Hader tagged in 9th, Brewers lose in 10; still trail Cards
DENVER — Milwaukee closer Josh Hader gave up a tying home run with two outs in the ninth inning and the Brewers lost to Colorado 3-2 in the 10th Saturday night, preventing them from catching St. Louis atop the NL Central.
The Brewers will go into Sunday’s regular-season finale one game behind the Cardinals, who lost 8-6 to the Chicago Cubs. If the Cards and Brewers wind up tied, there would be a one-game tiebreaker Monday in St. Louis for the division title.
If the Brewers don’t overtake the Cardinals, they will play at Washington on Tuesday night in the NL wild-card game.
With a chance to tie for the division lead, Hader quickly retired the first two batters in the ninth. But rookie Sam Hilliard then stepped up as a pinch-hitter and launched an opposite-field drive to left field that made it 2-all.
Trevor Story led off the Colorado 10th with his 35th home run, connecting against Matt Albers (8-6).
The loss was more painful when the Brewers lost another player to injury. Outfielder Lorenzo Cain, who robbed the Rockies of a homer with a catch over the wall in center in the seventh, left the game in the ninth with a left ankle sprain. He was hurt trying to score from first on a double by Ben Gamel.
Manager Craig Counsell was ejected in the ninth inning arguing that Cain didn’t have a lane to slide home. Cain has been troubled by a problem in the same ankle earlier this month.
Milwaukee built a 2-0 lead on Eric Thames’ 25th home run in the fifth and an RBI double in the seventh by Orlando Arcia. Three solo home runs by the Rockies sent the Brewers into Sunday needing more help from the Cubs. Ian Desmond homered off Drew Pomeranz in the Rockies eighth.
Jairo Diaz (6-4) got the win.
Cain finished with two hits and was thrown out twice on the basepaths, but he made up for it with a big catch on Garrett Hampson’s drive in the seventh. He was greeted with a line of teammates near third base as he jogged off the field after the inning.
Brewers third baseman Mike Moustakas was back in the lineup after not starting Friday’s game with a nagging sore left elbow. Moustakas, who pinch-hit in the loss said, his elbow “flared up recently” but added it felt much better after a day off.
“It’s something I’ve always dealt with,” he said. “You play 162 games your arm gets a little sore.” He doubled in four trips to the plate.
RHP Jeff Hoffman (2-6, 6.78 ERA) will start the final game of the season for the Rockies. Counsell has not named a starter for Sunday’s game.
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The Glenwood Springs-Rifle sports rivalry goes way back for GSHS baseball coach and former Demons multi-sport student-athlete Eric Nieslanik.