MILWAUKEE (AP) — Christian Yelich and the Milwaukee Brewers once again got a spark from a crowd that’s back at full capacity as they rallied in the late innings for a second straight day.
Yelich hit a two-run homer during a six-run eighth inning that gave the Brewers a 10-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday. That came one day after Milwaukee erased a four-run deficit to beat the Rockies 5-4 in 11 innings.
“It’s an awesome feeling,” Yelich said. “It definitely affects the game. It has an outcome on the game when the fans are loud and the crowd’s into it. I think we as a team feed on that and usually good things start happening for the Brewers.”
Omar Narváez had a tiebreaking sacrifice fly, Luis Urías singled home two runs and Willy Adames delivered an RBI double during that eighth-inning outburst for the NL Central-leading Brewers.
This weekend’s series marks the first time there haven’t been any attendance restrictions at American Family Field due to pandemic-related protocols. The Brewers played in front of 32,573 fans on Saturday after having a crowd of 31,140 on Friday.
“It gave us more energy, more focus,” said Avisaíl García, who went 3 for 5 with a homer and double. “I think when you have the fans in the stands, it gives you a lot.”
That Milwaukee crowd helped produce more misfortune for the Rockies away from Coors Field. Colorado’s 6-30 road record is the worst of any Major League Baseball team.
“I’d say recently the bullpen inconsistency has come back to bite us,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “Offensively, incrementally we’re doing a little bit better than we were earlier in the year. But I’ve said it all along, you have to combine all three facets. You’ve got to hit, you’ve got to pitch and you’ve got to play defense to win a big-league game. So far on the road, it’s been tough to put those three together.”
Milwaukee finished with a season-high 14 hits and improved to 4-2 against the Rockies this season, with all four Brewers wins coming on their final at bat.
The Brewers won 5-4 in 11 innings Friday after trailing 4-0 in the seventh. They rallied from a 5-3 deficit and produced two runs in the ninth to win 6-5 on June 19. They blew a 6-0 lead on Sunday but scored in the ninth to win 7-6.
“It’s not necessarily the opponent,” Yelich said. “It’s just kind of the way our team is, I think. It’s just been the Rockies because that’s who we’ve played a lot this past week. I think we just have confidence if the game’s close, we’re going to find a way, just do what we’ve got to do and push one across.”
Trevor Story hit a two-run homer off Brewers starter Adrian Houser to give the Rockies a 4-3 lead with two outs in the fifth inning. García tied it with a solo shot off Jhoulys Chacín in the seventh.
The game was still tied when Rockies reliever Carlos Estévez (2-1) walked Daniel Robertson and hit Manny Piña with a pitch to start the eighth. Jace Peterson followed with a bunt hit that loaded the bases.
On the ninth pitch of his at bat, Narváez hit a fly to center that brought home Robertson.
“He just keeps himself alive in at-bats,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “It’s not always a hard-hit ball, but something good happens because he’s keeping himself alive.”
Urías followed with a two-run single up the middle past a drawn-in infield. Yelich then blasted Ben Bowden’s first pitch over the right-field wall for his fifth homer. The Brewers scored one more run on back-to-back doubles by García and Adames.
Brad Boxberger (3-2) pitched a scoreless eighth inning to earn the win.
Rockies: Black said 1B Matt Adams (elbow) “has been cleared to do everything at a high-effort level” and is potentially closer to a rehabilitation assignment. … RHP Mychal Givens (back) threw a bullpen session Saturday. … LHP Austin Gomber (forearm) is scheduled to throw a side session Sunday and Tuesday.
Brewers: 2B Kolten Wong left the game with tightness in his left calf. “We’re hoping it’s a cramp,” Counsell said. “We’ll probably know more tomorrow when he shows up and gets a little activity going.”
RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-4, 5.41 ERA) starts for Colorado and LHP Eric Lauer (1-3, 5.21) pitches for Milwaukee as the Rockies and Brewers conclude their three-game series Sunday afternoon.
TOP PHOTO: Milwaukee Brewers second baseman Kolten Wong, front left, dives into second base with a double ahead of the tag by Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story, right, during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, June 26, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
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