Even though Milwaukee took two of three matchups with Colorado at Miller Park to kick off the 2010 campaign, the Rockies have won 15 of the previous 20 contests between the ballclubs.
The Rockies continued their recent dominance of this series with Friday's 2-0 victory in the series opener, as starting pitcher Jason Hammel notched his fifth win of the season with 7 1/3 shutout innings. Hammel allowed eight hits, struck out four and walked two batters before relievers Joe Beimel, Rafael Betancourt and Manuel Corpas went the rest of the way to preserve the win for Hammel. Corpas posted his ninth save with a scoreless ninth inning.
"I felt like I was making good pitches, and even when I make good pitches, they still put the bat on it, and sometimes it finds a hole," said Hammel, who hasn't allowed a run in 25 1/3 innings. "I did a good job minimizing any damage after that."
Brad Hawpe doubled twice and drove in the other run for Colorado, which has won two straight and five of its last seven games. It is also four games off the lead in the NL West standings and learned Friday that shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is expected to miss 6-8 weeks with a broken left wrist. Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez missed Friday's game with a knee injury and is day-to-day.
Tulowitzki is batting a club-high .306 with nine homers, 34 RBI and 47 runs this season, while Gonzalez is tops with 10 homers and 42 runs batted in.
Rockies left-hander Jeff Francis will make his seventh start of the season tonight and is 2-2 with a 3.29 earned run average. Francis, who is recovering from offseason arm surgery, is coming off a strong performance versus Toronto on Sunday. In the 10-3 rout of the Blue Jays at Coors Field, Francis held them to three runs -- two earned -- and five hits in seven innings of work. He had been 0-2 in his previous three starts.
Francis is 2-3 in five career starts against the Brewers.
Milwaukee has dropped two straight and four of its last six games. Manny Parra pitched a decent game last night, but was dealt the loss for giving up both runs on six hits in six innings. Parra fanned five batters in defeat and recorded a hit at the plate.
"I thought Parra pitched very well," Brewers manager Ken Macha told the team's website.
Yovani Gallardo had a lengthy unbeaten streak come to an end the last time out and will try to back in gear Saturday against the Rockies. Gallardo was 6-0 with a 1.55 earned run average in 10 previous starts before losing to Texas on Sunday. He gave up four runs and six hits in six innings and managed to strikeout 10 batters for the fourth time this season.
Gallardo suffered his first loss since April 10 versus St. Louis and is seeking a measure of revenge against the Rockies, who beat the right-hander in his 2010 debut on April 5 at Miller Park. Gallardo surrendered four runs, three of which were earned, on seven hits in seven innings of a 5-3 loss. He is winless (0-3) in four career games (3 starts) against Colorado.