Rockies, closer Wade Davis walk-off losers for second straight game

MILWAUKEE — The Rockies desperately needed a victory. Not just to keep pace in the torrid National League playoff race. They needed it for their psyche.

They didn’t get it.

Eric Thames hit a gigantic, three-run walk-off homer off struggling closer Wade Davis to lift the Brewers to a 5-3 victory Friday night at Miller Park. It was Colorado’s third walk-off loss in five games.

It was the first time Colorado suffered back-to-back walk-off losses since 2013. But that team wasn’t in a pennant race, this one is.

The obvious question to manager Bud Black after the game was whether or not it is time to give Davis from his role as closer, at least for the time being.

“No,” was Black’s quick answer.

Davis, who blew a save against the Cardinals in the ninth inning on Thursday afternoon, struck out former Royals teammate Mike Moustakas to get the first out of the ninth Friday night. But then he walked Jesus Aguilar on five pitches and Travis Shaw on a full count. Out No. 2 came on a pop-up to Davis by Jonathan Schoop. Then came Thames’ homer to deep right field — the second walk-off home run of his career.

“He was ready for it, a fastball in,” said Davis, who blew his sixth save of the season and saw his ERA rise to 5.09. He’s blown three saves in each of his last three chances vs. Milwaukee.

“I was definitely trying to elevate it another 10 to 12 inches higher,” Davis said of the fastball Thames mashed 404 feet for the game-winner. “We had thrown two curveballs in a row and we were going to go back to it. I was just trying to elevate the pitch.”

Black predicted that Davis, who signed a three-year, $52 million deal to come to Colorado, will bounce back from the difficult stretch.

“He’s had a couple of rough ones, (but) you just have to keep going,” Black said. “He’s one of the best relievers in the game. He’s had a couple of rough nights. But Wade is going to be fine.”

Davis agreed. When asked if his confidence was shaken, he replied: “No. I had good stuff the whole inning. When you are going through stretches like this, it’s just tough for the whole team to swallow, more than (for) my selfish reasons.”

Right-hander Adam Ottavino, Colorado’s only truly dependable reliever all season, took care of Milwaukee in the eighth, setting the Brewers down in order despite a monster flyball from Christian Yelich to right field that finally settled into Carlos Gonzalez‘s glove. Ottavino also got Gold Glove help from shortstop Trevor Story, who charged Lorenzo Cain’s slow roller to record the final out of the inning.

While the drama came at the end of the game, Rockies got strong performances from starter German Marquez, Story and Gonzalez.

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