DENVER -- Freddy Peralta tallied 13 strikeouts. The Brewers tallied 13 hits. And the result on this record-setting Mother's Day was a 7-3 win over the Rockies for a series victory to begin Milwaukee's toughest road trip to date.Travis Shaw and Jesus Aguilar homered to back the 21-year-old Peralta, who
DENVER -- Freddy Peralta tallied 13 strikeouts. The Brewers tallied 13 hits. And the result on this record-setting Mother's Day was a 7-3 win over the Rockies for a series victory to begin Milwaukee's toughest road trip to date.
Travis Shaw and Jesus Aguilar homered to back the 21-year-old Peralta, who carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and set a Brewers' rookie record with 13 strikeouts in a dazzling Major League debut, all while becoming Milwaukee's youngest starting pitcher since Yovani Gallardo in 2007.
Better than that, Peralta became the fifth pitcher since 1908 to strike out at least a baker's dozen in his big league debut. Stephen Strasburg was the last to do that, whiffing 15 Pirates on June 8, 2010. Before that, you had to go back to 1971 and Astros strikeout machine J.R. Richard.
"The pitching coach just told me to smile, breathe and pitch," said Peralta. "So that was what I did."
The Brewers won three of four games in the series. They scored 23 runs on 42 hits in the three victories, and were shut out on five hits in the lone loss.
With his family in the stands for the first time in his professional career, Peralta surrendered one hit in 5 2/3 scoreless innings for the best Brewers pitching debut since 22-year-old Steve Woodard out-dueled the Blue Jays' Roger Clemens with a 12-strikeout complete game at County Stadium in 1997. Peralta, matched up against Rockies' ace Jon Gray, did one better in the strikeout column, matching and surpassing Woodard's total in a sixth inning that featured Colorado's first hit, a David Dahl single with one out.
"Not seeing a guy makes it a little but tougher; you don't know what it looks like from the box, you don't know what the timing is, you don't know what the movement looks like," Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon said. "You don't know what you're going to get. Having faced a guy a few times, there's a little bit of a comfort level that gives you more of an advantage."
Said Aguilar, whose three-run homer in the sixth extended Milwaukee's lead to 7-0, "It was unbelievable. I've never seen their second baseman [DJ LeMahieu] look like that, or Blackmon. They didn't see the ball. It was unbelievable. Good for him. These are really good hitters, and he dominated, easy, with the fastball."
Ninety of Peralta's 98 pitches were fastballs, many of them high in the strike zone, where he has his most success. He led the Triple-A Pacific Coast League with 46 strikeouts before Sunday's promotion.
It was fitting that Peralta's mother, Octavia Diaz, was in the stands. The Brewers are the mama's boys of Major League Baseball -- a league-best 33-19 (.635) all-time on Mother's Day. We'll leave it to the armchair psychologists out there to figure out why they are 19-32 (.373) on Father's Day.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Offense awakens: There's nothing like a little run support to calm a rookie pitcher, but after the Brewers followed Saturday's 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position with a trio of first-inning strikeouts in the wake of Christian Yelich's leadoff double, it looked like it might be another tough day at the plate. That changed in the second inning, when Tyler Saladino hit an RBI double in his first Brewers start and Yelich followed two batters later with a two-run single for a 3-0 lead over Gray -- and some breathing room for Peralta.
"Tyler had some really good at-bats at the bottom of the order and Yelich had that big, two-out hit," said Brewers manager Craig Counsell. "We haven't had many."
Shaw smash: Shaw, Milwaukee's cleanup man, came to Colorado in a 5-for-50 funk, but went 7-for-16 with a double and two home runs against the Rockies, including his booming solo shot off Gray in the third inning for a 4-0 lead. At a projected 452 feet off his pink bat, it was second-longest Shaw homer Statcast™ has tracked, just a few feet shy of his 458-footer on April 20, 2017.
Bases-loaded escape: The Rockies didn't have a baserunner until Tony Wolters reached on Shaw's error in the third inning, and Peralta loaded the bases with two outs on a pair of walks. But the youngster gathered himself enough to induce a Blackmon groundout, ending the threat.
"I just stepped off the mound and thought, 'OK, I just need to keep doing the same," Peralta said. "Breathe, make your pitch and see what happens. I knew that I could control the game, because I work a lot on that."
Peralta generated 18 swinging strikes on four-seam fastballs, the most for an NL pitcher this season. According to Statcast™, only the Mariners' James Paxton has had more this year -- 20 on May 2 against the A's in the 16-strikeout game that preceded his no-hitter.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
As long as Peralta kept the inhabitants of Coors Field on no-hitter alert, the second out of the bottom of the first inning was circled on scorecards. It was Dahl's would-be extra-base hit along the first-base line, which Aguilar gloved with a dive and flipped to a covering Peralta. That was the only thing close to a Rockies hit until Dahl's clean single to right-center field with one out in the sixth.
HE SAID IT
"The pitching coach just told me to smile, breathe and pitch. So that was what I did." -- Peralta
ANDERSON STAYS AWAY
Peralta was pitching a game originally assigned to left-hander Brent Suter, who worked Saturday instead after Chase Anderson fell ill. Anderson, subsequently placed on the 10-day disabled list, was still feeling lousy on Sunday and stayed at the team hotel. The Brewers backdated his stint on the DL such that the right-hander will be eligible to rejoin the rotation when the Brewers return from this long road trip on May 21 against the D-backs.
Zach Davies, another Brewers starter on the DL, tested his right shoulder by playing catch for a second straight day Sunday. The Brewers didn't yet know when Davies would get back on a mound, Counsell said.
The next test on this long Brewers road trip comes at Chase Field in Phoenix, home of the best-in-the-NL D-backs and their Monday scheduled starter Patrick Corbin, who is 4-0 with a 2.12 ERA this year. Corbin will work the teams' 8:40 p.m. CT series opener opposite Brewers right-hander Junior Guerra, seeking to bounce back from three straight losses. Guerra has a 5.63 ERA in those games.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.