Rockies, dominated by Brewers’ Colin Rea, keep a clean sheet at Coors Field – Longmont Times-Call

Brendan Rodgers of the Colorado Rockies reacts after taking a strikeout against Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Colin Rea to end the third inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, July 3, 2024, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The Rockies offense is still a Rubik’s Cube. Just when they’re starting to figure it out, things aren’t going well.

A typical example: their 3-0 loss to the Brewers on Wednesday night at Coors Field in front of 34,177 spectators.

Veteran right-hander Colin Rea of ​​Milwaukee confounded Colorado for seven innings, allowing six hits and never allowing back-to-back hits. He struck out four times and did not allow a walk. Colorado’s only extra-base hit against Rae was a one-out double by catcher Elias Diaz in the fourth inning.

“He throws three different fastballs and that’s always difficult,” said third baseman Ryan McMahon, who was 0 for 3 against Rae and 0 for 4 overall. “He kind of lulls you to sleep and then throws that four-seamer past you. He’s got enough on him — 94 mph, high release, good extension — to keep you off balance. I thought he mixed and matched that pretty well.”

Manager Bud Black agreed.

“Rea is an experienced pitcher and knows his game,” Black said. “He worked on both sides of the plate. … He had really good control and his hitting percentage was good.”

Rae threw 97 pitches, 67 of which were strikes.

The Rockies recorded their ninth shutout, the third at home. The four shutouts are the fourth most in the major leagues this season. The Rockies scored 0 of 8 runs with runners in scoring position and have scored 9 of 61 runs with runners in scoring position in their nine games in which they scored 3-6 runs.

“We just weren’t dangerous tonight, we just didn’t get it done,” Black said. “We just couldn’t put the shots together, and that’s been a little bit of a problem all season.”

Colorado’s best chance to rally came in the eighth inning against right-hander Jakob Junis. Charlie Blackmon reached first base on a two-out walk and Brendan Rodgers hit a single into shallow right field. Ryan McMahon stepped up and hit an 0-1 changeup into left field, only to see Christian Yelich catch him for the final out.

Centerfielder Brenton Doyle (2 for 4) hit a one-out double into the gap between right and center off Junis in the ninth inning, but Doyle hung around. Junis struck out Michael Toglia and ended the game by fanning out Nolan Jones on a 3-2 breaking ball.

Colorado starter Dakota Hudson put in a decent performance as a traffic cop and avoided a blowout in the innings, but as Colorado’s offense stalled, he was forced out with a 3-0 deficit.

Yelich, who was voted a starter for the All-Star Game earlier in the day, hit a 446-foot home run off the facade of the second deck in right field to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

The Brewers increased their lead to 2-0 in the second when they combined a two-out walk by Sal Frelick, who had advanced to second base on Hudson’s wild pitch, with Jake Bauers’ single to right.

Hudson escaped a tight spot in the third inning by throwing out Willy Adames and getting Garrett Mitchell to make a groundout to the second baseman.

The fifth was chaotic – for both teams.

Milwaukee loaded the bases with singles by Brice Turang and William Contreras and a walk by Yelich. Hudson struck out Adames for the third time — on his second attempt — and Adames walked against home plate umpire Mark Ripperger.

Adames was thrown out and Hudson was one out away from a clean comeback, but he walked Mitchell after four throws, forcing a run.

Willy Adames, right, of the Milwaukee Brewers argues with home plate umpire Mark Ripperger after calling Adames for striking in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Wednesday, July 3, 2024, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Willy Adames, right, of the Milwaukee Brewers argues with home plate umpire Mark Ripperger after calling Adames for striking in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Wednesday, July 3, 2024, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Hudson’s night was over: three runs allowed on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings, three walks and two strikeouts. He needed 90 pitches to get through the night.

“I was trying to figure out what I could do to keep the game as close as possible,” Hudson said. “I just couldn’t get as far as I wanted to. After the first inning, I thought I could settle in and mix up my pitches.”

Black added: “Hudson hung in there. It was a little bit of a struggle. The number of throws was high.”

Hudson is now 2-12 with a 5.84 ERA. His 12 losses are the most in the major leagues and the most by a Rockies pitcher before the All-Star break in franchise history. Darryl Kile was 5-11 in 1998.

On a night when the Rockies’ overwhelmed and beleaguered bullpen needed some help, right-hander Peter Lambert was outstanding. Recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque before the game, he shut out the Brewers for 4 1/3 innings, allowing no runs on two hits. He allowed no walks and recorded two strikeouts.

Black called Lambert’s performance “outstanding.” Asked if Lambert was in talks to move into the starting lineup, Black replied: “We’ll definitely talk about it. But tonight it looked good for Peter.”

The pitching duel on Thursday

Brewers RHP Tobias Myers (5-2, 3.26 ERA) at Rockies RHP Cal Quantrill (6-6, 3.78)

6:10 p.m., Thursday, Coors Field

TV: Rockies.TV (Streaming); Comcast/Xfinity (channel 1262); DirecTV (683); Spectrum (130, 445, 305, 435 or 445, depending on region).

Radio: 850 AM/94.1 FM

Quantrill has been Colorado’s best pitcher but is hoping to rebound. In his last outing, the right-hander allowed five runs on seven hits, including three home runs, in 5 1/3 innings against the White Sox in Chicago. Quantrill ranks fourth among National League pitchers with a WAR of 2.6 (Baseball Reference) and seventh with 10 good starts. He has shined at Coors Field, going 2-2 with a 3.09 ERA in six starts at Coors Field. He has made just one career appearance against the Brewers, pitching two-thirds of an inning as a relief pitcher on September 5, 2020 as a member of the Guardians.

Myers is on a roll, going 4-0 with a 1.44 ERA in his last five starts. But he struggled last Saturday against the Cubs, receiving a no-decision in the Brewers’ 5-3 loss. In six innings, he allowed three runs on seven hits (one home run) with two walks, six strikeouts and two walks. The 25-year-old rookie has never played against the Rockies.

Probable pitching

Friday: Royals LHP Cole Ragans (5-6, 3.33) at Rockies LHP Kyle Freeland (0-3, 7.94), 6:10 p.m.

Saturday: Royals RHP Seth Lugo (11-2, 2.17) at Rockies LHP Austin Gomber (1-5, 4.72), 7:10 p.m.

— Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post

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