Rockies rough up Lohse, cruise over Crew in opener
By Thomas Harding and Adam McCalvy
MILWAUKEE -- Nolan Arenado had four RBIs and was a triple shy of the cycle, Corey Dickerson homered and had four RBIs and Troy Tulowitzki had three hits and scored three runs -- all by the fourth inning of a 10-0 Rockies Opening Day rout of the Brewers on Monday at Miller Park.
While unlikely Rockies Opening Day starter Kyle Kendrick pitched seven shutout innings, Milwaukee's typically steady Kyle Lohse was hit hard. Lohse matched a dubious career high in surrendering eight earned runs on 10 hits in only 3 1/3 innings of his third career Opening Day start.
Colorado scored four runs in the first inning, two in the third and four more in the fourth against Lohse and reliever Michael Blazek in mounting a 10-0 lead in front of the third-largest crowd (46,032 fans) in 15 seasons at Miller Park.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Paying dividends: Rockies manager Walt Weiss pushed Carlos Gonzalez to second in the lineup and dropped Dickerson to sixth, hoping for greater power when the lineup turns over. But he didn't have to wait that long Monday. In the first, Gonzalez, Tulowitzki and Arenado each doubled. Then Dickerson homered into the right-field seats for a 4-0 lead. More >
Missed opportunity: The way to fight back from a four-run, first-inning deficit is to chip away, and the Brewers had a prime opportunity in the second inning after Aramis Ramirez and Adam Lind singled and Scooter Gennett was hit with a one-out pitch. A hit from eight-hole hitter Jean Segura could have halved the deficit, but he laced a changeup sharply to third base, where Arenado initiated an inning-ending double play.
"That's nothing you can control," Segura said. "I just hit it in the wrong spot."
Escapability: Kendrick entered the season with a .278 batting average against, but the figure dropped to .267 with men on base. Weiss likes a guy comfortable with traffic. With one out and bases loaded in the second, Kendrick calmly used an 82-mph changeup to work Segura into a double-play grounder that prevented the big inning the Brewers sorely needed. More >
Lohse-ing effort: Lohse had been charged with eight earned runs in seven previous big league starts, but this marked only the third time he surrendered that many runs in fewer than four innings. Seven of Colorado's 10 hits off Lohse went for extra bases. Lohse's "game score," a measure developed by stats guru Bill James, was nine -- the lowest of Lohse's career. More >
"If we can stay healthy, we're going to compete. It's a really tough division. It's the new American League East. I love the competition. I love that the division is tight. We're going to be in the mix." More > -- Brewers owner Mark Attanasio
"He just swings hard in case he hits it -- that's pretty much his approach." -- Weiss on Dickerson's hitting approach.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Last year the Rockies finished a franchise-worst 21-60 on the road, and reached double figures in runs just twice. The last time was June 29 -- at Miller Park. On Monday, it took the Rockies four innings to score 10 runs.
ZEROS ON THE SCOREBOARD
This was the Rockies' first shutout victory on Opening Day and the Brewers' first shutout loss on Opening Day since 2001, when Colorado's Mike Hampton pitched a winning debut and Milwaukee's Jamey Wright lost a pitchers' duel to the Dodgers' Chan Ho Park. The Brewers have a knack for playing in lopsided season openers; of the last four Opening Day shutouts in which the winning team scored in double digits, the Brewers played in three of them.
BRAUN INJURY TO BE MONITORED Ryan Braun exited the game in the sixth inning with a strained rib cage muscle and said he would know more on Tuesday morning, including whether he would need further testing like an MRI. More >
WHAT'S NEXT Rockies: When righty Jordan Lyles was out with a broken left hand last year, he developed a changeup that he honed this spring. Then Lyles worked on his curve. When he starts Tuesday at 6:10 p.m. MT against the Brewers, he'll unveil the new Lyles. "I'm not the pitcher I was last year or four years ago when I made my debut," Lyles said. "I have a lot more confidence."
Brewers: Last year, Matt Garza's season debut was a gem. He'll try to replicate that success against a Rockies team riding high from Monday's season opener. Against the Braves in the third game of the 2014, Garza and Atlanta starter Aaron Harang each took no-hitters into the seventh inning before Garza surrendered a home run that represented the only offense in a 1-0 Brewers loss.He spent this spring focused on simplifying his mechanics to lessen the threat of injury.