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.
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