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The Milwaukee Brewers stifled the Colorado offense until the ninth inning and Jesus Aguilar showed once again that he had rediscovered his home run hit.
The result of that combination was a 4-3 victory for the Brewers on Tuesday night at Miller Park, giving them a 2-0 start to their 10-game home stand.
The Rockies scored all of their runs in the ninth inning to make the Brewers sweat. Nolan Arenado doubled in a race against Junior Guerra and Ian Desmond had a two-run homer off Josh Hader before Hader closed Colorado.
The win allowed the Brewers to navigate through a dangerous March / April calendar with a record of 17-14, compared to the 17-13 that entered in May a year ago.
The game was quickly established in a pitching duel between Brewers veteran Jhoulys Chacín and right-handed right-hander Marquez, who did not allow base runners until the sixth inning. The Rockies have had trouble scoring against Milwaukee since the start of the NLCS last fall (three runs won in the last 37 innings), so the Brewers had to break through.
POINT OF SCORE: Brewers 4, Rockies 3
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Throughout five innings, Márquez did not need a gardener. The Brewers went 15 up, 15 down, without pbading a ball past a Rockies infielder, hitting the ground 10 times.
That spell ended when Ben Gamel led the bottom of the sixth with a field to the left that overcame Raimel Tapia's head for a double. Orlando Arcia caught the Colorado defense by surprise with a touch on the right side, putting runners on the corners without outs.
Ryan Braun batted for Chacin and landed on a double play, with Gamel scoring the first run of the game.
Aguilar converted a one-run game into a four-run lead by shooting a three-run homer off the field against Marquez with a 0-2 pitch in the seventh inning. It was the third homer in two nights for Aguilar, who had none in the season to enter the series.
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Chacin, who entered the night with a record of 2-3 and 6.35 average of clean races in more than six outings, achieved his best start of the season. For six scoreless innings, he allowed only two hits while walking three and struck out one.
The Rockies had a couple of early opportunities to score, but Chacín rejected them. With two down in the first inning, Daniel Murphy threw a pop pop down the left field line that prevented a diving attempt by Gamel for a double. Sandy then walked, but Ryan McMahon's liner on the first base line was gloved by Aguilar to finish the inning.
Chacin had no luck getting the Rockies to nibble pitches from the plate, which led to a one-way walk to David Dahl in the third and another to Murphy with two down. Chacin ran down those runners by making Arenado go second.
Sockets of keys
The Gold Glove vote is not necessary: Brewers manager Craig Counsell said it is not necessary to wait until the end of the season to decide on the Gold Glove in the center field of the National League. Just give it now to Lorenzo Cain, who already has three receptions to shoot homers. "There's no need for a vote," Counsell said. "He must have a golden glove, we should do it right now, I do not think anyone has a problem with that, I think he deserves it.
Clause exercises fields: Reliever Josh Fields exercised his exit clause in the AAA San Antonio Clbad and was released by the Brewers, who had to do it or called him to the big leagues. Fields had an ERA of 8.22 in eight starts for the Missions, with seven hits and seven earned runs in seven innings. It was signed by the Brewers during spring training after being designated to be badigned by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Gatewood cleared to play again: The prospect of first baseman Jake Gatewood, who suffered a torn ACL on his left knee last July in Biloxi's AA Clbad, received medical clearance to play again. Farm manager Tom Flanagan said that Gatewood will remain in extended spring training and will play there until he considers himself ready to be badigned to a minor league affiliate.
Arcia a magician in the short field: Arcia already made many dazzling plays during the first month of the season and delivered another with two down in the sixth. Arenado snatched a bullet from a jump that seemed to pbad to Arcia, but stopped her, knelt and threw it to finish the entrance.
This year: 17-14
Last year: 18-13
This year: 545,014 (34,063 average)
Last year: 526,976 (32,936 average)
Wednesday: Milwaukee RHP Chase Anderson (2-0, 3.20) against Colorado RHP Antonio Senzatela (2-1, 3.93). TV: FS Wisconsin. Radio: AM-620.