EditorsNote: Update 2: Adds better quotes
Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin and four relievers combined on a six-hitter Friday afternoon as the host Milwaukee Brewers rode dominant pitching to a second straight low-scoring win in the National League Division Series, 4-0 over the Colorado Rockies.
With the home team having prevailed in a pair of indoor pitchers’ duels, the scene shifts to hitter-friendly Denver for Game 3 in the best-of-5 series on Sunday.
Mike Moustakas, the hero of Milwaukee’s Game 1 with a walk-off single in the 10th, scored one run and drove in another to highlight the Brewers’ offense.
Chacin (1-0) worked the first five innings, limiting the Rockies to three hits. He also walked three and struck out three.
“Today for me, I was battling along with my command, but when a runner got on base, somebody to run, just made good pitches, and we got out of it,” Chacin said.
The Rockies, who have totaled just six runs in their last four games, put a runner in scoring position in the first and third innings against Chacin but couldn’t cash in.
“You know, the Brewers, they throw the ball well,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “They’ve got a good pitching staff, but it is a little surprising that we haven’t generated more offense.”
The Brewers got to Colorado starter Tyler Anderson for the only run they would need after the left-hander had gotten the first out of the fourth inning. Moustakas then blasted a double to center field, and Hernan Perez smacked a ground-rule double to left-center to give Milwaukee a 1-0 lead.
After Corey Knebel pitched a scoreless sixth, the Rockies had their best opportunity to get even in the seventh when Ian Desmond greeted Joakim Soria with an infield single.
Desmond stole second and continued to third on catcher Erik Kratz’s throwing error with none out. But Soria struck out Chris Iannetta and pinch hitter Matt Holliday, and Josh Hader got Charlie Blackmon to line out to second, ending the threat.
The Brewers broke the game open in the eighth. Moustakas made it 2-0 with a bases-loaded single, and Kratz lined a two-out, two-run single to open a four-run gap.
Closer Jeremy Jeffress, who blew a two-run lead in the ninth in Game 1, pitched around a one-out single by Nolan Arenado in the eighth and leadoff single by Gerardo Parra in the ninth to complete the shutout.
“The way the game played out, I thought he was capable of two innings tonight,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said of Jeffress. “Yesterday was not part of the equation for me. This is a guy that’s been — he’s an All-Star. He’s been one of the more dominant relievers in this league this year.”
Anderson (0-1) went six innings, charged with one run and four hits. He walked two and struck out five.
Perez, who had two doubles, joined with Moustakas, Kratz and Travis Shaw to collect two hits apiece for the Brewers, who have won 10 in a row.
Arenado and Parra had two hits each for the Rockies, who return to Coors Field having won eight of their last nine home games.
“We’ve put a little pressure on ourselves, but we’re excited to get home and get after it again Sunday,” Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu said. “We’re used to these kind of games for sure. Seems like we’ve been playing them for a couple of weeks. Every game a must-win. We just need to relax.”
—Field Level Media