Mench smacked a tiebreaking, pinch-hit RBI triple to lift the Milwaukee Brewers to a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday. He scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-2 for the Brewers, who remain 3 1/2 games ahead of the Chicago Cubs in the National League Central.
“I had actually thought about bunting,” said Mench, who has two sacrifice bunts in his career and none since 2002. “You get three chances to try and get him over—you get three strikes.
“I am looking just for something to hit that way, but with the situation, left-handed pitcher, he is going to try and throw something inside. I guess he didn’t get it far enough in.”
Colorado, which had won six of eight, dropped below .500 to 45-46.
The Brewers scored twice in the seventh off reliever Jeremy Affeldt to break a 2-2 tie. Jenkins led off with a double. Mench, pinch-hitting for Gabe Gross, lined a ball into the right-field corner for the triple, his second of the season. Mench scored on Affeldt’s wild pitch to pinch hitter J.J. Hardy.
Affeldt (4-2) had retired 16 of his previous 17 batters before Jenkins’ double.
“I was rushing a little bit out there, for whatever reason,” Affeldt said. “I don’t really have an explanation for why I was rushing, I just wasn’t as relaxed as I usually am out there. I missed my location on Mench. I left it more middle than I definitely want to in that situation. He went with it pretty good.”
Chris Iannetta walked to lead off the ninth. He was replaced by pinch-runner Omar Quintanilla, who went to second on a wild pitch and third on a sacrifice bunt by Jamey Carroll. Cordero struck out Ryan Spilborghs for the second out and got Kaz Matsui to fly out to right field to end the game.
It is Cordero’s first save in 19 games.
The Brewers—who won 2-1 in 10 innings Saturday night—took a 2-1 lead into the seventh, but committed two errors to help Colorado tie it.
Troy Tulowitzki started the inning with a single, chasing Suppan. Tulowitzki went to second on a sacrifice and scored on pinch-hitter Cory Sullivan’s single. Spilborghs then reached on third baseman Ryan Braun’s throwing error, and Matsui reached on an infield single, but Wise got Matt Holliday to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
“We had one out, and we had him swinging the bat,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “If you could pick anybody out of our dugout right now, you’d want to send Matt up. He embraces those opportunities, but you gotta give that pitcher credit. Wise made a good pitch.”
“We missed some opportunities with the bat today,” Hurdle said. “That was unfortunate. There was a couple of chances where a big hit would have given us some distance and some space, and we weren’t able to take advantage of that.”
Suppan entered the game with a 3-6 record and 6.65 ERA in his past 12 starts after beginning the year 5-2 with a 2.63 ERA. On Sunday, he allowed two runs and five hits in six innings. He struck out five and walked three—just the second quality start for the Brewers in the past 12 games.
“He’s back to where he was at the beginning of the year,” Yost said. “That’s about as good as you’re going to see him. He was on the attack. His stuff was sharp. He was throwing strikes. It’s good to see. It’s a good sign.”
Suppan also had an RBI single as part of a two-run fifth that gave Milwaukee a 2-1 lead.
“I was able to stay out of some damage and contribute to a win,” Suppan said. “(Aaron) Cook had great stuff, and it was tough to pick it up. That was just a defensive swing, and fortunately it hit my bat and had enough on it to get into the outfield.”
Cook, who had lost five of eight starts coming in, pitched well, retiring the first 11 batters and giving up four hits and two earned runs in six innings. Cook struck out four and walked two.
Brewers RHP Ben Sheets said after the game that his right middle finger had not improved since he left Saturday night’s game with a sprained distal. “I just can’t put any pressure on it,” he said. Sheets said he remains uncertain if he will have an MRI on Monday, and he is not sure if he can make his next start. X-rays were negative Saturday, when Sheets left the game in the fourth inning after throwing a pitch to Todd Helton. … Rockies RHP Taylor Buchholz will make his eighth start—and first start since June 1—Monday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Buchholz, who was moved to the bullpen in early June, is starting for injured RHP Jason Hirsh (sprained right ankle). Hirsh is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list Wednesday. … Sunday’s game was “Cerveceros Day” to honor Hispanics. The Brewers wore “Cerveceros” jerseys and gave away Chorizo bobbleheads in honor of one of the team’s racing sausages.