Rockies drop season opener in 10 innings
AP Sports Writer
MILWAUKEE (AP) – Jonathan Lucroy hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning to give the Milwaukee Brewers a 5-4 victory over Colorado on Monday, ruining the first game for new Rockies manager Walt Weiss.
Rickie Weeks sparked the winning rally when he stole second after he was hit by a pitch with one out. Adam Ottavino (0-1) then issued an intentional walk to Ryan Braun and lost Aramis Ramirez to another walk before Lucroy ended the game with a fly ball to center field.
A big “Luuuuuuc” thundered down from the Miller Park crowd of 45,781 as Weeks came home with the winning run and Lucroy was mobbed by his jubilant teammates.
Ramirez also had a two-run double in Milwaukee’s three-run eighth inning as the Brewers won on opening day for the first time since 2008. Jim Henderson (1-0) worked a perfect 10th after John Axford blew a save opportunity on his 30th birthday.
Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez and Dexter Fowler homered for Colorado, which wasted a terrific start by Jhoulys Chacin. Fowler had three hits, and Tulowitzki and Gonzalez each had two.
Weiss got a one-year deal when he was hired in November after Jim Tracy stepped down following a franchise-worst 64-98 season. Before moving into the dugout with the Rockies, his only head coaching experience was one year at Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, Colo.
And it was quite the opener for the 1988 AL Rookie of the Year with Oakland.
Chacin pitched 6 2-3 innings of one-run ball and the Rockies carried a 3-1 lead into the eighth inning. But it all fell apart in a hurry.
Braun drove in a run with an infield single to shortstop before Ramirez sent a 2-2 pitch from Wilton Lopez into the left-field corner, picking up right where he left off last season when he led the National League with 50 doubles.
Norichika Aoki trotted home from third and Braun came all the way around from first, raising his right arm in celebration as he crossed the plate with the go-ahead run.
But Axford yielded a first-pitch homer to Fowler after he struck out the first two batters in the ninth. Axford, who blew nine save opportunities a year ago, was booed as he trudged off the mound after striking out Josh Rutledge to end the inning.
Aoki also had a solo homer for Milwaukee, which is hoping to make it back to the playoffs after finishing strong last season. Yovani Gallardo allowed 10 hits in his fourth consecutive opening day start, but limited the damage by holding the Rockies to three runs in five innings.
Gonzalez led off the third with a single into right field and Tulowitzki drove the next pitch over the wall in right-center for his first homer since he connected against Houston on May 28. The two-time All-Star played in just 47 games last season due to a groin injury that eventually required surgery to remove scar tissue.
Gonzalez connected in the fifth, leading off with a drive to right. He made the All-Star team for the first time in 2012, but is coming off a lackluster finish at the plate – .222 in August and .262 in September and early October.
Weeks, Aramis Ramirez and Jean Segura had two hits apiece for the Brewers, who finished with eight. Weeks also scored twice.
Gonzalez made two fine defensive plays on consecutive at-bats in the sixth, making a nice running catch on Aoki’s drive to left-center and throwing out Weeks when he tried to take second on his base hit.
NOTES: Aoki also hit his first career homer off Chacin last season, an inside-the-park liner in Milwaukee last April 20. … Joseph Attanasio, the father of Brewers owner Mark Attanasio, performed the national anthem at the home opener for the ninth consecutive season. Asked if his dad practiced, Attanasio said: “He started singing ‘O Sole Mio’ on the plane ride here.” … The Rockies opened on the road for the fifth time in the past six seasons. … It was the fifth-largest crowd in Miller Park history.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap
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