The Brewers battled the Rockies late into their game Friday night, but a three-run eighth inning by Grand Junction spoiled the homecoming at Kindrick Legion Field. The Rockies went on to win 3-0 in front of 624 fans.
Gabe Friese got the start on the mound for the Brewers (17-29), his second action with the team since being called up from the Arizona league. Friese went four innings and gave up four hits while striking out four. It was a drastic improvement from his relief performance in Grand Junction (24-24). Then, Friese gave up six hits and two earned runs in two innings of work.
Parker Bean, the Brewers’ All-Star relief pitcher, entered the game in the eighth inning with two men on base and no outs. Bean, put in a tough situation, made an uncharacteristic blunder, throwing slightly wide of first base and pulling Nick Roscetti off the bag. The Brewers thought they had an out, and instead they faced bases loaded after the error.
“I would say the bad call of the umpire in the eighth inning,” Brewers first baseman Jay Feliciano said of the difference in the game. “It changed the game completely. They take advantage of that.”
Bean generated a strike out, but then a walk brought across the first run of the game and gave the Rockies the lead. A passed ball brought in a score and then a wild pitch from Bean brought in another run for the Rockies.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Brewers put two men on and looked like they may be on their way to mounting a comeback. With one out on the board, Tristen Lutz struck out swinging, and in the meantime Nick Roscetti left first base and was picked off, ending the inning and the Brewers' scoring hopes until the ninth inning.
“I think we were in swing mode with our approach,” said Feliciano, who went 1 for 4 on the evening. “We were facing these guys last week. We know what they have, what they gonna throw. We came with our approach. That’s all.”
Payton Henry threatened the Rockies with a home run to lead off the top of the ninth, but his blast ran out of gas. However, as the ball stayed within the park, right fielder Ramon Marcelino misjudged it and could not make the catch, allowing Henry to advance to second after the error. A few outs put the Brewers at risk of a loss to open up their home stand. Another Rockies error by Shael Mendoza and suddenly the Brewers had two men on.
Nestor Corredor opted to pinch hit KJ Harrison, one of the most consistent bats the Brewers have had this season. Harrison took the first pitch for a ball, and then fouled off two pitches. His next swing would be the game’s last.
Brandon Presley (0-1) received the loss on the evening after tossing two innings. He gave up two hits and an earned run while striking out two and walking one.
The Brewers generated only four hits on Friday, in comparison to Grand Junction’s six.
The loss became the Brewers’ sixth consecutive.
Helena resumes their three-game series against Grand Junction on Saturday at 7:05 p.m.