Rockies, Brewers conclude brief set at Miller Park

Though the Rockies aren't headed to the postseason, they contested season series.

Milwaukee hopes to take another step towards the National League Central title tonight in the finale of a two-game series with Colorado at Miller Park.

The Brewers have won six of eight over the Rockies this year, winning each game by two runs or less. That includes last night's 2-1 victory in 11 innings, made possible when Ryan Braun led off the frame with a solo homer.

The ability to win close games could serve the Brewers well should they reach the postseason for just the second time since their last division title in 1982, when the club won the American League East.

"We didn't do much offensively, so a couple of big at-bats," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke.

Prince Fielder also homered and Braun worked the count full against Matt Lindstrom before sending the 10th pitch of the at-bat over the fence in left- center for his 28th homer of the season.

"You fall behind a good hitter like that and eventually you're gonna pay for it," said Lindstrom. "The ball just came back over the middle and he made me pay for it."

Milwaukee has won two straight since a five-game slide and lowered its magic number to win the division to eight as it remained 6 1/2 games ahead of second-place St. Louis.

Wilin Rosario had an RBI double for the Rockies, who have lost six straight at Miller Park. That includes all four meetings this year, which isn't surprising given that the Brewers own baseball's best home record at 52-22.

Colorado manager Jim Tracy was forced to remove two of his starters from the game, pulling Troy Tulowitzki in the sixth inning and Todd Helton in the eight. Tulowitzki was removed due to a sore left hip that also caused him to miss Sunday's win over the Rockies, while Helton was playing for just the second time in eight games because of a back issue.

It is unknown if the two will be in the lineup tonight when the Rockies square off against Shaun Marcum, who has lost three of his past four decisions.

The right-hander allowed five runs on nine hits and four walks over 6 2/3 innings of a loss to the Phillies on Friday, the most runs he has allowed in seven outings. The 29-year-old fell to 12-6 with a 3.25 earned run average on the season.

Marcum has already won a pair of starts over the Rockies this season, allowing three runs over 13 frames.

Right-hander Kevin Millwood goes for Colorado and is coming off his first loss since making his season debut on Aug. 10.

Millwood faced the Diamondbacks last Wednesday and was touched for four runs on 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings. He also hit his third career homer, but fell to 2-2 with a 3.79 ERA in six starts this season.

The 36-year-old is 4-3 with a 5.17 ERA in 12 career starts versus Milwaukee.