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Rockies try again to snap losing streak against Brewers

Sportsnaut
Jul 23, 2022; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers right fielder Hunter Renfroe (12) scores on a wild pitch as Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Jhoulys Chacin (43) covers the plate in the sixth inning at American Family Field. Mandatory Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

Right-hander Chad Kuhl will get the task of trying to finally get the Colorado Rockies into the win column against the Brewers on Sunday in the third game of a four-game series in Milwaukee.

Kuhl (6-5, 4.11 ERA) will be opposed by left-hander Eric Lauer (6-3, 3.64).

Milwaukee took the second game of the series 9-4 on Saturday night after winning the opener 6-5 in 13 innings on Friday. The Brewers have won seven straight against Colorado.

Brandon Woodruff limited the Rockies to one run over six innings on Saturday, and Hunter Renfroe homered for the second consecutive game, putting the Brewers up 3-1 in the fourth inning with his 15th homer, a three-run shot.

The Brewers’ offense has been bolstered by the return of Renfroe, who has been on the injured list twice this season. He hit 31 homers last season with Boston and 85 over a three-season span (2017-19) with San Diego.

“He’s been in a position the last couple nights where you put men on base … and those are game-changing hits,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “He’s that capable every time he steps up there. He’s going to hit homers.”

Renfroe’s two-run homer in the 10th inning on Friday brought the Brewers even at 5-5, and they went on to win in extra innings. His 15 career homers vs. Colorado are his most against any opponent.

“It was a pitcher’s pitch, and sometimes you’ve got to give credit to the opposition and Renfroe’s got power,” Rockies manager Bud Black said after Saturday’s game. “Like I mentioned earlier, he golfed it out of the ballpark. Strong guy.”

Lauer was 5-1 with a 2.49 ERA at the end of May but is 1-2 with a 5.45 ERA in his past seven starts. He has allowed 19 home runs, including 17 by right-handed hitters, after giving up a total of 16 all of last season.

In his most recent start, Lauer allowed one run on two hits in seven innings but did not get the decision in a 2-1 loss at San Francisco on July 16.

Lauer is 1-4 with a 7.30 ERA in nine career starts vs. Colorado, including 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in two starts last season.

Milwaukee moved to strengthen its bullpen Saturday, signing former Giants reliever Jake McGee, who had 31 saves in 2021. The 35-year-old left-hander was released by San Francisco on July 14 after going 1-2 with a 7.17 ERA in 24 appearances.

McGee pitched a scoreless eighth inning Saturday night in his Brewers’ debut.

“There’s no changes to Jake McGee,” Counsell said. “He’s had success in the league. There were a couple suggestions we had and then just do his thing.”

Kuhl is 1-0 in three starts in July but has allowed 12 runs in 14 2/3 innings — an ERA of 7.36. Kuhl is 3-2 with a 3.52 ERA in eight home starts but is 3-3 with a 4.70 ERA in nine starts on the road.

He is 4-2 with a 3.09 ERA in 11 career appearances vs. Milwaukee, including 10 starts.

Rockies first baseman C.J. Cron had a solo homer in the ninth inning Saturday, his 22nd home run of the year. He has safely in six straight games and in 19 of his last 21. He is hitting batting .308 (24-for-78) with six doubles, five homers and 18 RBIs over that span.

–Field Level Media