Jesus Aguilar, Orlando Arcia and Keon Broxton homered, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Colorado Rockies 6-0 in Game 3 on Sunday in Denver to sweep the National League Division Series.
The Brewers move on to the NL Championship Series, where they will host Game 1 on Friday against either the Dodgers or Braves. Los Angeles led that series 2-0 with Game 3 scheduled for later Sunday at Atlanta.
Erik Kratz had three hits, and Wade Miley teamed with five relievers to produce the Brewers’ second consecutive shutout. Corbin Burnes (1-0) got the win with two innings of relief.
Milwaukee advanced to a League Championship Series for the first time since 2011 and just the third time in team history.
“It’s a great feeling,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell told the media after the game. “I told the guys, we’ve earned the right to play to go to a World Series. And that’s a really, really special feeling.”
Trevor Story had two hits for the Rockies, who batted just .146 in the series. The Brewers gave up just two runs in the series, both coming in the ninth inning of Game 1, when the Rockies rallied to send the game into extra innings.
Counting the NL West tiebreaker game against the Dodgers on Oct. 1, the Rockies mustered six runs total in their last five games, four of them defeats.
“They pitched really well,” Colorado manager Bud Black said of the Brewers. “They’ve got good arms. I think there was a little bit of pressing going on all week. These were games that were high intensity and (had) a lot on the line. You know, the Dodger game, the Cubs game, these three playoff games. I think there were some guys trying a little bit too hard, which is a natural occurrence.”
The Brewers went up early Sunday on German Marquez (0-1). Christian Yelich drew a one-out walk in the first, Ryan Braun singled to put runners on the corners, and Yelich scored on Travis Shaw’s groundout.
Aguilar made it 2-0 when he hit a first-pitch curveball from Marquez with one out in the fourth. It was his first of the series.
Colorado had one chance early but couldn’t capitalize. Story led off the second with a single and Carlos Gonzalez walked with one out, but both were stranded.
DJ LeMahieu hit a two-out double in the third, but Nolan Arenado grounded out to end that inning.
The Brewers took a 4-0 lead on a bad couple of plays by Scott Oberg in the sixth. With two outs and runners on second and third, the reliever was called for a balk when he dropped the ball trying to flip it from his glove to his hand, allowing Mike Moustakas to score from third.
Kratz, who doubled and advanced to third on the balk, then scored on a wild pitch to make it 4-0.
Arcia and Broxton opened ninth with a back-to-back homers off Wade Davis.
Marquez gave up two runs on seven hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out five and walked one.
Miley lasted 4 2/3 scoreless innings, giving up three hits and a walk with two strikeouts. He left with a runner at second and two outs, and Corey Knebel entered to strike out Charlie Blackmon and end the inning.
“The big performance today for me was from Corbin Burnes,” Counsell said. “I thought the Blackmon out was a big out. ... Corbin kind of pulled some big weight today and did a heck of a job, but we’ve gotten so many contributions down there (from the bullpen) and they’re all pitching at such a high level that it makes (my) job pretty easy.”
Yelich, the NL MVP candidate who drew two walks Sunday, is reveling in his first playoff appearance after five losing seasons with the Miami Marlins.
“It makes you appreciate it,” he said. “It makes you realize you don’t get to do this every single year. It’s been a hell of a ride, and hopefully we’ve got more to go.”
—Field Level Media