Missoula, MT - The Brewers on a warm Tuesday night at Allegiance Field held the lead for most of the night, and gave it up in the bottom of the eighth inning. With two outs and nobody on in the top of the ninth, it looked as if the game might be going to extras in the Osprey didn't win in walk off fashion. The Brewers got the next four on, scoring three to take a 6-3 lead going into the bottom of the ninth, winning 6-3. Helena is now 5-2 in the second half.
The Brewers got the first two on in the first and failed to score, and Missoula took advantage in the bottom of the frame. With one on and two out, Zack Shannon muscled up a ball to right, sailing over the fence for a two run homer, his eighth of the year.
Helena though punched right back thanks to a defensive miscue. Pablo Abreu walked with two out and nobody on, and Bryan Connell hit a chopper to third that Eddie Hernandez threw wide of first. The ball rolled into the right field bullpen, scoring Abreu easily and moving Connell to third. Jesus Lujano made Hernandez pay for the mistake singling into center field, scoring Connell to tie the game.
Helena took the lead in the fourth as Pablo Abreu hit a solo shot to right center field, his fifth of the year and his third in the second half.
After a 20 pitch first inning, Helena starter Blake Lillis locked in, needing just 44 pitches to complete the next six innings. The lefty forced two double plays and during that stretch and faced just one batter over the minimum.
Lillis went back to the mound for the eighth, but Brandon Leyton took the first pitch he saw and parked it over the left field wall, tying the game at three. Jesus Munoz walked, ending the night for Lillis. Joey Matulovich (W, 2-1) then entered and got the next three in order, with two coming on strike outs.
Bryan Menendez entered for the ninth for Missoula, and got the first two he faced. Brice Turang, who already had two hits in his Helena debut, flipped a ball into left field for a hit to keep the inning alive. Yeison Coca did the same thing, setting up David Fry, who singled into center, scoring Turang and moving Coca to third, giving the Brewers the 4-3 lead. Chad McClanahan then hit a fly ball to right the David Sanchez lost in the lights. It fell for a double and scored both runners, extending the lead to 6-3.
Matulovich allowed two base runners on in the ninth, but struck out the last two to end the game. He has earned the win in each of his last two appearances, striking out 12 over six innings.
Helena looks for their third win in a row tomorrow as Victor Castaneda takes the hill, opposed by Deyni Olivero. First pitch is at 7:05 PM, with the pregame show hitting the airwaves of helenabrewers.net at 6:55 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.