Brewers 3, Rockies 1

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MILWAUKEE (AP)—The little things paid big dividends for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Richie Sexson hit an opposite-field, two-run double to back Ben Sheets’ seven stellar innings as Milwaukee avoided a sweep with a 3-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.

“We’ve battled hard all year,” said Geoff Jenkins, who had a sacrifice fly in the third. “If we keep doing that the second half, we’re going to get some more wins.”

After taking the first two games at Miller Park, the Rockies were looking for their first road sweep since June 15-17, 2001, at Cincinnati.

With two outs in the seventh, Sexson sent a full-count pitch from Jose Jimenez (0-5) off the right-field wall to break a 1-1 tie.

Sheets (7-6) gave up one run on four hits. He struck out six and his one walk was intentional. Dan Kolb pitched a perfect eighth and Mike DeJean struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth for his 17th save in 23 chances.

Milwaukee manager Ned Yost couldn’t remember the last time the Brewers had timely hits, solid starting pitching and a brilliant bullpen performance all in one game.

“It was a relief for me,” Yost said. “Benny pitched a great game. He was on the attack with his fastball and his curveball and pitched seven strong innings. And Kolb’s been nursing a little bit of a tight hamstring and came in and had a great inning and DeJean was very good in the ninth.

“It was a big double by Richie. That was huge.”

The Rockies got six strong innings from Denny Stark, who allowed one run on five hits in his second start of the season since coming off the disabled list (back) on July 1.

Sheets ended a personal three-game losing streak.

“We won the game, and that’s what’s most important,” he said.

Sheets gave up back-to-back doubles to Juan Uribe and Todd Helton in the first inning, then retired 13 batters in a row.

Jenkins tied it at 1 with a sacrifice fly in the third.

Helton, who had four RBIs and needed just a double for the cycle Saturday night, was intentionally walked in the sixth with a man on second and one out, bringing up cleanup hitter Preston Wilson, who has 76 RBIs.

Wilson struck out and Greg Norton grounded out.

“He was good,” Wilson said of Sheets. “He’s got a plus-fastball and a plus-curveball, and he was throwing them for strikes. When you do that, it’s always going to be tough.”

Said Rockies manager Clint Hurdle: “Ben Sheets was outstanding today. He’s a very aggressive guy out there on the mound. He definitely had his fastball and curve working and he threw enough changeups to left-handers to keep them off-balance.”

Yost said he will tinker with his rotation after the All-Star break so that he mixes up his fourth and fifth starters because those spots in the rotation have combined to go 6-26.

“The four and five holes have just been killing our bullpen,” Yost said. “And all the weight of the world is on Ben’s shoulders because he’s got no relief out there; everybody’s thrown 50 pitches the previous two nights.”

After the game, Milwaukee sent reliever John Foster to Triple-A Indianapolis and recalled Glendon Rusch, who was supposed to make one more start in the minors Monday.

Rusch, who is 1-11 with the Brewers this season, will pitch Wednesday against Pittsburgh and Dave Burba will go to the bullpen as a long reliever,Yost said.


Yost said Sexson and Jenkins were all but off-limits as the trade deadline nears, even though they’ll each top $8 million in salary next season. Yost said teams couldn’t offer enough to pry the fan favorites away from Milwaukee. Sexson and Jenkins are the first Milwaukee duo to each have 20 home runs before the break. But Yost suggested 2B Eric Young could be moved: “EY has some value for a club that’s in contention,” Yost said. … Young had his 14-game hitting streak snapped when he grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the seventh. … Rockies OF Larry Walker got the day off. He’s one hit shy of the franchise mark of 1,278 set by Dante Bichette. … Brewers rookie ScottPodsednik has reached base in 36 straight games.

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