Brown back in bigs, fills slot in middle of lineup

Brown back in bigs, fills slot in middle of lineup

DENVER -- For the second game in a row, the Rockies took a hit to the middle of the lineup and had to make a late-night call to their Triple-A affiliate to fill a slot.

Friday night, three-hole hitter Carlos Gonzalez learned his grandfather had passed away and left the team to go home to Venezuela on bereavement leave for three to seven days. He was replaced by outfielder Charlie Blackmon.

Saturday night, clean-up hitter Michael Cuddyer re-injured himself two days after coming off the disabled list with a strained right oblique.

The second call to the Sky Sox, who were playing a series in Salt Lake City, went to Andrew Brown, who hit .208 with the Rockies from July 17-Aug. 2.

"I had showered and started to get dressed and I had three missed calls and two voicemails from our trainer thinking I was already gone back to the hotel," Brown said of receiving the word. "I hadn't even left the clubhouse yet. They just told me that I was coming back. I'm excited to come back and get another opportunity to do my best."

Brown has shown promise of his best while with Colorado Springs, where he has hit .308 (120-for-390) with 24 home runs and 98 RBIs in 100 games.

"He's got some power," manager Jim Tracy noted before Sunday's series finale with the Marlins. "With the hit that we've taken in the middle of the order... If he enters himself into the equation from a lineup standpoint, I'd say that there's probably a strong chance that he'll end up in the middle somewhere. I'm not going to ask Charlie Blackmon to do that. I'm not going to ask Dexter Fowler to hit fourth. I'm asking him to do a hell of a lot right now."

Brown's previous stint with the Rockies was a happy interruption from a strong season at Triple-A, and it took him a little time to get his rhythm back after intermittent playing in the Majors. He hit .250 (14-for-56) in 14 August games for the Sky Sox, but he was getting back in the groove when he got the call and benefited from a return to regular playing time.

"I wasn't on the same pace as I was before, which I felt was a pretty hard thing to get back to, but I felt like I did pretty well while I was there," Brown said. "Getting into the everyday grind of playing again down there, getting to see pitches on a consistent basis -- it was nice to do that again."