Brewers look to continue grand slam success at Rockies

After completing a six-game homestand with five wins and four grand slams, the National League Central Division-leading Milwaukee Brewers begin a seven-game road trip with a four-game series in the high altitude of Denver on Monday night against the Colorado Rockies.

Right-hander Bryse Wilson (5-3, 3.89 ERA) will start the opener for the Brewers while left-hander Austin Gomber (1-5, 4.63) will get the nod for Colorado.

Wilson will be making his 20th appearance and 10th start of the season. He is 1-0 with a 3.38 ERA in three career games (one start) against the Rockies. He comes in off a 3-1 win over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday, during which he threw six innings of shutout relief, allowing three hits while striking out four.

Gomber is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in seven career appearances (three starts) against Milwaukee and will be glad to see the calendar flip to July.

After going 1-0 with an impressive 0.68 ERA in four starts in May, Gomber was 0-3 with a 9.39 ERA in five June starts that featured 15 first-inning runs allowed, including five on six singles in his last start on Tuesday, a 5-2 loss at Houston.

Gomber bounced back to retire 13 in a row after a Jose Altuve leadoff single in the second, but by then, the damage had been done.

“It seems like it’s been my Achilles’ heel this year, the first inning,” Gomber said. “I’ve got to find a way to make an adjustment there. I’m pretty proud of being able to come back and settle in and get us deeper into the game.”

The Rockies finished a 1-4 road trip with a 5-4 victory in 14 innings on Sunday afternoon over the White Sox in Chicago. Colorado finished with just six hits and was 2-of-17 with runners in scoring position but pulled out the win on manager Bud Black’s 67th birthday on Michael Toglia’s sacrifice fly that drove in Ryan McMahon.

“With a runner placed at second (in extra innings), it’s rare that a game goes this long,” Black said.

Milwaukee, meanwhile, put away the visiting Chicago Cubs early with a seven-run fourth en route to a 7-1 victory for the Brewers’ 50th win of the season. Brice Turang belted his second grand slam in eight games and the team’s fifth slam during that span. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the San Diego Padres in 2020 were the only other team to accomplish that grand slam feat.

“We found the secret plan for how to hit homers with the bases loaded, and, really, it’s been working,” Milwaukee manager Pat Murphy said jokingly. “Was a recipe online and we got it.

“Most homers are thrown,” Murphy added. “I think if you look at all those grand slams that we’ve hit, you see where the pitches are, and you’ve got to be ready when you get that opportunity.”

Besides Turang’s two, Rhys Hoskins, Jake Bauers and rookie Jackson Chourio have also hit grand slams over the past eight games.

Milwaukee hits the road with a 6 1/2-game lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central. After the four games against the Rockies, the Brewers play a three-game weekend series in Los Angeles against the NL West-leading Dodgers.

“There’s a lot to be pleased about, but there’s still a mountain to climb,” Murphy said. “We’ve got half a season left and we have to improve in just about every way you can.”

–Field Level Media