DENVER -- The calendar says it is late July, so there are plenty of games remaining. But there was a definite sense of urgency Sunday for the Colorado Rockies.
They needed a win to finish 5-5 on a disappointing 10-game homestand to start the second half and got it when Nolan Arenado gave the Rockies a 6-5 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers with a single in the eighth.
In the top of that inning, Matt Belisle gave up a two-run homer to Yuniesky Betancourt that put the Brewers ahead 5-4.
Jon Axford took the mound in the eighth for the Brewers, and Troy Tulowitzki, who had hit the first of four solo homers by the Rockies, led off the eighth with a double down the left-field line off. Tulowitzki had homered off Axford on Saturday night
Michael Cuddyer, who had homered in the sixth, followed with a double down the right-field line that tied the game at 5, and after Todd Helton flied out, Arenado lined a single to center, driving in Cuddyer.
Rex Brothers retired the first two batters he faced in the ninth but then threw high and pulled first baseman Todd Helton off the base after fielding Rickie Weeks' comebacker.
But Norichika Aoki, who had homered twice, flied to center on the first pitch by Brothers, who picked up his seventh save.
Jhoulys Chacin had held the Brewers to three runs in seven innings, two on homers by Aoki.
Switch-hitting Dexter Fowler had put the Rockies ahead in the seventh when he hit a two-out home run off Mike Gonzalez. It was Fowler's 12th home run of the season and second hitting right-handed. He entered the game with one hit in his past 25 at-bats and broke a string of 12 hitless at-bats with a single in the third.
Donovan Hand pitched a career-high six innings for the Brewers and allowed three solo home runs.
Corey Dickerson hit his first career home run to open the sixth, and two batters later Cuddyer tied the game at 3 with his 17th homer. Tulowitzki hit his 19th homer in the first.
The Brewers evened the score at 1 in the second after Carlos Gomez led off with a single and Caeb Gindl doubled. With one out and the bases loaded, Chacin tried to backhand a ball hit by Jeff Bianchi only to have it deflect off his glove toward shortstop for a run-scoring single.
Aoki hit his sixth homer in the third, and Bianchi made it 3-1 with a two-out single in the fourth. Chacin, who pitched seven innings for the second straight start, has allowed just four homers in 127 innings this season, and Aoki has hit two of them.
NOTES: The Rockies recalled LHP Jeff Francis from Triple-A Colorado Springs and will use him out of the bullpen. They optioned RHP Collin McHugh to Colorado Springs after he started Saturday and gave up six runs in five innings in his Rockies debut. Francis, who had been optioned June 20, went 2-2 with a 4.63 ERA in nine games at Colorado Springs, the final three in relief. ... Rockies LHP Carlos Gonzalez did not play for the third straight game due to a sprained right middle finger that he aggravated taking a swing Thursday. ... Rockies CF Dexter Fowler entered the game 1-for-25 and broke a string of 12 hitless at-bats with his single in the third. ... Brewers SS Jean Segura was not in the lineup. He left the game Saturday night in the sixth inning with right forearm tightness, two innings after he was hit in the forearm while taking a swing. Segura said he was better but still sore Sunday, and manager Ron Roenicke, who had been looking to give Segura a day off, decided Sunday.