Tyler Thornburg delivers 4 strong frames; Milwaukee Brewers fall to Rockies


Right-hander Tyler Thornburg got to stretch things out on Monday and other than a second-inning solo home run was very effective for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Left-hander Neal Cotts continues to give fans reasons to wonder why manager Ron Roenicke is so convinced he’s already won a job.

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Cotts gave up two runs in just two-thirds of an inning Monday, allowing two hits and walking two, as the Colorado Rockies broke open a tie game in the bottom of the seventh en route to a 5-1 win over the Brewers at the extremely long-named Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

Stepping into a 1-1 tie after Thornburg allowed a run on two hits over four innings, with four strikeouts, and Chris Perez and Will Smith each worked out of trouble while pitching a scoreless inning apiece, Cotts struck out Tim Wheeler to start the inning and induced a groundout from Rafael Ynoa.

Thus endeth Cotts’ highlight reel.

Brandon Barnes worked a walk and scored the go-ahead run when Wilin Rosario lined a double to center field. Christhian Adames followed with a ground-ball single to left that plated Rosario and Cotts followed that up by walking Noel Cuevas.

Brandon Kintzler came on and walked Dustin Garneau to load the bases before striking out Michael Benjamin to avoid a huge inning.

But Colorado added two more in the eighth, with Omar Carrizales leading off with a triple off the glove of left fielder Bryan Petersen and Wheeler following with a two-run homer to center.

Nolan Arenado homered for the Rockies in the second to give them a 1-0 lead.

The Brewers tied the game in the sixth. Jean Segura led off the inning with a double off Ken Roberts and after Luis Jimenez grounded out, Logan Schafer walked before Scooter Gennett singled to right field to score Segura to tie the game.

Milwaukee had only six hits in the game, with no one getting more than one.

One of the hits belonged to Ryan Braun, who was 1-for-3 and has his Cactus League average up to .190 after his 0-for-13 start.

Thornburg isn’t sure what his role on the club will be, if he makes the final 25-man roster, but he just wants to do whatever job he’s given.

“I’ve dealt with it my first three years in the big leagues and this will be my fourth doing that—just never really knowing what I’m going to be doing,” Thornburg told MLB.com. “But hopefully whatever spot I’m in, I’m going to be successful.”

Thornburg worked as a reliever in 2012, a starter for much of 2013 and a long reliever turned setup man last season.

As for Monday, he said he made some adjustmens as he went along.

“Extremely happy with the outing as far as getting my pitch count up, throwing four innings at this point,” Thornburg said.

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  • The Brewers had a different defensive alignment to start the game, with fourth outfielder Gerardo Parra making the start at first base, a position he’s never played through 364 games in the minor leagues and 833 games in the majors.

    Nothing was hit his way and this isn’t a career change for the two-time Gold Glove winning outfielder.

    “My mind is [to] play outfield,” Parra told MLB.com. “Sometimes, if I’m needed to play first base, I want to play. A little bit different, but it’s nothing big. Just play fun, play happy.”

    Kintzler was charged with two runs on two hits with two walks and a strikeout in two-thirds of an inning. Left-hander Chris Leroux came on to get the final two outs, allowing a hit and fanning one.

    The Brewers (8-10) will be on the bus again Tuesday, right back at Salt River Field at Talking Stick to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks (12-9) under the lights at 8:40 p.m. Central for their first night game of the spring.

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