DENVER (AP) – The Colorado Rockies haven’t had many big leads in this disappointing season. So when they got one Monday night, they made the most of it.
Dexter Fowler, Eric Young Jr., Tyler Colvin and Chris Nelson each had two hits of Colorado’s 15 hits. Every position player for the Rockies had at least one hit as they ended a four-game home losing streak.
The Rockies were spraying the ball around the park from the start. They had 11 of their 15 hits in the first three innings.
“To come up and put a zero up early, get some runs and get on top early, I don’t think we’ve done that a lot,” Francis said. “Even in the games we’ve won. You’re pitching with a lead like that, the pressure’s off. You can concentrate on making your pitches.”
The Rockies have played from behind most of the season, and it shows in their 42-71 record. They’re a surprising 22-37 at home. Poor outings by starters have been a factor, but Francis kept the Brewers off balance.
“Their lefty had us baffled,” Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. “He had good offspeed stuff. The cutter was nice.”
While Francis was cruising, the Brewers pitchers had trouble finding their footing. Starter Mike Fiers couldn’t duplicate his outing on Tuesday when he was perfect through six innings against Cincinnati.
Fiers (6-5) showed none of that sharpness in losing for the first time since July 22. He came into the game 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in August but was hit hard early.
“That wasn’t close to my other starts,” he said. “I’m not happy about it.”
The Rockies started the game with three consecutive hits and took a 3-0 lead. They tacked on another run in the second before blowing it open in a four-run third.
The first six Colorado batters got hits in the inning, with Fiers giving up the first four. He left after Colvin’s RBI double made it 6-0.
Mike McClendon came on and allowed RBI singles to Nelson and LeMahieu that pushed the lead to 8-0.
“The first and third inning, as far as offensive execution, is as good as we’ve done it all year,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “We were aggressive on the bases, we moved runners along, we had two really good offensive innings.”
Fiers allowed a career-high eight runs on nine hits and struck out one in two-plus innings. It was his shortest start of his career and the first time this year he failed to go at least five innings.
“Eight innings and two innings,” Fiers said about the difference in his two starts. “Not good pitching. Just terrible all the way around.”
Roenicke chalked up Fiers’ start to a bad night.
“One of those nights where the command of his fastball and the offspeed stuffs wasn’t there,” he said. “He’s pitched so well that somewhere along the line he’s going to have a game like this.”
The Brewers got one back in the fourth on Corey Hart‘s RBI grounder. Gomez hit a two-run homer – his 11th – in the sixth to make it 8-3 and chase Francis.
Francis (4-4) allowed three runs on six hits, walked two and struck out two in 5 1-3 innings. He picked up his first win since beating Arizona on July 25.
LeMahieu’s RBI single in the seventh- his fourth hit of the game – made it 9-3.
Two of his hits were against Fiers, who is a familiar foe.
“Fiers, I’ve faced him since low A. We’ve kind of come up together,” LeMahieu said. “He’s gotten me, I’ve gotten him. I was lucky to get him today. I kind of knew what to expect today.”
Weeks hit a three-run home run off Will Harris in the ninth. It was his 13th of the season.
NOTES: Rockies C Wilin Rosario allowed his 14th passed ball of the season, a club record. … Brewers RHP Mark Rogers stayed home to await the delivery of his child. Rogers is scheduled to pitch Wednesday. … Rockies RHP Jhoulys Chacin (pectoral injury) and LHP Jorge De La Rosa (elbow surgery) threw successful bullpen sessions Monday. Chacin is scheduled to start for Triple-A Colorado Springs on Thursday. … Milwaukee LHP Randy Wolf (3-8) will face Colorado RHP Tyler Chatwood (2-2) on Tuesday.
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