Burba, who will turn 37 on Monday, hadn’t pitched since September 28 before making his Brewers debut on Saturday. He allowed three runs and nine hits over 5 2-3 innings, but suffered a 5-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins. Relying heavily on his curveball, Burba walked one and struck out three.
“I’m disappointed about the loss, because you never walk over the white line looking for a loss or a no-decision,” Burba said, “but I got them to the sixth inning, and I’m happy about that.”
The Brewers were, too, since the fourth and fifth spots in their rotation have been hard to fill. They’re 28-25 in outings by Ben Sheets, Matt Kinney or Wayne Franklin but just 6-24 when anybody else starts.
Burba began his major league career in 1990 with Seattle and pitched for five teams, including four seasons with Cleveland.
He split 2002 with Texas and Cleveland and was signed by the Indians to a minor league contract in January, but failed to make the club out of spring training.
“He’s got that savvy, that experience that you need,” manager Ned Yost said of Burba.
The Brewers hope Burba can lift them out of their recent slide. Milwaukee has lost four of five and is coming off a 7-3 loss to Houston on Thursday.
The Rockies had lost four of five before splitting a four-game series with the surging Arizona Diamondbacks. Denny Neagle, who had won his previous two starts, allowed nine hits and seven runs in just three innings of Thursday’s 8-4 loss.
STANDINGS: Rockies - 4th place, 8 1/2 GB, NL West. Brewers - 6th place, 9 1/2 GB, NL Central.
ROCKIES PROBABLE STARTER: Aaron Cook (2-6, 5.63 ERA). Cook is winless in his last three starts, going 0-2 with a 7.16 ERA. The 24-year-old right-hander was sent down to Triple-A Colorado after his last start on June 16. He failed to earn a decision in that outing, allowing three runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 7-5 loss to San Diego.
BREWERS PROBABLE STARTER: Burba (0-1, 4.76 ERA). Burba is 3-1 with a 6.56 ERA lifetime against Colorado. He’s 18-15 with a 4.57 ERA in 75 career appearances in July.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Rockies - Helton, .333 avg. and 72 runs; Preston Wilson, 18 HRs, 73 RBIs and 6 SBs. Brewers - Scott Podsednik, .324 avg.; Richie Sexson, 23 HRs and 54 runs; Geoff Jenkins, 61 RBIs; Eric Young, 19 SBs.
2002 SEASON SERIES: Tied, 3-3.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Rockies - 1B Helton’s .333 batting average ranks second in the NL behind St. Louis slugger Albert Pujols (.378). … The Rockies are second in the NL in runs scored with 471. … Colorado has hit back-to-back home runs four times this season. Brewers - 2B Eric Young has hit safely in 12 straight games. … OF Podsednik is batting .471 (16-for-34) over his last eight games. … 1B Sexson has walked seven times over the last five games.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Rockies - 13-28 on the road. Brewers - 15-27 at home.
INJURIES: Rockies - RHP Shawn Chacon (elbow), 15-day DL; OF Chris Richard (hamstring), 60-day DL. Brewers - RHP Jayson Durocher (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Nick Neugebauer (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Ruben Quevedo (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Todd Ritchie (shoulder), 15-day DL.