National League Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, July 15th (All times Eastern)
Milwaukee Brewers (49-44) at Colorado Rockies (44-48), 8:40 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Milwaukee - Chris Narveson (6-5, 4.75) Colorado - Juan Nicasio (3-2, 4.91)
(Sports Network) - The Colorado Rockies have become known for their second- half comebacks over the past few years. They hope a rout of the Milwaukee Brewers in the opener of a four-game series on Thursday night is the start of yet another magical comeback.
The Rockies try to continue their march back to .500 with a fourth victory in five games while dealing the Brewers yet another road defeat this evening at Coors Field.
Colorado came out of the All-Star break 8 1/2 games back of first-place San Francisco in the National League West and maintained that deficit on Thursday by pounding out a season-best 20 hits in a 12-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
Ubaldo Jimenez threw six innings of two-run ball, while the Rockies got to Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo early to hold a 6-2 lead by the end of the fourth inning. Ryan Spilborghs, starting in center in place of the injured Carlos Gonzalez (right wrist), hit a homer in the first inning and drove in four runs on the strength of a career high-tying four hits.
Mark Ellis added three RBI for the Rockies, who had dropped five straight prior to winning three of four.
"Our patience with Gallardo tonight is definitely noteworthy," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "We took some very tough at-bats, got some really good counts."
Both the Brewers and Gallardo extended their struggles in Colorado. The Milwaukee starter was charged with six runs and 11 hits over four innings to fall to 0-2 with a 10.07 earned run average in four games there, while the Brewers opened a season-long 11-game road trip out west by losing for the 14th time in its last 17 games in Denver.
"I just wasn't able to put away guys when I really needed," Gallardo said.
Milwaukee, which did sweep a three-game set at home from the Rockies on May 20-22, has lost seven of its last eight on the road overall and is just 16-30 on the road this season.
All-Star Game MVP Prince Fielder doubled in a run in the first inning and Corey Hart homered in the ninth in defeat. Ryan Braun, who missed Milwaukee's final eight games before the break with a left calf injury, returned to action and had two hits to extend his career-best hitting streak to 23 straight games. That is now third-best on the club's all-time list behind Paul Molitor (39 in 1987) and Dave May (24 in 1973).
Milwaukee fell a half-game behind idle St. Louis for first place in the NL Central and will go with Chris Narveson tonight, with the lefty having turned in a pair of solid victories around a horrid outing at Minnesota on July 2.
Narveson beat the Twins with 6 2/3 innings of two-run ball on June 26, but Minnesota got its revenge by blasting him for seven runs and 14 hits over just 4 2/3 frames of the rematch. Narveson, though, escaped with a no-decision in his team's 8-7 victory and then beat the Reds on July 7 after allowing two runs on seven hits over six innings.
"He spotted his fastball a lot better. His changeup was good and he kept it down in the zone," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of his starter.
The 29-year-old is 6-5 with a 4.75 ERA in 18 starts this season and has yet to record a decision in his career versus the Rockies. He has faced the club four times previously, including two starts, pitching to a 5.11 ERA in that span.
The Rockies hope that Juan Nicasio was able to clear his head over the break, with the rookie having allowed 15 runs over his previous four outings.
The right-hander threw eight scoreless innings to beat the Royals on July 1, but then lasted just 2 1/3 frames in a loss at Atlanta six days later. Nicasio was drilled for five runs on seven hits and three walks, falling to 3-2 in eight starts while watching his ERA jump nearly a full point, from 4.10 to 4.91.
Nicasio, 24, has yet to lose at home this season, going 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA in four appearance at Coors Field. He faces the Brewers for the first time.
07/15 11:04:26 ET