MILWAUKEE (AP) - Esmil Rogers knew he needed a better effort to stay in the Colorado Rockies' plans next season, so he worked this week on adjusting his delivery.
So far, so good.
Rogers pitched six innings of one-run ball before the Milwaukee Brewers rallied and beat the Rockies 2-1 on Tuesday night when Ryan Braun homered leading off the 11th inning.
``He pitched aggressively. He pitched effectively,' Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. ``He gave us a great effort. There is not one thing to complain about.'
Prince Fielder also went deep for Milwaukee, and it stayed that way until the 11th, when Braun homered off Matt Lindstrom (2-2) and pumped his right fist in excitement before joining the scrum at home plate.
``You fall behind a good hitter like that you are going to pay the price. Braun put on a good at-bat. He battled hard,' Lindstrom said. ``I was trying to do a slid step right there and the ball just leaned back over the middle and I know that is his natural zone. I made a mistake and he made me pay for it.'
Colorado was officially eliminated from postseason contention after Braun's homer.
The Rockies scored early before Fielder hit his 32nd homer after coming in with just two extra-base hits over his previous 35 at_bats. It was his first homer since Sept. 2 in Houston.
Zack Greinke labored through five innings before the Brewers' bullpen picked him up. LaTroy Hawkins, Takashi Saito, Francisco Rodriguez, John Axford and Kameron Loe (4-7) combined for six scoreless innings.
In the eighth, Mark Ellis led off with a single and reached second, but Milwaukee shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt grabbed Todd Helton's liner to end the inning. Axford didn't allow a baserunner in the ninth and worked around Dexter Fowler's one-out single in the 10th.
The Rockies put runners in scoring position with two outs against Loe in the 11th, but Wilin Rosario grounded out to end the inning.
``We played a great ball game,' Tracy said. ``We gave a hell of an effort against a very, very good baseball team with a lot at stake. What it simply boils down to is just a timely hit somewhere as that game was unfolding. I don't know if you could pitch it much better and I know you can't defend it any better.'
Helton, Ellis, shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and right fielder Carlos Gonzalez all returned to the Rockies' lineup after missing at least one game because of injuries.
Not all of them made it through the game, though.
Tulowitzki, who has been dealing with a sore left hip, exited in the sixth, but started a double play off his back foot in the fourth inning that got Rogers out of a jam. Helton's back stiffened up on him and he left in the ninth.
Tracy was pleased with the effort, and Rogers' work between starts.
``He did really well. They made an adjustment during the course of his side work to keep him closed up a little better,' Tracy said. ``It is very obvious from the performance we got tonight he was able to make that adjustment and keep himself closed. As a result of that, the command of his pitches were there.'
NOTES: Ellis has a six-game hitting streak. ... Gonzalez stole his 20th base this year to join Dante Bichette to have two 20-20 seasons. ... Helton has 1,255 career walks and needs three more to tie Ty Cobb on the all-time list. ... Colorado has three extra-inning wins this season, the fewest in the league. ... Brewers RHP Shaun Marcum (12-6, 3.25 ERA) faces Rockies RHP Kevin Millwood (2-2, 3.79) in the finale of this two-game set Wednesday night.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved