Rockies-Brewers Preview

The Milwaukee Brewers’ five-game losing streak is over, as is a

rough portion of their schedule. Only sub-.500 opponents remain,

but the NL Central leaders won’t be taking them lightly.

Milwaukee continues the push for its first division title since

1982 on Tuesday night when it opens a two-game set against the

visiting Colorado Rockies.

Leading second-place St. Louis by 10 1/2 games on Aug. 29, the

Brewers (86-62) have seen that advantage drop to six after going

5-8 during a stretch which included six games with the Cardinals

and four with league-best Philadelphia.

However, Milwaukee closes its regular season against five clubs

which currently all have losing records – Colorado (69-77),

Cincinnati, Chicago, Florida and Pittsburgh.

“It’s not going to get more difficult, but regardless of who

we’re playing, everyone is going to want to compete and play us

tough,” Ryan Braun told the Brewers’ official website after the

club avoided a sixth straight loss with Sunday’s 3-2 win over the

Phillies.

“Whether you’re competing to try to get to the postseason or to

ruin somebody else’s chances, it’s kind of a fun time of year for

all the teams. We certainly expect everyone to give us their best

effort.”

That might not matter Tuesday with Zack Greinke (14-6, 3.93 ERA)

taking the ball. The first-year Brewer is 10-0 with a 2.96 ERA in

12 starts at Miller Park, with Milwaukee winning each of those

outings. He’s won all five since the All-Star break while posting a

1.54 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 35 innings.

Greinke, who has surrendered two runs or fewer in nine of his

last 10 starts overall, has no record with a 3.00 ERA in two

outings versus Colorado in 2011.

The Rockies will try to snap a five-game skid at Miller Park

with Esmil Rogers (6-5, 6.26) on the hill.

The right-hander, though, is 0-4 with a 6.83 ERA in his last

five starts after walking five and giving up six runs in 5 1-3

innings of a 10-7 loss to Arizona last Monday.

“I have to figure it out right now,” Rogers told the Rockies’

official website after losing his third consecutive start. “I have

to show the Colorado organization that I want to be here, that I

can be here. They’ve given me the opportunity, so I have to do it.

I can’t say it.”

In his only outing against Milwaukee, Rogers allowed four runs

in a 5-4, 10-inning home loss Aug. 14, 2010.

Prince Fielder went 0 for 3 against Rogers in that game and

enters this matchup struggling, going homerless in nine straight

games while batting .212.

The Brewers are hitting .204 and averaging 2.0 runs over the

last six games.

Colorado, meanwhile, hit five homers and scored 16 runs while

winning two against the Reds over the weekend.

Troy Tulowitzki (sore hip), Todd Helton (back stiffness), Mark

Ellis (neck) and Carlos Gonzalez (back stiffness) could return to

the Rockies’ lineup after sitting out Sunday’s 4-1 victory.

There’s a good chance Jason Giambi will start for Colorado in

the opener. He’s 7 for 21 with five homers off Greinke, including a

solo shot May 20.

Milwaukee leads the season series 5-2.