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Rockies Score Off Axford In The Ninth, Beat Brewers 4-3

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W: Matt Belisle (1-0)
L: John Axford (0-1)
S: Rafael Betancourt (4)

HR: Norichika Aoki (1, inside the park), Todd Helton (2)

MVP: Mat Gamel (+.405 WPA)
LVP: John Axford (-.306 WPA)

Win Expectancy Graph and Star Of The Game Voting

The Brewers are now just 2-2 on this homestand, but at least all four games have been interesting.

The Rockies and Brewers battled for three hours today and were tied going into the ninth, but a Jason Giambi single, error on a pickoff attempt and Michael Cuddyer single gave the visitors a 4-3 lead the Brewers could not recover from.

Whether it's the illness that's reportedly been working its way through the clubhouse or something else, many Brewers just looked sluggish tonight. They needed four innings to get their first hit off Jhoulys Chacin, who has been plenty hittable for much of the season. Despite not having recorded an out in the fifth inning in either of his previous starts in 2012, he pitched seven innings and allowed just four hits tonight. The Brewers had a runner on second with one out following Mat Gamel's double in the ninth (and on third after Carlos Gomez stole a base on his behalf), but Alex Gonzalez popped out and Jonathan Lucroy struck out to end the game.

Shaun Marcum, meanwhile, had a solid but unspectacular night. He pitched six innings tonight and allowed three runs on eight hits, walking two and striking out five. He allowed a home run to Todd Helton and has allowed at least one long ball in six of his last seven appearances (nine of ten if you count the postseason).

Norichika Aoki, starting in center field for the first time in the majors, had the Brewers' first two hits off Jhoulys Chacin. The first was his first major league home run, an inside-the-parker, and the second was a sixth inning double that put him in position to score on a Corey Hart single.

Francisco Rodriguez pitched a 1-2-3 inning tonight in the eighth, his first of the season.

These two teams will meet again tomorrow at 6:10. Marco Estrada will start in place of the injured Chris Narveson for the Brewers, facing rookie Rockie Drew Pomeranz.