MILWAUKEE (AP) — It turns out there is way more to the Milwaukee Brewers than just Christian Yelich.
The rest of this Brew Crew can play, too. Especially those guys in that loaded bullpen.
Jhoulys Chacin pitched five sparkling innings before turning over things to the relievers, Mike Moustakas contributed two more big hits and the Brewers blanked the Colorado Rockies 4-0 Friday to take a 2-0 lead in their NL Division Series.
While the sweet-swinging Yelich had a quiet day by his lofty standards, the NL Central champions showed off their supporting cast on the way to their 10th straight win going back to an impressive finish to the regular season.
Erik Kratz had two hits and two RBIs, Hernan Perez hit two ground-rule doubles and Milwaukee’s bullpen closed the door after Chacin delivered in his playoff debut.
Game 3 is Sunday at Coors Field. Another win, and Milwaukee is into the NL Championship Series for the first time since its previous postseason appearance in 2011.
Nolan Arenado had two of Colorado’s six hits — just two more than the franchise playoff low set in Thursday’s 3-2, 10-inning loss in Game 1. The wild-card Rockies have scored six times in their last four games, and their potent lineup is showing signs of frustration.
Chris Iannetta snapped his bat in half over his right leg after he struck out with a runner on third, no one out and Colorado down 1-0 in the seventh. Arenado threw down his bat and helmet after he struck out swinging in the fifth. Carlos Gonzalez leaned over with his hands on his knees after he lined out in the eighth.
The Rockies had just one hit through eight innings in the series opener before rallying for two runs in the ninth against Jeremy Jeffress.
But the All-Star right-hander was back to his normal self in Game 2, working around a single in the eighth and ninth for his first save in his third career playoff game.
Backed by a sellout crowd of 44,547 waving yellow towels and standing for every big moment, Chacin set up Milwaukee’s bullpen by escaping a pair of early jams. The veteran right-hander, who helped pitch the Brewers past the Chicago Cubs in the division tiebreaker Monday at Wrigley Field, allowed three hits and walked three.
Tyler Anderson matched Chacin zero for zero before Moustakas and Perez hit consecutive one-out doubles in the fourth. The Brewers had a chance for more, but Perez was caught off third in a baserunning blunder and Kratz flied out to end the inning.
Moustakas, who got the game-ending hit in the series opener, came up with the bases loaded in the eighth and singled in Yelich to give Milwaukee a 2-0 lead. Kratz tacked on a two-run single with two out.
The 30-year-old Moustakas helped Kansas City win the World Series in 2015 and was acquired by Milwaukee in a trade in late July. Back in the playoffs for the first time since that run with the Royals, the veteran third baseman is working on another memorable October.
Yelich went 0 for 2 and walked twice. After almost winning the Triple Crown, he homered, singled, walked twice and scored two runs Thursday in his first postseason game.
Colorado right-hander German Marquez and Milwaukee left-hander Wade Miley make their playoff debut in Game 3. Marquez last pitched on Monday in the NL West tiebreaker game at Los Angeles, allowing four runs, two earned, in 4 2/3 innings in the Rockies’ 5-2 loss to the Dodgers. He went 6-6 with a 4.74 ERA at Coors Field this year, compared to 8-5 with a 2.95 ERA in 17 starts on the road. Miley signed with the Brewers in the offseason. The lefty went 3-0 with a 3.52 ERA in five September starts, but lasted just three innings in his most recent outing last Saturday against Detroit.
Jay Cohen can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/jcohenap