MILWAUKEE (AP) - Clayton Mortensen delivered another fine pitching performance, making a case to stay in the Colorado Rockies' rotation.
Now if he can just figure out a way to help Colorado win more close games.
Shaun Marcum won his sixth straight decision with eight effective innings and Jonathan Lucroy homered, lifting the Milwaukee Brewers to a 3-2 victory over the Rockies on Saturday night.
Colorado is 6-10 in one-run games and have dropped a pair of one-run games to Milwaukee in this series.
``Once again, we came up a run short,' Colorado manager Jim Tracy said.
Rickie Weeks led off the first with a double and scored on Prince Fielder's double. Fielder came around to score himself when Jose Lopez couldn't cleanly field a grounder from Casey McGehee, giving the Rockies third baseman three errors in his last two games.
``You know, when you are struggling to score runs, things loom large,' Tracy said. ``Obviously, you go back as far as the first inning of tonight's game and we gave up an unearned run on the ball that McGehee hit. As you look over the course of the game in its entirety that ends up being a huge run.'
The Rockies have lost 11 of 16 and didn't have Todd Helton for a third straight game because of back spasms. The Rockies first baseman worked out before Saturday night's game and might return for the series finale on Sunday.
``Is he a possibility? Yes,' Tracy said. ``Is he etched in stone? Not just yet at this time.'
Mortensen (1-1) dropped his ERA to 2.17 with another strong outing in his third start of the year. He pitched well into the seventh, giving up only three runs, two earned, on five hits and five strikeouts while walking three.
``He's making all kinds of compelling arguments,' Tracy said. ``We're very mindful of that. I don't think there's anyway you can do it but to look at it in that regard. He's been terrific. He's been nothing short of terrific.'
Colorado never figured out Marcum (6-1), a night after losing a 7-6, 14-inning thriller.
``I wasn't as efficient as I wanted to be,' Mortensen said. ``I was working behind in the counts a lot. You really have to zone in when you do that against a team like this, especially, with the guys that can hurt you with the long ball.
``You have to make quality pitches and attack the zone,' he said. ``The slider started coming around and I was able to get ahead of guys.'
The Rockies scored a run in the ninth off Milwaukee closer John Axford, but couldn't get the tying run home. Troy Tulowitzki tripled with one out after right fielder Corey Hart made an ill-advised diving attempt at a catch and Tulowitzki scored on a groundout by Seth Smith.
Pinch hitter Jason Giambi singled, but Ty Wigginton struck out to end it.
The Rockies will try to avoid a three-game sweep on Sunday when struggling ace Ubaldo Jimenez (0-3, 6.14 ERA) takes the mound.
NOTES: Rockies third base coach Rich Dauer was tossed in the sixth inning for arguing balls and strikes. ... RHP Felipe Paulino was designated for assignment after the game. Paulino was 0-4 with a 7.36 ERA in 18 appearances. ... Seth Smith went 0 for 4 to snap his nine-game hitting streak. ... Giambi is 5-of-10 with four homers and eight RBI in his last three games.
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