Blowing saves is nothing new for the Milwaukee Brewers , but regrouping to win such a game this early could go a long way for them this season.
The Brewers try to ride the momentum of a couple of late rallies as their series continues against the visiting Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.
Milwaukee led the majors last season with 29 blown saves, a key reason it missed the playoffs after winning the NL Central in 2011. The Brewers appeared to pick up where they left off Monday when closer John Axford allowed a two-out homer to Dexter Fowler in the ninth inning, but a walkoff sacrifice fly by Jonathan Lucroy in the 10th provided a 5-4 win.
"We lost quite a few games like this last year," said Ryan Braun to the Brewers' official website. "So I think it's a great sign that we were able to win a game like this, this year. I think that will be encouraging for all of us moving forward."
Braun, who had a run-scoring infield single in a three-run eighth that rallied Milwaukee from a 3-1 deficit, may be especially excited to move forward given his success against Rockies scheduled starter Jorge De La Rosa. He has tormented the left-hander, going 7 for 9 with a homer and three doubles while also walking three times.
The Rockies are hoping for big things from De La Rosa (0-2, 9.82 ERA), who appears to have completely recovered from undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2011. He made three starts late last season, but with a full spring training under his belt, the one-time 16-game winner is confident he can rediscover his old form.
"I've started feeling like me again," De La Rosa told the team's official website after a six-inning, 81-pitch minor league stint Thursday to avoid facing the Brewers in spring training. "Last year was a tough year, but I'm back to finding me."
De La Rosa hasn't found much success at Miller Park, going 1-2 with a 9.82 ERA in three starts. This will be his first appearance versus Milwaukee since Aug. 13, 2010.
Rickie Weeks , who scored the winning run Monday, is 4 for 7 with two doubles against De La Rosa.
Colorado scored all of its runs via the long ball as Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki homered prior to Fowler's solo shot. The loss spoiled the managerial debut of Walt Weiss , who must contend with a leaky bullpen of his own that blew 27 saves in 2012, fewer than only the Brewers.
"It was just one bad inning in the eighth inning and that was it," said Gonzalez, who is 20 for 61 (.328) with three homers at Miller Park. "We have to feel good about ourselves. We battled the whole game. That happens sometimes."
Tulowitzki is a .344 hitter in 17 games at Miller Park.
The Rockies seek to bounce back versus Marco Estrada (5-7, 3.64), who cracked the Brewers' rotation after filling in last year when Zack Greinke was injured. Manager Ron Roenicke slotted the right-hander as his No. 2 starter after the late signing of Kyle Lohse .
"I have always seen myself as a starter, even when I wasn't. (Relief work) was hard for me," Estrada told MLB's official website. "Starting, mentally, is easier. At least for me it is."
Estrada averaged 9.3 strikeouts per nine innings and had a team-best 4.93 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He did not get a decision in his only appearance versus the Rockies last year, giving up a solo homer to Tulowitzki and one other hit while striking out nine in five innings of Milwaukee's 9-4 win at home.
|February 14, 2013||Edwar Cabrera||60-Day DL||Left shoulder impingement|
|March 25, 2013||Mark Rogers||15-Day DL||Right shoulder instability|
|March 22, 2013||Taylor Green||15-Day DL||Left hip labral injury|
|March 22, 2013||Corey Hart||15-Day DL||Recovery from right knee surgery|
|March 22, 2013||Jeff Bianchi||15-Day DL||Left hip bursitis|
|March 20, 2013||Mat Gamel||60-Day DL||Torn right ACL - out for season|
|February 18, 2013||Mat Gamel||Day-to-Day||Torn right ACL - out for season|
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Carlos Gonzalez is happy to see Troy Tulowitzki back in the Colorado Rockies ' lineup.
Gonzalez homered for the second straight game and drove in two runs to lead the Rockies over the Milwaukee Brewers 8-4 Tuesday night, giving Walt Weiss his first win as a major league manager.
Tulowitzki also homered for the second straight game and drove in two runs, giving him four RBIs for the season.
Tulowitzki is off to a quick start after missing the last four months of the 2012 season with an injured left groin that required surgery. The All-Star shortstop went 2 for 5 with a homer and two RBIs in Monday's loss on opening day.
"It's great to have him out there," Gonzalez said. "Any team would want him on their side. He is one of those players that can win games all by himself."
Weiss, who posted his first victory, a year after managing his son's high school team, had a lot of praise for Tulowitzki and Gonzalez after the game.
"Tulowitzki looks great," Weiss said. "Having him and Carlos in the three and four hole is very nice. Those two guys are going to have to be the ones if we are going to make a push this year."
Gonzalez said he is seeing the ball well early in the season.
"I am not trying to hit home runs, but when pitchers make mistakes in this league, you have to make them pay," he said. "So far, I feel really good at the plate and it is paying off."
While the home runs were important, both Weiss and Gonzalez talked about the importance of the Rockies' three-run seventh inning that features four singles, a walk and a sacrifice fly.
"We really had some good at-bats tonight," Weiss said. "We did a little bit of everything out there. I know that if the game is close, our offense will do something."
Edgmer Escalona (1-0) pitched 1 2-3 innings of scoreless relief for the victory.
Jorge De La Rosa started for Colorado and pitched 4 1-3 innings, giving up four runs and five hits. Rafael Betancourt got the last out to record his first save.
Marco Estrada started and went five innings for Milwaukee. He gave up four runs and nine hits and struck out eight.
Tulowitzki hit a solo homer in the third to make it 2-all. Gonzalez's two-run homer in the fifth tied it at 4.
The Rockies broke it open in the seventh off Brewers relievers Michael Gonzalez (0-1) and Burke Badenhop .
Dexter Fowler had a leadoff walk, Josh Rutledge bunted for a hit and Gonzalez singled to load the base. Tulowitzki's sacrifice fly put Colorado ahead, and Michael Cuddyer and Todd Helton added RBI singles.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was disappointed about the seventh inning.
"What do you do about an inning like that?" he said. "That's weird. You don't see too many innings that could go bad with really pretty good pitches. A bunt that maybe we should make a play on. The broken bat, I don't know what you do about that thing. It just didn't go well."
Roenicke said Estrada struggled with his command.
"His off-speed pitches, which he usually can get command of as the game goes along, he didn't get command of," he said.
Rutledge had a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
Chris Nelson 's RBI single in the second gave the Rockies a 1-0 lead. Carlos Gomez 's RBI double and Estrada's RBI single in the bottom half put Milwaukee ahead 2-1.
Ryan Braun hit a two-run shot into the right-field seats in the third, his first home run of the season.
NOTES: Tulowitzki's home run was his 131st since 2007, the most among active shortstops. ... Braun kept up his robust hitting against De La Rosa, going 1 for 2. Overall, Braun is 8 for 11 against him with two home runs and three doubles. ... After drawing 45,781 fans Monday, the fifth-largest crowd in Miller Park history, Tuesday night's attendance was 24,753. ... Brewers RHP Wily Peralta will close out the series on Wednesday against Rockies RHP Juan Nicasio .