MLB Baseball

Final-10 2 3   4 5 6   7 8 9   10 R H E
Milwaukee0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 280
Colorado0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 3100
  W: J. Díaz (6-4)   L: M. Albers (8-6)
5:10 PM PT6:10 PM MT7:10 PM CT8:10 PM ET20:10 ET0:10 GMT8:10 5:10 PM MST7:10 PM EST7:40 PM VEN4:10 UAE (+1)7:10 PM CT, September 28, 2019
Coors Field, Denver, Colorado  Attendance: 47,381

Brewers face Rockies with division hopes in balance

In the heat of the National League Central title race, the Milwaukee Brewers missed a chance to catch the St. Louis Cardinals, who lost to the Chicago Cubs on Friday night.

However, the Brewers were far more concerned about the status of outfielder Ryan Braun, who left their Friday game against the host Colorado Rockies in the second inning due to a left calf strain.

Braun said it felt a little better after treatment and that he would have an MRI on the leg. His status for the rest of the series and the playoffs will be determined after the test.

Milwaukee's starting lineup Friday was without third baseman Mike Moustakas, who was nursing a sore left elbow. He pinch-hit in the ninth inning, popping out to end the game.

The Brewers fell 11-7 to the Rockies in the series opener, with Milwaukee relievers allowing seven runs in the sixth inning to squander a 2-1 lead.

The loss, coupled with the Cardinals' 8-2 defeat to the Chicago Cubs, leaves the Brewers one game behind the first-place St. Louis in the division with two games to go. Milwaukee is two games back of the Washington Nationals in the chase for the top NL wild card.

Before the Friday bullpen collapse, Brewers pitchers posted a 1.30 ERA over the previous 10 games, which had helped fuel an 18-2 stretch that clinched a postseason berth.

"You catch some breaks when you go on a winning streak like this. We've also pitched so well; that's not catching a break," Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said before Friday's game.

"Our pitchers have thrown the ball so well. There have been big hits in this stretch, but we've pitched exceptionally well, we've kept runs off the board, and it's taking pressure off what the offense has had to do."

Counsell sends left-hander Gio Gonzalez to face Colorado's Chi Chi Gonzalez on Saturday night. Gio Gonzalez (3-2, 3.70 ERA) has pitched against the Rockies six times in his career, going 4-1 with a 3.58 ERA. Half of those starts have come at Coors Field, and he went 2-0 with a 4.60 ERA in those contests.

His Colorado counterpart has not faced the Brewers in his career. Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-6, 5.68 ERA) has been in the rotation since mid-July, and after a rough six weeks, he has been pitching well for the Rockies.

He got his first career win against St. Louis on Sept. 10. Chi Chi Gonzalez came on in relief of Kyle Freeland to face the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sept. 21 and tossed five strong innings to get his second win.

After posting an 11.81 ERA in August, Gonzalez is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in four games this month, three of which have been starts. He is getting an extended look in the Colorado rotation due to injuries to starters, and he's making the most of the opportunity after missing two years following Tommy John surgery.

"It feels great," Gonzalez said after fanning eight Dodgers last week. "I'm happy to be pitching in September again. No issues, thankfully."

--Field Level Media

Updated September 28, 2019

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