MILWAUKEE (AP) — Mike Moustakas scored MVP front-runner Christian Yelich with a two-out single in the 10th inning, and the Milwaukee Brewers bounced back to beat the Colorado Rockies 3-2 Thursday in their NL Division Series opener.
After giving up two runs in the ninth that made it 2-all, the Brewers regrouped and soon celebrated. Making their first postseason appearance since 2011, they won their ninth straight game overall.
Yelich hit a two-run homer in the third inning, then opened the 10th with a walk against Adam Ottavino. Yelich advanced to second on a wild pitch and came home on Moustakas’ line drive to right field. After almost winning the Triple Crown this year, Yelich got two hits, scored twice and stole a base in is playoff debut.
Josh Hader and the Brewers allowed just one hit over eight innings in a dominant bullpen game and led 2-0 before Jeremy Jeffress gave up three straight singles to open the ninth. Charlie Blackmon grounded an RBI single shortly after his ground-rule double was overruled on replay review, and Nolan Arenado added a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to tie it.
Game 2 is Friday in Milwaukee with Colorado’s Tyler Anderson opposing Jhoulys Chacin, who led Milwaukee with 35 starts this year. He started Monday when the Brewers beat the Chicago Cubs 3-1 in the NL Central tiebreaker at Wrigley Field.
Joakim Soria picked up the win in the opener with a scoreless 10th.
Chants of “Mooose!” echoed through the stands as the Brewers celebrated on the field.
This was the just the situation that the Brewers had in mind for Moustakas when they got him from Kansas City in a late July trade. The two-time All-Star third baseman had 15 RBIs in 31 postseason games while with the Royals.
Make it 16 now in Milwaukee.
Back in the postseason for the first time in seven seasons, the Brewers might not be leaving any time soon with the way Yelich keeps getting big hits and a deep bullpen mows down batters.
The big-hitting Rockies, meanwhile, are still struggling to find their stroke. They outlasted the Cubs 2-1 in 13 innings to win the NL wild-card game at Wrigley on Tuesday, and this visit to Miller Park meant them playing in a different city for the fourth time in five days.
With more and more teams relying exclusively on relievers in the regular season, the Brewers tried to take the new-wave approach to a new level in October.
Yelich, meanwhile, kept up his smooth, lefty swing. He hit .367 after the All-Star break to spark Milwaukee’s surge, and his hot streak has carried over to the playoffs.
“MVP! MVP!” chanted Brewers fans following the two-run shot in the third off starter Antonio Senzetela.
Just another highlight in Yelich’s breakout season. The Brewers acquired him in an offseason trade with Miami, hoping his five-tool potential could translate to a franchise looking to contend.
A group effort from the pitching staff played just as big a role in limiting the Rockies.
Colorado was 1 of 23 with 10 strikeouts over the first eight innings. They were 3 of 6 in the ninth.
Anderson (7-9, 4.55 ERA) starts Game 2 in Milwaukee, coming off 7 2/3 shutout innings in a 12-0 win on Sunday over Washington that set up the NL West tiebreaker game the next day against the Dodgers. It was the left-hander’s first victory since July 4. Chacin (15-8, 3.50) turned into the Brewers’ most consistent starting pitcher this season. He will work on three days’ rest after allowing one run and one hit in 5 2/3 innings in that win over the Cubs.