DENVER -- The Brewers' "high-wire act" was back, this time at high altitude.That's how manager Craig Counsell described his club amid a series of improbable comebacks earlier this season, and it was apt as the Brewers overcame a six-run deficit to win a Coors Field special on Friday. Hernan Perez's
DENVER -- The Brewers' "high-wire act" was back, this time at high altitude.
That's how manager Craig Counsell described his club amid a series of improbable comebacks earlier this season, and it was apt as the Brewers overcame a six-run deficit to win a Coors Field special on Friday. Hernan Perez's single off Rockies closer Wade Davis with two outs in the ninth inning extended the game for Manny Pina's tying two-run home run, and Travis Shaw delivered a go-ahead single with two outs in the 10th for an 11-10 win.
It was the Brewers' first comeback victory from down six runs since last year on Mother's Day, when Pina's three-run home run in the eighth inning beat the Mets. To find a comeback like this on the road, one has to go all the way back to July 2, 2011, at Minnesota, when the Brewers overcame a 7-0 deficit for an 8-7 win.
"I mean, what a game, right?" Shaw said. "Four hours and 20 minutes. We're down 9-3. It's a testament to the bullpen once again … and offensively, we just chipped away. We gave ourselves a chance.
"Offensively, we haven't been very good this year, consistently, throughout the game. It's nice to finally step up offensively for a full nine innings. Especially in a park like this -- 9-3 is not like 9-3 somewhere else."
Shaw entered the series in a 5-for-50 funk, but is 6-for-11 with three runs scored and four RBIs in two games against the Rockies. He tallied three hits and three RBIs on Friday, beginning with a booming home run in the third inning.
The teams combined to score in nine of the game's first 12 half-innings before the respective relief corps took control beginning with a scoreless seventh. The Rockies carried a 10-8 lead into the ninth for Davis, who last faced the Brewers while with the Cubs last Sept. 23 at Miller Park, when Orlando Arcia hit a tying home run in the ninth and Shaw hit a walk-off, two-run shot in the 10th.
Davis was 32-for-32 in save chances before that game. He was 14-for-15 for the Rockies before Friday.
This time, it was Pina who got Davis, albeit barely. Pina's homer traveled a Statcast-projected 371 feet, just enough to catch the top of the wall above the out of town scoreboard and bounce into the seats for his second and third RBIs of the night.
"When I hit it, I said, 'That ball has to go,'" Pina said.
Yes, the Brewers remembered doing the same to Davis last September.
"When he came in to pitch, Hernan Perez said, 'You remember us? Remember us from last year?'" Pina said. "That's part of us. Be positive every inning, no matter if you are six runs down, seven runs down. Everybody is connected, everybody is positive."
Starting pitchers Brandon Woodruff for the Brewers and Chad Bettis for the Rockies were each charged with seven earned runs, with Woodruff making his return from Triple-A Colorado Springs. It represented an opportunity for the rookie to conquer the Rockies and Coors Field, along with the chance to seize a spot in a rotation missing injured starters Zach Davies (shoulder) and Wade Miley (oblique). But a promising start yielded to a disastrous second turn through the Rockies' batting order, and an early Brewers lead turned into a deep deficit. The Rockies erased a 3-1 Brewers lead with a three-run third inning against Woodruff, then added five runs against Woodruff and reliever Jacob Barnes in the fourth to extend the advantage to 9-3.
"He needs to command the first pitch," said Pina of Woodruff. "When he commands the first pitch, he's much better."
The Brewers swung their way back into the game with a season-high 17 hits, and the bullpen took control beginning with Dan Jennings' appearance in the sixth. Jennings, Boone Logan, Jeremy Jeffress and Josh Hader (sixth save) combined to record the final 13 outs without yielding a run. Extra credit went to Logan and Hader, who navigated the heart of the lineup.
"This is a team comeback win as much as anything," Counsell said. "You come back from a big deficit like that, there's a lot of guys who did something right tonight. I'm happy the offense had a night that they kind of carried it, but we also had some good performances down in the bullpen again to keep us in it."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Slick slide: The Brewers scored in five of their first six innings, but their best frame was a four-run sixth. It included RBIs from four players, including Lorenzo Cain, who cut Colorado's lead to 9-7 with a double for one of his three hits, advancing to third on the throw home and narrowly avoiding a tag with a slick slide. Cain's contortions proved critical, because Cain wound up scoring on Christian Yelich's groundout to bring the Brewers all the way back to within one run.
"Then the game is totally flipped. Down one [run] at Coors Field, you kind of feel like you're even and you have to play it like that," Counsell said. "The problem was it was the sixth inning and we were through some pitchers already. The [bullpen] guys did a nice job … and tonight was a night our offense didn't give in."
HE SAID IT
"You're always ready to go, no matter what, you've got to prepare for the game to swing to your situation. Unfortunately, I didn't get the job done. I felt comfortable with everything today. It was a game we should've won, and just a bad pitch that cost us the game, ultimately." -- Davis
Chase Anderson will try to keep the ball in the yard Saturday when he makes his sixth career start at Coors Field. Anderson, who has a 6.66 ERA at the park in his previous outings, has surrendered 10 home runs in his first 45 1/3 innings this season compared to 14 home runs in 141 1/3 innings in all of 2017. Lefty Kyle Freeland starts for Colorado at 7:10 p.m. CT.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.