The Helena Brewers (17-30, 2-7) were held to just one run in a 4-1 loss to the Grand Junction Rockies (25-24, 7-4) on Saturday night at Kindrick Legion Field.
Helena jumped out to a lead in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, Jose Gomez reached first on an error and the next three batters pounded out singles, including an RBI from Chad McClanahan, giving Helena a 1-0 lead. Gabriel Garcia came up to bat with the bases still loaded and just one out, but grounded into a 5-3 double play that ended the inning.
The Rockies struck back with a pair of big swings in the second. Facing Brewers starter Nelson Hernandez (5-2), Ramon Marcelino popped a fly ball over the left field fence for a solo home run, his eighth of the year, knotting the game at 1-1. Alan Trejo went back-to-back with Marcelino, hitting his fourth home run to give Grand Junction a 2-1 lead.
Helena pieced together a threat in the bottom of the second but was unable to tie the game. Nicolas Pierre used a swirling ground ball and a misplay by Rockies starter Anderson Amarista (3-1) to reach first base on an error and advanced to second on a single by Antonio Pinero. Kenny Corey grounded into a fielder's choice that cancelled out Pinero, putting men on the corners with two outs. Gomez bounced out to third, ending the Brewers chance at a run.
Grand Junction tacked on a run in the third on an RBI single by Ryan Vilade, going ahead 3-1. Hernandez didn't allow a run after that, tossing 5.0 innings and allowing three runs on seven hits while not issuing a walk and striking out a season-high six batters. The 20-year-old All-Star has pitched at least 5.0 innings in nine of his 10 starts this year.
The Brewers put a man in scoring position in the sixth, seventh and ninth inning, but were unable to drive in a run in all three situations. Helena stranded nine men on base and went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Helena concludes their series with the Rockies on Sunday afternoon at 1:05 PM. The Brewers will send RHP Alec Bettinger (2-1, 5.24) to the mound against Grand Junction RHP Jeffri Ocando (5-0, 3.98). It's Sunday Funday, where dogs are encouraged to join their owners for day baseball at Kindrick Legion Field. Additionally, there will be yoga on the field 20 minutes after the conclusion of the game, courtesy of Yoga Loft Studio. Tickets are available at the box office, over the phone at (406)-495-0500 or online at helenabrewers.net.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.