Joe Mahoney/Associated Press
Joe Mahoney/Associated Press
DENVER – The Colorado Rockies have found a formula that works: build a big lead and survive a late rally.
That blueprint has paid off against the Milwaukee Brewers this week.
Carlos Gonzalez had four hits, Tyler Chatwood pitched six effective innings, and the Rockies beat the Brewers 8-6 on Tuesday night.
Eric Young Jr. homered among his three hits, and Wilin Rosario also connected for Colorado, which had 15 hits for the second consecutive night.
The Rockies won consecutive home games for the first time in a month, but it wasn’t easy. The Brewers put together a rally in the ninth inning before Rafael Betancourt finished for his 21st save.
“Another good baseball game, with some theater,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.
Martin Maldonado homered, and Norichika Aoki had three hits for the Brewers, who had another late rally fall short.
Chatwood (3-2), coming off five shutout innings in San Francisco, had another strong outing. He allowed two runs – one earned – and four hits and struck out three.
After struggling out of the bullpen in his first stint with Colorado this year, Chitwood has put together back-to-back solid starts.
“I’ve never (come out of the bullpen) before so I didn’t have a routine to go to,” Chatwood said. “As a starter I know my routine and what I need to do to get ready for my outings.”
Just like Jeff Francis in the series opener, Chatwood benefited from early offense. On Monday, the Rockies jumped in front early, and they repeated that against Randy Wolf (3-9).
Young led off the first with a double for the second night in a row, Josh Rutledge was hit by a pitch, and both runners moved up on a sacrifice.
“It’s definitely good to see all those guys doing their jobs and creating situations for us,” Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez followed with a two-run single, Rosario doubled, and Jordan Pacheco hit an RBI single that made it 4-0.
“It’s real fun to see everybody follow suit,” Young said. “Sometimes you get caught up in everything else that’s going on and forget it’s just a game.”
The Brewers broke through in the third when Carlos Gomez scored on Aoki’s two-out bunt single to make it 4-1. Pacheco hit an RBI single in the bottom half.
Maldonado’s leadoff homer in the fifth cut the lead to 5-2.
Rosario hit a solo homer in the fifth, his 19th, and Young hit a two-run shot into the Rockies bullpen in the sixth to extend the lead to 8-2.
“Obviously, that’s not what I’m trying to do, I’m just trying to put a good swing on it,” Young said. “I knew it was gone. I didn’t know how far.”
Wolf came into the game 7-3 against Colorado but couldn’t match that success. He allowed six runs and 10 hits in five innings.
“I had little or no idea where the ball was going today,” Wolf said. “When you’re out kind of guessing where the ball is going to go, it’s pretty tough to pitch.
“Today is one of those days when you walk off the mound, you know you pitched badly enough that you deserve a loss. That’s not always the case.”
The Brewers trailed 8-3 when they rallied in the ninth off Rex Brothers. Three hits in a row, including an RBI double by Maldonado, brought in Betancourt. He allowed run-scoring singles to Jonathan Lucroy and Aoki before getting Rickie Weeks and Ryan Braun on flyouts to end the game.
Braun, who has six hits in his last 42 at-bats, also made the last out of the eighth with the bases loaded.
“I’ve come through in a lot of situations like that, so certainly I expect to have success,” Braun said. “Certainly I want to be in that situation, I want to have a chance to influence the outcome, and unfortunately it didn’t go well for me.”