MILWAUKEE (The Sports Xchange) – Wily Peralta picked up where he left off at the end of the 2016 season, throwing five scoreless innings and striking out five as the Milwaukee Brewers earned their first victory of the year with a 6-1 decision over the Colorado Rockies Wednesday night at Miller Park.
Peralta (1-0) was Milwaukee’s Opening Day starter a year ago but was shelled in that outing and never seemed to find a groove. He was ultimately demoted to Triple-A Colorado Springs in mid-June but wound up back in Milwaukee two months later and closed the season on a high note, posting a 2.92 ERA over his final 10 games.
“He really picked up where he left off last year,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “It was a really good outing. It was a big fastball. They made him work for some stuff, but he kept pounding the zone. He did a real nice job.”
The resurgence came, in large part, by a return of his velocity and that held true again Wednesday as Peralta’s fastball regularly clocked in at 96-97 miles per hour.
“It feels good being able to have my velocity back, especially locating it,” Peralta said. “Since coming back from Triple-A, I’ve been able to define my mechanics and other stuff, and since then it’s been good.”
Peralta’s offense had a big night, too, as Jonathan Villar, Eric Thames and Travis Shaw all hit their first home runs of the season to pace a Brewers’ offense that combined for 10 hits.
“We’ve been swinging (the bats) pretty good, but just having the lead is always good,” Peralta said. “Having three runs gives me a little room to breathe.”
Colorado starter Tyler Chatwood (0-1) pitched six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out five.
Chatwood opened the fourth by striking out Villar, but Thames followed with a solo home run to right-center, giving the Brewers a 1-0 lead. Ryan Braun beat the throw from Nolan Arenado for an infield hit to bring up Shaw, who made it 3-0 with his first home run of the year.
In the sixth, Braun drew a one-out walk, advanced on a balk and scored on a double by Hernan Perez to give Milwaukee a 4-0 lead.
“There were a couple of balls he got up in the zone, out over the plate,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “In this park, if you hit the ball squarely into the air, it’s got a chance to go out and that’s what happened. The guys who hit the homers are guys with power.”
The Rockies’ bullpen extended its scoreless innings streak to start the season to 9 1/3 after Jordan Lyles worked a perfect seventh, but a leadoff single from pinch hitter Jesus Aguilar set the stage for Villar’s homer in the eighth.
Mark Reynolds broke the Brewers’ shutout bid with a two-out RBI single in the ninth of Taylor Jungmann.
Jungmann went on to load the bases before giving way to Neftali Feliz, who struck out Charlie Blackmon to earn his first save.
“They played better than us today,” Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez said. “They deserved to win.”
Base-running gaffes on both sides kept the game scoreless through the first 3 1/2 innings.
Reynolds opened the third with a double but was caught in a rundown one batter later. Orlando Arcia missed his chance to break the deadlock when he tripled but failed to touch the plate when trying to score on Peralta’s flyout to right.
NOTES: Milwaukee claimed INF/OF Nick Franklin off waivers from Tampa Bay on Wednesday. He is expected to report to the team Friday. To make room for Franklin on the 40-man roster, the Brewers designated RHP Michael Blazek for assignment. They will need to make another move to add Franking to the active roster once he reports. … Through the first three games, Brewers 3B Travis Shaw has five hits — all for extra-bases. … Rockies LHP Chris Rusin is due to make a rehab appearance Thursday for Triple-A Albuquerque. Rusin, battling a left oblique injury, is expected to work three innings or throw 45 pitches, manager Bud Black said. … Colorado released RHP Jason Motte on Wednesday. He was designated for assignment at the end of spring
training. … Brewers closer Neftali Feliz earned his 100th career save Wednesday, retiring Charlie Blackmon with the bases loaded in the ninth inning.