches. The ball was maybe a little up. Braun went up and got it.”
Mark Reynolds led off the ninth with a single off Belisle (2-3) and advanced on a sacrifice by Jean Segura. Scooter Gennett pinch hit for Francisco Rodriguez (3-2) and was intentionally walked. The runners advanced on a passed ball by catcher Michael McKenry. After Rickie Weeks went down swinging, Braun drilled Belisle’s first pitch up the middle.
“I don’t think they were trying to throw it where he ended up throwing it,” Braun said after collecting his first walk-off hit since 2011.
Josh Rutledge tied the game when he homered off Rodriguez with one out in the ninth. Rutledge hit a 3-2 pitch that just barely cleared the wall in left for his second homer this season.
Rodriguez was trying to help Kyle Lohse win his third straight start. Lohse has been victimized by five blown saves this season.
He allowed one run on seven hits over seven innings and came within two outs of beating the Rockies for the second time in five days. Sunday, he pitched five innings and allowed three runs on seven hits in the Brewers’ 6-5 win in Colorado.
Rodriguez leads the majors with 27 saves, but this was his third blown save this season.
Lohse had plenty of sympathy for Rodriguez.
“I feel bad for K-Rod because he’s been pitching so well, but the bottom line is we won,” Lohse said. “He came in and did what he does. I’ll take K-Rod closing out one of my games any time.”
The Brewers became the first team in the majors to record 50 wins. Their NL-leading record (50-32) is the best in team history through 82 games. They have 13 games left to top the team record of 54 wins before the All-Star game. The Brewers also improved to 5-0 in the season series with the Rockies.
“It’s nice to be the first one to 50 wins, for sure,” Braun said. “We’re excited with the way that we’ve played so far, but there’s still a lot of baseball left.”
The Brewers went ahead 2-1 in the seventh.
Khris Davis doubled off Nick Masset to start the inning and Reynolds followed with a walk. Both advanced on a sacrifice by Segura. When Lyle Overbay was announced as the pinch hitter for Lohse, the Rockies brought in Rex Brothers. The Brewers countered with Martin Maldonado, who struck out swinging. After Weeks walked, Adam Ottavino came on to face Braun and hit him with the first pitch. Lucroy hit into a fielder’s choice for the third out.
The Rockies scored their run in the seventh on a sacrifice by pinch-hitter Brandon Barnes that scored Rutledge.
The Brewers scored first when Lucroy chopped an RBI single over second base off rookie Tyler Matzek in the sixth.
Matzek went six innings, allowing one run on five hits while striking out three.
NOTES: The Rockies challenged the call when Carlos Gomez was ruled safe at second in the eighth inning. The decision was reversed in under 2 minutes. . Rockies C Wilin Rosario, who left Thursday night’s game with lower back tightness, missed the game. Weiss said that the injury was not serious, but enough to keep him out of the lineup. . Rockies RHP Nolan Arenado (broken left middle finger) heads to Triple-A Colorado Springs on Sunday for a rehab assignment. . Troy Tulowitzki’s double in the fourth was his 400th career extra-base hit. . RHP Matt Garza (4-5, 3.20 ERA) faces Colorado’s RHP Jhoulys Chacin (1-6, 4.84) on Saturday.