MILWAUKEE (AP) — Andrew McCutchen says a different approach at the plate has helped the Milwaukee Brewers surge out of the All-Star break.
McCutchen's tiebreaking, two-run double capped a two-out rally in the eighth inning that gave the Brewers a wild 10-9 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.
The Brewers have scored 25 runs while winning the first three games of this four-game series. They lost four of five games heading into the All-Star break and totaled just 15 runs during that stretch.
“It’s taking what they give you,” McCutchen said. “When we go through those ruts, a lot of times we’re trying to create something that’s not there. We try to do a little too much. Once you take the next-guy-up mentality, we’re like, ‘All right, he didn’t give me anything. It’s next guy up.’ If we continue to do that, just trust the next guy behind you, that’s when good things happen. We showed that throughout the game.”
McCutchen's double came on a 3-2 pitch and followed a tying RBI single from Rowdy Tellez, who also got a hit on a 3-2 offering. Eight of the Brewers' 10 RBIs came on two-strike hits.
“More than anything, we’re just wearing down pitchers," Milwaukee's Hunter Renfroe said. “We’re trying to grind out at bats and foul pitches off that are tough to hit and trying to get our pitch that we can hit. Like Cutch, he took some great pitches, fouled some pitches off and finally got a pitch he could handle and drove it out to center field.”
Renfroe homered for the third straight day and Tyrone Taylor also went deep as the NL Central leaders beat the Rockies for the eighth straight time. The Brewers had lost seven in a row to the Rockies before this streak.
The Rockies lost this one because of bullpen issues.
Colorado's Alex Colomé (2-3) came in to protect an 8-7 lead and retired the first two batters he faced before the Brewers broke loose.
After Christian Yelich walked and Willy Adames singled, Tellez hit a cutter into right for a tying single that put runners on the corners. McCutchen then hit a four-seam fastball over the head of center fielder Yonathan Daza.
Those two-strike hits exemplified what the team had discussed heading out of the break.
“We had a little talk just about where we are, what we want to do and where we want to be in the second half, the things we need to do to be where we want to be at the end," McCutchen said. "We had to make some adjustments and I think we showed that the last three games. And now we have to continue that approach for the rest of the season.
Colorado, which had erased a 5-2 deficit earlier in the day, nearly came all the way back again.
Brewers closer Josh Hader struck out the first two batters in the ninth, but Garrett Hampson hit a two-out triple off the center-field wall and scored on Daza's bloop hit to right. That put the tying run on first for Kris Bryant, who had gone 3 of 4 with a homer and double up to that point.
Bryant hit a weak grounder that Hader initially bobbled before getting control of it and tossing it to first for the final out. Hader recorded his 28th save in 30 opportunities.
“They got a couple of big hits late," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "We had some opportunities late, didn't cash in. That's the frustrating part.”
The Rockies wasted another strong performance from Elias Díaz, who drove in three runs to continue his surge. Díaz has gone 12 of 25 over his last six games and has two hits in each of them.
Brent Suter (3-3) worked his way out of a two-on, none-out jam in a scoreless eighth inning to earn the win.
This game came down to the bullpens because both starting pitchers struggled.
Colorado’s Chad Kuhl allowed five runs and lasted just 2 1/3 innings Sunday in the shortest of his 18 starts this season. Milwaukee’s Eric Lauer struck out three but yielded four runs, six hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings.
The Brewers won despite walking seven batters to match a season high.
“Today was one of those days where it was just like no matter what you did, the ball was not going to go where you wanted it to,” Lauer said. “There was like a force field around the zone for some reason.”
DELIVERING IN PINCH
Milwaukee's Mike Brosseau doubled home a run in the seventh inning to improve to 7 of 11 as a pinch-hitter this season.
Brewers RHP Freddy Peralta threw 33 pitches and worked two innings for Triple-A Nashville on Sunday in the 2020 All-Star’s first rehabilitation assignment. He struck out three and allowed one run, one hit and one walk.
Peralta hasn’t pitched in the majors since May 22 due to a right lat strain.
RHP Luis Perdomo (elbow) followed Peralta and struck out the side in one inning.
Kyle Freeland (4-7, 4.96 ERA) starts for the Rockies and Aaron Ashby (2-7, 4.57) pitches for the Brewers as this four-game series concludes Monday with a matchup of left-handers.
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