By Rich Rovito, Associated Press
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Nolan Arenado needed a few games to get warmed up after tying for the National League home run title last season with 41.
Arenado led off the ninth inning with his first homer of the season to give the Colorado Rockies the lead in a 2-1 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday.
“I’m just grinding to get comfortable,” Arenado said. “I was just trying to shorten up and put the ball in play with two strikes, and (Neftali Feliz) threw one middle-in and I put a good swing on it. I didn’t crush it, but I hit it good enough.
Rockies manager Bud Black said power hitters can get tense early in the season looking for their home run swing.
“For Nolan getting the first homer, it is a good sign,” Black said.
Mark Reynolds also homered, and Antonio Senzatela pitched five strong innings in his major league debut. Former Brewer Reynolds led off the third against starter Chase Anderson with his second home run of the season.
The Rockies won three of four games in the season-opening series.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis tied it in the seventh with a solo homer off reliever Adam Ottavino.
Senzatela pitched five shutout innings, gave up two hits, had six strikeouts and three walks. He spent last season with Double-A Hartford and was winless in five spring training starts this year.
Senzatela gave up two hits and a walk in the first but escaped by inducing an inning-ending double play.
“I thought that let him exhale a little bit,” Black said.
Mike Dunn (1-0) picked up the win with 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. Greg Holland finished for his third save in three chances.
Anderson pitched effectively in his first start of the season. He allowed one run and three hits over six innings. He struck out four and walked two.