Published March 10, 2011
Both had key hits early in the Rockies' 9-8 victory in 10 innings on Thursday.
Braun hit a three-run home run in the third inning, his second of the spring, to erase Colorado's early 1-0 deficit. Helton had a pair of doubles, the second driving in two runs in the fifth to tie the game at 3.
"I'm starting to find my timing and rhythm," said Braun, who is hitting .312 this spring after hitting .304 with 25 homers and 103 RBIs in 2010.
"It seems like a long time, but we're getting closer to the season," he added. "Another week and I should be ready."
Braun said first-year manager Ron Roenicke has been had good communication with the players and is flexible with their schedules.
"The communication has been incredible," Braun said. "He has been very open with all of us guys who have been around three, four, five years. We know what we need to do to get ready."
Roenicke named the other three members of the rotation. He was forced to tweak it when it was discovered that right-hander Zack Greinke suffered a hairline fracture of the eighth rib on his left side while playing pickup basketball. It is uncertain when Greinke, the AL Cy Young Award winner with Kansas City in 2009, will be ready to pitch.
Narveson, who was 12-9 in 37 games (28 starts) in his first full major-league season last year, said being the starter for the team's home opener is important.
"It is a nice honor. There will be a packed house. I like that. I'd like to get off to a good start," Narveson said. "There will be a lot of things going on. It will be a day game and you won't get nervous thinking about it all day."
He said his pitches have been improving daily, especially his change-up.
"The location of everything is getting better," he said. "You look for the feel of that (consistent) release point (of the pitch). Once you get to it, you know it."
Mike Jacobs gave the Rockies a 6-5 lead with a run-scoring single in the top of the ninth.
The Brewers began the ninth with four straight singles to tie it, but could get no more as the Rockies got one out on a fielder's choice to the plate and an inning-ending double play.
Notes: Brewers 2B Rickie Weeks hit a two-out single in the third and then was removed from the game as a precautionary measure with tightness in his groin. He is day-to-day. ... Rockies CF Willy Taveras had three hits and stole three bases. He is hitting .348 this spring.