After the Milwaukee Brewers put together the best 81-game start in club history, they kicked off the second half of their season in exciting fashion.
They'll attempt to keep it going by following up a walk-off win with a series victory Saturday at home against the Colorado Rockies in the third of a four-game set.
The Brewers (50-32) beat the Rockies 3-2 Friday on Ryan Braun's run-scoring single in the ninth, giving the club three straight wins, seven in their last nine and the first semi-centennial win total in the majors.
"It's nice to be the first one to 50 wins, for sure," Braun said. "We're excited with the way that we've played so far, but there's still a lot of baseball left."
The Rockies (35-45) continued their tailspin, losing for the 10th time in 11 games despite holding an opponent to less than four runs for the first time in 14 tries. They also came from behind to tie the game in the ninth before giving it right back, adding to the already high level of disappointment in their clubhouse.
"I mean, we always want to win," starting pitcher Tyler Matzek said. "That's probably going to sting a little more. We came back, we did really good offensively late to put that game back where we were, and they just pulled out a win. That stings."
Colorado has lost all five contests against Milwaukee this season even though the Rockies have batted .319 with 20 extra-base hits in those games. The Brewers have been a touch better with a .322 average and 22 extra-base hits.
Those numbers are sure to catch the attention of opposing starters Matt Garza and Jhoulys Chacin.
The Brewers have lost the last three starts made by Garza (4-5, 4.01 ERA), who has gotten through at least seven innings in each and allowed a total of six earned runs. His only decision in that time came with Monday's 3-0 defeat against Washington in which he yielded three runs and five hits while striking out seven in seven innings.
Garza is 1-3 with a 4.81 ERA in his career against the Rockies but hasn't faced them in just over three years.
He'll be happy to avoid facing the injured Carlos Gonzalez, who has three home runs in 12 at-bats against him. Troy Tulowitzki is 2 for 11 against Garza, but the star shortstop is a career .405 hitter versus Milwaukee with a 14-game hitting streak in the series.
Justin Morneau is batting .448 during a seven-game hitting streak against the Brewers.
Chacin (1-6, 4.84) has struggled with control in recent outings, issuing 16 walks in five June starts. Since recording his only win June 12, he's lost consecutive starts with a 6.00 ERA. In Monday's 8-0 loss to St. Louis, the right-hander surrendered a season-high five runs and four hits with three walks in six innings.
"Whenever you walk a lot of guys or don't make good pitches ... you're going to pay for it," Chacin told MLB's official website.
Chacin, who wasn't one of the arms roughed up in the Brewers' three-game sweep last weekend in Colorado, has a 4.00 ERA and is without a decision in four career starts against Milwaukee.
Aramis Ramirez is 6 for 15 with a home run and two doubles against him to go along with a .426 average on a 12-game hitting streak against Colorado. Braun is hitless in eight at-bats versus Chacin.
Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario missed Friday's contest with lower back tightness.
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