DENVER -- With the Brewers leading the Rockies by two runs in Sunday's 6-0 victory at Coors Field in Game 3 to sweep the National League Division Series, the sixth inning spun out of control for Colorado, leading to a pair of Milwaukee runs resulting from a balk and a wild pitch.
Rockies reliever Scott Oberg opened the frame by striking out Jesus Aguilar. Mike Moustakas followed with a single to left field, and Erik Kratz doubled him to third. Oberg struck out Orlando Arcia, giving him a chance to escape the inning without allowing a run, something of added importance for the Rockies, who totaled two runs in the series.
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Brewers manager Craig Counsell sent Curtis Granderson up as a pinch-hitter for reliever Corey Knebel, and during the Granderson at-bat, Oberg dropped the baseball while on the rubber, resulting in a balk that brought Moustakas in for a 3-0 Brewers lead. With the count at 0-2, Oberg threw a wild pitch, and though catcher Tony Wolters retrieved it quickly, Kratz slid home safely with Milwaukee's fourth run.
"Prior to that pitch, I was digging out the mound a little bit, and when I stopped digging, I went to transfer the ball from my glove to my hand," Oberg said. "And after watching the replay and reading the rulebook, I think [second-base umpire] Alfonso [Marquez] made the right call."
Added Rockies manager Bud Black: "I wasn't watching Scott at the time; I was engaging in a couple of other things. Then I saw the balk was called, and as you know, by rule you can't contest a balk call. When it's called, it's called. But after the inning, Alfonso told me that Scott was engaged on the rubber, and the ball came out of his glove."
The balk was only the second of Oberg's career; the other came in 2015. The wild pitch was his fourth of the season. Though Oberg would strike out Granderson to end the frame, the Brewers doubled their lead against a struggling Rockies offense, giving Milwaukee's vaunted bullpen a cushion with 12 outs to go.
From there, Corbin Burnes, Jeremy Jeffress and Josh Hader combined to toss three scoreless frames, while Milwaukee's offense added two more runs on homers from Arcia and Keon Broxton, as the Brewers punched their ticket to the NL Championship Series.
"It does [feel like victory is close after scoring the fourth run]. There was a moment where I thought about that," Kratz said. "Then I had to realize we have to come back and [make] one pitch at a time. That's boring. I don't get to enjoy it. … On the bench, I'm sure they were enjoying it."