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Brewers' offense hits speed bump in Colorado

Lefty Suter holds his own after replacing ill Anderson, but club shut out by Rox
MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

DENVER -- The Brewers were shut out Saturday for the eighth time in 40 games, and this one might have been the most puzzling of all, considering their offensive barrage 24 hours earlier.

Kyle Freeland and four Rockies relievers blanked the Brewers on five hits in a 4-0 shutout at Coors Field, one day after Milwaukee scored 11 runs on a season-high 17 hits in a come-from-behind win. Just shy of the quarter mark of this season, the Brewers already have matched their number of shutout losses from each of the past two years.

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DENVER -- The Brewers were shut out Saturday for the eighth time in 40 games, and this one might have been the most puzzling of all, considering their offensive barrage 24 hours earlier.

Kyle Freeland and four Rockies relievers blanked the Brewers on five hits in a 4-0 shutout at Coors Field, one day after Milwaukee scored 11 runs on a season-high 17 hits in a come-from-behind win. Just shy of the quarter mark of this season, the Brewers already have matched their number of shutout losses from each of the past two years.

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"I think we took a lot of bad swings to bad pitches. That's why we didn't score a run today," said Jesus Aguilar, who fared well in his first career start at third base but went 0-for-4 at the plate, falling just short of a home run in the second inning.

The Brewers were 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position after going 11-for-22 in those situations in the first two games.

Half of the Brewers' shutout losses have come in games started by left-handers, two by the Cubs' Jose Quintana and one by Cubs teammate Jon Lester before Freeland on Saturday. Entering the night, only the Mets had a lower OPS against southpaws than the Brewers' .633.

"We're just not scoring runs," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "I think some of our guys that we count on to hit left-handers maybe haven't produced at quite the level that they have in the past. That's probably got something to do with it. We have some guys who have pretty solid track records against left-handed pitching."

While the offense sputtered, Brewers left-hander Suter made a spot start for an ill Chase Anderson, and might have fared just fine if Rockies shortstop Trevor Story wasn't part of the story. Story tormented Suter with a trio of run-scoring hits, including a pair of home runs.

Video: MIL@COL: Story goes yard twice against the Brewers

All of that damage came with two outs. In the first inning, Nolan Arenado hit a two-out triple before Story hit a curveball for a home run to left field (the umpires reviewed the play for fan interference, but the homer stood). In the third inning, Arenado and Story connected for consecutive two-out doubles. And in the fifth, Suter finally retired Arenado for the second out in the inning before Story homered again, this time on a changeup that cut into the barrel of Story's bat.

"I showed some more frustration today than I have in the past," Suter said. "When one guy beats you three times, it's a little bit frustrating."

Suter was charged with four earned runs on seven hits, with one walk and two strikeouts. Story accounted for three of the hits and all of the RBIs.

Video: MIL@COL: Counsell on shutout loss to Rockies

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
So close: Either he had no inkling his deep drive to left field in the second inning might drift foul, or he was trying to sell the umpires, but Aguilar lowered his head and started circling the bases after hitting a ball a projected 459 feet, according to Statcast™, with a 110.7 mph exit velocity to lead off the frame. It wasn't until he'd passed first base that Aguilar was informed it was a foul ball, a call that stood upon replay review. Aguilar wound up hitting a single but eventually was stranded at third.

Video: MIL@COL: Umpires review Aguilar's foul ball in 2nd

"I'm not saying names, but I got three guys [on the Rockies] who said it was fair," Aguilar said.

Not surprisingly, the Brewers agreed.

"I'm convinced that was a fair ball," Counsell said. "I know it's a tough call. I'm not suggesting that's not a tough call. But that was a fair ball. I think there was a lot of agreement on the field that that was a fair ball, everybody but the umpire."

Doubled up: The Brewers were positioned for a big inning in the third when Suter walked and Cain singled to open the frame. But Freeland struck out Christian Yelich before inducing a Ryan Braun grounder to Story, who initiated a terrific, inning-ending double play.

Video: MIL@COL: Rockies turn smooth DP to escape a jam

"That, to me, was the inning," Counsell said. "We didn't have a lot of action after that, really."

UP NEXT
Freddy Peralta, the Brewers' No. 9 prospect, will make his Major League debut on Sunday in Suter's original spot. Peralta, who was 5-1 with a 3.63 ERA and a Pacific Coast League-leading 46 strikeouts for Triple-A Colorado Springs, does not turn 22 until June 4, and will become the youngest Brewers starting pitcher since Yovani Gallardo in 2007.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

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