MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Rockies are making great use of their time away from Coors Field.
Troy Tulowitzki and Brad Hawpe homered and Jorge De La Rosa finally beat his old team, lifting Colorado to its seventh straight win — all on the road — this one a 4-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday night.
“The last week has been great for us. It’s been needed. To do it on the road is what I think is impressive,” said Hawpe, who is hitting a team-best .339. “Everybody’s come together on the road and usually the road historically has been a tough place for the Rockies to play.”
No more. Colorado is 18-18 on the road this season and has left all its struggles behind in the thin air of Denver, where the Rockies have won just nine times.
Their current winning streak is the longest since winning 11 straight in September 2007. That run helped propel the Rockies to the playoffs and eventually the World Series where they were swept by Boston.
This time, Colorado can do something that team never did — match its longest road winning streak in its 17-year history with a win in Thursday’s series finale against Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo.
Milwaukee, which won 18 games in May, still leads the NL Central, but has sputtered to a 3-6 start in June despite being ahead in every game this month.
In this one, the Brewers blew a 2-0 lead, just like they did Tuesday night.
“I wouldn’t look at it and say that we’re necessarily struggling a whole lot, we’re just not winning games right now,” Brewers starter Dave Bush said. “To me, there’s a difference. You can lose games badly and you can lose close games, and we’re losing close games.”
Bush (3-3) gave up a two-out solo homer in the fourth to Tulowitzki and three straight doubles in the fifth. Todd Helton’s double scored Clint Barmes and Hawpe’s double drove in Helton to give the Rockies a 3-2 lead. Hawpe homered off reliever Seth McClung in the seventh to make it 4-2.
Huston Street struck out the side in a perfect ninth for his 11th save in 12 chances.
De La Rosa (2-6) came into the game 0-2 with a 13.03 ERA in three appearances against Milwaukee, where he pitched for part of three seasons beginning in 2004.
“I don’t care who it’s against, I just want to throw a good game and I think I did,” De La Rosa said. “We’re playing very good as a team and I hope we keep playing like this.”
Milwaukee took a 2-0 lead with three doubles in third inning. Ryan Braun’s two-out RBI double scored Casey McGehee. After Braun stole third, Prince Fielder hit an opposite-field double to left-center.
Fielder’s RBI tied him with Philadelphia’s Raul Ibanez for the NL lead with 55, but De La Rosa got the better of the Brewers slugger striking him out with two on and two outs in the fifth.
The rest of the Brewers’ offense was silent. Milwaukee manager Ken Macha said he would give some of his struggling players a day off with J.J. Hardy hitting .223 this season, Corey Hart .239 and Bill Hall .205. Macha said it was too early to call it a bad season for the three young hitters who are expected to help protect Braun and Fielder.
“We’ve got a lot of games to play yet,” Macha said. “We’ve got over 100 games to play, to classify a bad season with over 100 games to play is getting a little carried away. You run through dips.”
De La Rosa, who started 0-6 this season, won his second straight decision and was finished after six innings, allowing two runs and four hits with eight strikeouts.
“I’ve seen him better than he was tonight, but I haven’t seen him battle as well as he did,” said Rockies manager Jim Tracy, who is 9-4 since taking over for Clint Hurdle.
NOTES: There was only one single, but 14 walks in the game. … Bush gave up his 15th home run this season, second in the NL to Philadelphia’s Brett Myers. … Rockies RHP Taylor Buchholz (elbow) threw a bullpen session on Wednesday. Tracy said they will consider sending Buchholz out on a rehab assignment in the coming days. Buchholz has been on the 60-day DL after experiencing pain throwing before his only spring training appearance on Feb. 26.