Rockies-Brewers Preview

The Associated Press

Prior to Sunday's finale with the Colorado Rockies, Milwaukee's Ryan Braun will be honored by the Brewers for winning last season's NL MVP award.

The timing is impeccable, as the four-time All-Star seems to have regained his MVP swing.

Busting out of his slump with his best game of the season, Braun looks to lead the Brewers to their second win in a row over the Rockies.

Last November, Braun edged out Los Angeles' Matt Kemp to became the first Brewer to win the MVP award in the NL. He led the league with a .597 slugging percentage and 77 extra-base hits, while batting .332 with 33 homers, 111 RBIs, 109 runs and 33 steals for a Milwaukee team that won a franchise-best 96 games and its first division title since 1982.

Braun hasn't been nearly as dangerous at the plate this season, but he's showing signs of turning things around.

He ended an 0-for-16 slide with this second homer of the season and a run-scoring triple in Saturday's 9-4 win over Colorado, the third victory in five games for Milwaukee (7-8).

"It's definitely good timing and it's something I will be able to enjoy a little more now,'' said Braun, who entered Saturday's game batting .154 at Miller Park after hitting .351 there last season. "We won and I finally got a hit.

"Inevitably, you're going to go through stretches where you don't play well. You just have to believe in the process, work hard every day and hopefully you come out of it sooner than later.''

Alex Gonzalez added three hits Saturday, including a three-run homer, and drove in four for the Brewers, who scored their highest run total of the season.

Colorado (7-7) saw its three-game winning streak come to an end Saturday, but still has a chance to win its third straight series.

Todd Helton has homered in each of the two games in this series, while Troy Tulowitzki is 4 for 8 with a homer, double and three RBIs. Tulowitzki is also batting .400 with four doubles in 15 career at-bats against scheduled starter Yovani Gallardo (1-1, 4.58 ERA), who seems to have found his groove after a miserable opener.

After being tagged for six runs, seven hits and five walks in 3 2-3 innings in a loss to St. Louis on opening day, Gallardo has yielded three runs, 12 hits and three walks over 14 innings in his last two outings. Against the Dodgers on Tuesday, the right-hander gave up two runs while striking out seven in seven innings of a 5-4 win, but didn't receive a decision.

Although he seems to have found his rhythm, Gallardo could have trouble stringing together another quality start considering he is 0-4 with a 7.67 ERA in six career starts against the Rockies. In his lone outing against them last season, he was knocked around for six runs and 11 hits in four innings of a 12-3 loss at Coors Field.

Whereas Gallardo seems to be getting his season on track, Colorado scheduled starter Jeremy Guthrie (1-1, 7.79) is coming off his second straight dud. Guthrie has been charged for six runs and nine hits in each of his last two outings after giving up three runs in his first.

Suffering a sore throat against San Diego on Monday, the right-hander gutted out seven innings, earning the admiration of manager Jim Tracy despite being saddled with a 7-1 loss.

This will be Guthrie's first career appearance against the Brewers, one of five teams he hasn't faced.

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