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Helton doubles his pleasure in win over Brewers

Submitted by Sports on March 11, 2011 – 7:27 amNo Comment

PHOENIX — Hernan Iribarren’s sacrifice fly plated Cole Garner with the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th as the Rockies beat the Brewers, 9-8, in 10 innings at Maryvale Baseball Park on Thursday.

A two-run Brewers 10th, highlighted by three straight hits to start the frame, made things interesting up until the very end.

Milwaukee’s Brandon Boggs tied the game in the bottom of the ninth with a bases-loaded RBI single to center field, but the Rockies were able to get out of the inning following a forceout at home plate and a 6-4-3 double play to escape with only the one run allowed.

Pinch-hitter Mike Jacobs had put the Rockies ahead in the top half of the inning, delivering an RBI single to give the Rockies a 6-5 advantage.

Todd Helton had two hits, including a two-run double, and Wily Taveras had three hits and scored three runs in the Rockies’ second straight road win.

Ryan Braun’s two-out, three-run home run in the third inning gave Milwaukee a 3-1 lead, but the Rockies rallied in the middle innings. Helton delivered a two-run double against Brewers closer John Axford that tied the game at 3 in the fifth inning, and Colorado pushed ahead in the fifth with two more runs after shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt’s error.

Taveras led the way with three hits and also stole two bases as part of a big day that began with a leadoff bunt single.

“It’s always interesting in Spring Training when people are working on things, and the first guy drops down a good bunt,” said Milwaukee starter Chris Narveson. “I was able to make my pitches and do what I needed to do. It was nice to have some of their starting guys in there, to be able to face them and see how you stack up.”

Narveson, who learned earlier in the day that he’d pitch Milwaukee’s home opener, allowed one run on four hits in 3 2/3 innings. Axford worked the fifth inning, retired only one of the five hitters he faced and surrendered two runs, but was spared further damage when Justin James stranded a pair of inherited runners.

Rockies starter Esmil Rogers pitched four innings and allowed three runs, all on Braun’s second spring home run. Rogers struck out four batters versus one walk.

“Today was my best day of Spring Training this year,” Rogers said. “I had command of all my pitches. Braun’s homer, to me, was a good pitch. It was down-and-in, but maybe he was looking for that pitch.”

Up next for the Rockies: The Rockies return to Salt River Fields at Talking Stick to face the Royals on Friday afternoon at 1:10 p.m. MT. Facing the Rockies will be a Colorado high school product, Royals right-hander Luke Hochevar. Rockies righty Jason Hammel (1-0, 1.80 ERA) hopes to continue making progress with his new, more compact delivery. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki should return to the lineup.

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