Rockies end slide behind Bettis, Blackmon
DENVER -- Right-hander Chad Bettis shook off a pair of shaky starts and held the Brewers to one run in 6 1/3 innings as the Rockies ended their losing streak at five games with a 5-1 win on Saturday afternoon at Coors Field.
Bettis (3-2) struck out five against five hits and two walks, and allowed multiple baserunners just twice -- in the first, when he induced a Shane Peterson inning-ending grounder, and in the seventh, before departing. Bettis forced 10 ground-ball outs.
"That's what we play this game for, especially when we're in a rough spot," said Bettis, who led the Rockies to their second win in the last 11 games, while the Brewers have lost seven of their last eight.
After giving up eight runs and a .302 batting average over 10 innings in his previous two starts, Bettis yielded his only run on Adam Lind's 10th homer of the season, in the sixth.
"I wanted to build off the last three innings in Houston [in my previous start], and just scrap the first two -- I had really good stuff that day and wanted to build off of it," Bettis said.
Charlie Blackmon gave the Rockies a 3-0 lead in the fifth with his ninth homer of the season, a two-run shot off Kyle Lohse (3-9), who allowed three runs on four hits and fanned five over six innings.
"I felt good, and [Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado] kept mixing it up, did a good job," said Lohse, who was at 76 pitches when he was lifted for a pinch-hitter. "We just ran into a guy on the other side that did a better job."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
One way to help the stats: When Blackmon came up against Lohse in the fifth, the Rockies were 14-for-81 with runners in scoring position over the last 10-plus games. Then Blackmon swatted Lohse's 80 mph changeup into the right-field seats for a 3-0 lead. In the seventh, Ben Paulsen and Blackmon delivered RBI singles to score runners from second.
"We did everything," Blackmon said. "Starting pitching, relief pitching was unbelievable. Defensively we turned a couple of double plays when we need to and then we got the pinch-hit RBI with two outs by Paulsen and a couple of other big knocks to drive in runs with two outs."
Linding a hand: Lind's solo shot -- which was projected by Statcast™ to travel 398 feet from home plate -- went to left field and was his second opposite-field homer this season. He hadn't homered since June 6, and the long ball was his first extra-base hit in his last seven games.
Passing a test: Right-hander Tommy Kahnle, who hopes to develop consistency with a fastball that can reach 98 mph, entered with runners at the corners in the seventh and a two-run lead. Kahnle threw pinch-hitter Jonathan Lucroy two pitches at top speed, then dropped off to 89 to force a double-play grounder, which was turned with a nice bit of defense. Third baseman Nolan Arenado fielded a short hop and second baseman DJ LeMahieu made a dazzling turn.
"Just power stuff -- it doesn't matter, right-handed or left-handed, he's got that power changeup," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said of Kahnle, who also induced a double-play grounder of Ryan Braun to end the eighth and has a 0.87 ERA in nine games since being recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque. More >
Get 'em on, get 'em over ... can't get 'em in: With Milwaukee trailing, 1-0, in the third, Jean Segura's single and stolen base put him in scoring position with one out. But Gerardo Parra struck out, and after Segura advanced to third on a wild pitch, Braun struck out to end the frame. The Brewers finished 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.
"[Bettis] kept us off-balance and made big pitches with runners in scoring position," Braun said. "We hit a few balls hard at people, but for the most part, he did a really good job of commanding all his pitches to both sides of the plate."
"Hopefully, this gets us rolling. If we come out, win a game tomorrow, win the series, that'll give us some momentum moving forward." -- Weiss, whose team is 10 games under .500 but has three of the next four series within the National League West
"He stayed away from us and kept his breaking ball down in the zone well. He kept all of his pitches down in the zone well. I thought he executed his fastball away really well. He did a nice job of that. He earned it." -- Brewers manager Craig Counsell, on Bettis
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Rockies are 41-22 against the Brewers at Coors Field for a .651 winning percentage -- Colorado's highest at home against any club.
A challenge from Weiss went unrewarded in the third, when a safe call of Segura's steal of second base stood upon review.
Brewers: Matt Garza gets the ball in Sunday's finale of the season series with Colorado, which starts at 3:10 p.m. CT. In six starts vs. the Rockies, Garza is 2-4 with a 5.25 ERA and has more hits allowed (37) than innings pitched (36). He took the loss against Colorado in the first meeting this season, giving up four runs in five innings on April 7.
Rockies: Lefty Chris Rusin (2-2, 5.14 ERA), who -- like Bettis -- is trying to shake off two rough starts, will face the Brewers in the rubber match of the three-game set at 2:10 p.m. MT. The Rockies have clinched the season series, 4-1.
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