Rockies 9, Brewers 8
MILWAUKEE (AP)—Todd Helton keeps making sure Milwaukee’s grand slams don’t mean all that much.
Helton drove in four runs with a triple and a home run in Colorado’s 9-8 victory Saturday night over the Brewers, who got back into the game with a grand slam from Geoff Jenkins in the seventh inning.
Helton had two hits and scored twice in Colorado’s 8-6 comeback win the night before, when the Rockies negated John Vander Wal’s grand slam.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been with a team where the other team hits grand slams in the first two games and we win both games,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.
The Rockies got six solid innings from Darren Oliver (6-5), who allowed three runs on five hits for his second straight win on the road after beginning 0-5 in his first eight starts away from Coors Field.
Oliver, who hadn’t won three straight decisions in more than two years, entrusted his bullpen with an 8-3 lead, but Jenkins took Nelson Cruz deep for his second career grand slam in the seventh to make it 8-7.
But Fuentes struck out three in the inning, including Jenkins to end it, for his second save.
“We kept adding on,” Helton said. “That was the big thing. Payton’s home run obviously was the big hit.”
And for the second straight night, the Brewers couldn’t celebrate a bases-loaded home run for very long.
“Grand slams are nice, but we’ve been playing catch-up for most of the game,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said. “That gets us back in it, but we’ve got to nail it down. We can’t be giving up any more runs.
“We’ve got to just find a way to keep the ball in the park. The home runs are killing us right now.”
Charles Johnson also homered for the Rockies, who have gone deep five times in the first two games of the series at Miller Park, where 138 home runs have been hit, tops in the major leagues.
Oliver recovered from a shaky second inning in which he walked light-hitting catcher Keith Osik and starting pitcher Matt Ford with the bases full. That tied the game at 2, erasing the lead Helton gave him with a two-run triple in the first inning.
Johnson’s two-run homer off Ford (0-1) came in the fourth. His 11th homer made it 4-2. Payton added a two-run single in the fifth and Helton hit a two-run shot off John Foster in the sixth for his 15th home run and an 8-2 lead.
Wes Helms’ 14th homer in the bottom of the inning made it 8-3.
Helton, needing a double for the cycle, struck out against Nance in the eighth. Helms, needing a triple for the cycle, struck out against Justin Speier in the bottom of the inning.
Ford, a rookie making his second career start in the major leagues, allowed six runs—five earned—on eight hits and two walks in 4 2-3 innings. His worst pitch was the one Johnson hit 420 feet.
“I made a horrible pitch,” he said. “It was right down the middle. I was trying to throw a slider low and away. At this level, if you make a pitch likethat, you’re going to pay for it.”
Rockies RF Larry Walker went 1-for-5 and is one hit shy of tying Dante Bichette’s club record of 1,278. … Jenkins also hit a grand slam May 31, 2002, at San Diego. … Jenkins actually went 4-for-5 Friday night following an official scoring change of a play that originally was ruled an error on first baseman Helton. Jenkins was credited with an RBI and starter Aaron Cook was charged with a fifth earned run. … Yost has a theory about all the home runs that have been hit at Miller Park: it’s one of 13 ballparks that is using the Questec umpire rating system, which has shrunk the strike zone, Yost said. “You’re basically narrowing that pitcher down to have to throw the ball right down the middle of the plate to get that ball called a strike,” he said. “And in major league baseball, if you do that, you’re going to get killed.” … Young extended his hitting streak to 14 games, a season high for Brewershitters.