Nicasio, Fowler lead Rockies over Brewers 4-0

Dexter Fowler came up with a new stance at the plate and a new outlook on the game during a nearly monthlong demotion to the minor leagues.

The changes worked out just fine the first time out.

Fowler doubled, walked and scored twice in his return to the majors and rookie Juan Nicasio pitched seven strong innings, leading the Colorado Rockies past the Milwaukee Brewers 4-0 Friday night.

"It cleared my mind," Fowler said of his stay at Tripe-A Colorado Springs. "Just go out see the ball and hit the ball and don't think about anything. Just take what the game gives you."

A switch-hitting center fielder and leadoff man, Fowler began the season with the Rockies for a third consecutive year but struggled to fulfill his role as offensive catalyst. He was batting .238 when the Rockies sent him down to Colorado Springs on June 20.

Recalled earlier Friday, Fowler, who raised his hands slightly, put more weight on his back leg and tightened his batting swing, led off the Rockies' first with a double. He then used his speed on the basepaths to score Colorado's first run, taking third on a grounder to short and sprinting home with two outs on a wild pitch in the dirt that briefly eluded catcher Jonathan Lucroy.

"We got just an absolute hustle run to begin the game — welcome back Dexter," Colorado manager Jim Tracy said. "Because he's the only guy wearing a Rockies uniform or maybe a major league uniform that could have advanced to third on that groundball."

In the fifth, Fowler, back in the leadoff spot in place of injured Carlos Gonzalez, was at it again, drawing a one-out walk and stealing second to get into scoring position before Troy Tulowitzki singled to center to drive him home.

"God gives you some talent, you've just got to use it," Fowler said. "I'm fast. I've got good instincts. I should have been using them and I wasn't."

His batting approach also appears more sound.

"The barrel of his bat is in a much better place, the loop is not as pronounced, the path is cleaner and the swing is shorter," Tracy said.

Fowler added that it was great to get some validation of his new approach in his first game back. "But at the same time, you've just got to take it in stride and come back another day and keep going."

Colorado made it 2-0 in the third when Ellis hit a one-out double and Helton followed with an RBI single. The two repeated the sequence in the seventh.

Mark Ellis doubled twice and Todd Helton added a pair of RBI singles to help Colorado win for the fourth time in five games.

Bouncing back from his first loss in five previous starts, Nicasio (4-2) allowed four hits, walked none and struck out four in helping Colorado handcuff the Brewers, who dropped to a 16-31 on the road. Their road winning percentage of .340 is an NL low.

Matt Lindstrom and Huston Street finished off the shutout by pitching an inning apiece.

Chris Narveson (6-6) pitched nearly as well as his counterpart in a six-inning outing, allowing five hits and three runs, but was foiled in his bid for a third consecutive winning decision. He struck out five and walked three.

"I felt like I made some pretty good pitches," Narveson said. "You felt like you were in it, just a pitch away a couple of times. It was kind of weird how things bounced their way today. Balls down the line could have been another foot foul on three or four of those. Sometimes it takes breaks to go like that for for you to get things going. Unfortunately things went for them tonight."

Ryan Braun saw his career-best 23-game hit streak end, hitting into a double play in his final plate appearance in the seventh inning. The 0 for 3 night also snapped a 24-game hitting streak against Colorado, the longest run by an opposing player in the team's 19-year history.

Colorado made it 2-0 in the third when Ellis hit a one-out double and Helton followed with an RBI single. The two repeated the sequence in the seventh.

Notes: In other roster moves prior to the game, the Rockies purchased the contract of catcher Eliezer Alfonzo from Triple-A Colorado Springs and optioned catcher Matt Pagnozzi and outfielder Cole Garner to their top farm club. ... Milwaukee reliever Francisco Rodriguez, acquired in a trade with the New York Mets earlier this week, is now wearing jersey No. 57 after spending Thursday's first game with his new team wearing No. 75. ... Braun's streak ended one shy of matching Dave May's 24-game hitting streak in 1973, the second longest in Brewers' history. Paul Molitor had a franchise-record 39-game hitting streak in 1987. ... Gonzalez has missed eight of the last nine games since bruising his right wrist when he crashed into the wall making a catch against Kansas City on July 3. ... Following the game the Brewers optioned RHP Zach Braddock to Triple-A Nashville and recalled RHP Tim Dillard from the Sounds.