(Sports Network) - The Colorado Rockies still have plenty of ground to make up in order to make a second straight trip to the postseason, but Friday's come- from-behind victory over the Milwaukee Brewers was certainly a step in the right direction.
The 2009 National League Wild Card winners will try to carry the momentum from last night's inspiring result when they battle the Brewers once again this evening in the second test of a three-game series from Coors Field.
Colorado trailed by three runs after 6 1/2 innings in Friday's opener of this set, but scored once in the bottom of the seventh before getting a three-run homer from Troy Tulowitzki in the eighth that lifted the Rockies to a 5-4 triumph. The critical win moved Colorado within five games of San Francisco for the lead in the NL Wild Card standings after the Giants lost to San Diego last night.
"We've had some pretty impressive comebacks," said Tulowitzki afterward. "It's not just one guy getting a big hit. It's been a mixture of guys."
Todd Helton drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the eighth and Carlos Gonzalez followed with a double to put runners on second and third and chase Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo. Tulowitzki then greeted reliever Kameron Loe with a blast to left that went off the glove of leaping Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun and over the wall to put the Rockies in front.
"I thought I timed (the jump) well," Braun said. "If the ball was hit a little bit higher I might have had more of an opportunity to get to the fence and really gauge where the ball was going to end up. Baseball is always a game of inches and unfortunately I wasn't able to come up with it."
Tulowitzki's homer made a winner out of Taylor Buchholz after the reliever threw a scoreless top of the eighth. Closer Huston Street then came on to toss a 1-2-3 ninth to seal the win and record his eighth save of the year.
Milwaukee had taken a 3-1 lead with a three-run top of the sixth, with Casey McGehee and Alcides Escobar each coming through with RBI doubles, and extended the margin when Rickie Weeks doubled to begin the seventh and scored on a sacrifice fly.
Weeks and Jonathan Lucroy each finished with two hits for the Brewers, losers of four of their last five. Gallardo lasted seven-plus innings in the start and was charged with four runs allowed on seven hits.
Friday's comeback gave the Rockies their 12th win in their last 14 meetings with the Brewers at Coors Field. Milwaukee is just 8-18 overall against Colorado since the start of the 2007 campaign and has now lost four of seven matchups with the Rockies this season.
The Rockies turn to Esmil Rogers tonight in hopes of extending that dominance. The rookie is coming off a successful first start since a recent recall from the minors, a six-inning stint at Pittsburgh this past Sunday in which he allowed four runs (three earned) through six innings to help his team to an 8-4 victory.
Rogers was promoted from Triple-A Colorado Springs last weekend to take the rotation spot of the injured Aaron Cook. The 25-year-old Dominican has been shuffled between the minors and the majors all throughout this season and has compiled a 2-2 record with a 4.79 ERA in 14 games -- three of which have been starts -- with the Rockies.
The right-hander will be making his first-ever appearance against the Brewers, as well as his initial start at Coors Field. Rogers has surrendered just four runs in a combined 16 innings over eight relief assignments at his home park.
Chris Narveson gets the call for Milwaukee tonight, with the well-traveled southpaw taking a second stab at securing a double-digit win season. He was stuck with a no-decision Monday against Arizona after being reached for three runs in six innings of work.
Narveson notched victory No. 9 of 2010 by limiting the Chicago Cubs to a run and striking out six over 5 1/3 frames August 3 at Wrigley Field. The win was the second straight on the road for the 28-year-old, and he's registered a 6-3 record in away games so far this year.
The Colorado-born Narveson faced the Rockies twice as a reliever back in April and made his only career start against tonight's opponent last September at Coors Field. He permitted three runs in five innings in that game and did not receive a decision.