Arenado's HR in 11th takes down Brewers
Gray throws eight innings of one-run ball
MILWAUKEE -- Following Trevor Story's four-RBI day, Nolan Arenado belted the game-winning homer in the 11th inning of the Rockies' 5-4 victory over the Brewers on Sunday afternoon at Miller Park, helping Colorado avoid getting swept and sending his team home happier after a sour road trip.
"That should resonate throughout the game," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "He is in [the MVP] conversation, and he's starting to gain that reputation. Things like that help solidify his place in the game. That's a big home run, and he's done that. As his career moves forward, he does that more and more."
With the victory, Colorado is two games behind the D-backs and Dodgers in the National League West.
The home run saved the Rockies from their sixth loss in seven games after Adam Ottavino blew his third save of the season. Ottavino immediately got into trouble in the ninth by allowing a leadoff shot to Mike Moustakas (his first homer since joining the Brewers). Ryan Braun then reached with one out on catcher's interference, before Ottavino struck out Jonathan Schoop to put Colorado one out away from victory. Ottavino actually struck out the next batter, Erik Kratz, but strike three was a wild pitch, with Kratz reaching first and Braun advancing to third.
Orlando Arcia scored Braun with an RBI double to cut Milwaukee's deficit to a run, then, with Hernan Perez batting, Ottavino threw another wild pitch to allow Kratz to score the game-tying run. Ottavino finally struck out Perez to end the frame and send the game into extras.
For Arenado, the homer in the 11th was his 29th of the season, tying him with the Cardinals' Matt Carpenter for the NL lead. It came on Corey Knebel's 3-2 offering, a fastball Arenado turned on and sent a projected 372 feet, according to Statcast™, down the left-field line.
"He has a good fastball, and I was just trying to get him down in the zone," Arenado said. "I was just trying to hit it hard, and it's tough. I got the 3-0, and I knew he had it coming over the plate. You don't want to walk anybody in that situation."
Story, who drove in Colorado's first four runs, had high praise for his teammate and one of the NL's top hitters.
"He's our best player, and he showed why right there," Story said. "That was a big-time spot by a big-time player. For the way the last week has been, it was good to come out on top."
Before Arenado went yard, Story was also "huge" -- all series long. The shortstop hit four homers in the three-game series, including a three-run homer in the fifth inning off Brewers starter Wade Miley on Sunday. Add in three more homers from the teams' four-game series in May, and Story had seven homers in seven games against Milwaukee this year, becoming the fifth player in Rockies history with seven or more home runs against a non-divisional opponent in a single season.
And while the soft-spoken Arenado gets MVP consideration, it's only fitting the third baseman credited Story with the Rockies' extra-inning win.
"[Story's] been awesome," Arenado said. "He carried us today, and he gave our team and me the opportunity to help out there. He's been carrying us, and I'm just glad he's on our team."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Gray strikes out the side: As Black said, Jon Gray "emptied the tank" in his eighth and final inning Sunday, striking out two All-Stars (Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich) and Eric Thames, who hit a walk-off home run on Friday, in the process.
Gray finished after eight innings of one-run ball on 99 pitches.
"I gave everything I had right there in the eighth inning to make it the best I could," said Gray, who pitched at least seven innings for his fourth straight start. "It was tough. I really wanted to get back out there and have a [complete game], but [I know that's] going to come."
With seven home runs in seven games this season vs. Milwaukee, Story became the first Rockies player since Todd Helton vs. Montreal in 1999 to have at least seven homers in a year against a non-divisional opponent. Dante Bichette holds the team record with eight vs. Cincinnati in 1996, which he did in 12 games. Story is the only Rockies player of the five to achieve the feat in fewer than nine games.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Gray faced just 13 batters through four innings but found himself in jams in the fifth and six frames. In the sixth, with runners on first and second and two outs, Arenado finished the inning by moving toward the shortstop position to retire a chopping grounder from Braun.
"I watched the replay and thought I should've charged it, but it was just a tough play and it spun and took off," Arenado said. "You don't really think about it until you watch the replay. It's hard to impress Bud because he's been around a long time, but he said that was one of his favorite plays."
"I forget how many times that he steals hits away from the other team," Gray said. "You don't want to stop appreciating that when it happens. I definitely tip my cap to that."
HE SAID IT
"It was a tough week, hard-fought. I told the guys after the game that it'll continue, it's going to be tough. Winning games sometimes can be challenging and come in a lot of different ways. But today was a good win and showed what this team was all about." -- Black, on the Rockies' road trip
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Story added another RBI -- his 18th of the season against the Brewers -- in the ninth inning when he grounded into a fielder's choice, which drove in DJ LeMahieu. The original call had Story out at first base on an inning-ending double play, but he was ruled safe upon review, which tallied the fourth run.
Sunday's series finale ended on an overturned call when Erik Kratz was ruled out at first on a double play in the 11th inning. Kratz, diving head-first into first base, was originally ruled safe on Story's throw to first.
The Rockies return to Coors Field after an underwhelming road trip for a seven-game homestand that starts vs. the Pirates on Monday at 6:40 p.m. MT. Left-hander Kyle Freeland (9-7, 3.20 ERA) gets the start for Colorado. Freeland allowed five runs in four innings vs. the Pirates in April. Right-hander Joe Musgrove (4-5, 3.63) starts for Pittsburgh. Charlie Blackmon, who went hitless in his last 11 plate appearances in Milwaukee, is one hit away from 1,000.