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MIL@COL: Chatwood beats Crew with pitching, hitting

DENVER -- Starter Tyler Chatwood did more than overwhelm the Brewers lineup Friday night with a diving breaking ball and an explosive fastball. He also lifted the offense with a two-run double, carrying the Rockies to an 8-3 win over the Brewers at Coors Field.

Chatwood (7-3) turned in another gem behind Colorado's freshly revived offense, his 11 strikeouts over seven innings a new career high. He did not walk a batter.

"His breaking ball was filthy," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "His curveball was really sharp, fastball was explosive and down. Got the slider that he's got a lot of confidence in now. So he was really good."

It was just the second victory in five games for the Rockies, who need to sweep the Brewers to finish over .500 on their 10-game homestand.

It took all of four frames for the Rockies to match the eight runs they scored in the just-concluded four-game series against the Marlins. A four-run second jump-started the scuffling Colorado offense, and another four runs in the fourth inning pushed the recent slide into the rearview mirror.

And they did it all without slugger Carlos Gonzalez, who sat out Friday night's game with a middle finger sprain in his right hand that he aggravated on Thursday.

"They fell for us, and we were able to string multiple hits together, which has been tough for us," Weiss said. "It was nice to have a big inning. We haven't done that in a little while, and I think it helped to get us going."

A pair of walks coupled with a Todd Helton single loaded the bases in the second against Brewers starter Wily Peralta (7-10) with no outs.

Nolan Arenado opened the scoring with a one-run infield single that first baseman Juan Francisco could not glove. Chatwood then snuck a rolling double beyond third baseman Yuniesky Betancourt's reach to give the Rockies a three-run lead. DJ LeMahieu's groundout scored Arenado.

Chatwood, who finished 2-for-2, is hitting .345 and became just the fifth Major League pitcher to record more than one multi-RBI games this year.

"Well-placed, I'd say," Chatwood said with a wry smile. "But it worked out nice and that was a big two-run hit there."

Charlie Blackmon and Arenado led off the fourth with back-to-back singles, and Dexter Fowler walked to load the bases with one out.

LeMahieu reached on a force attempt, and Colorado benefited from a Brewers error, as Betancourt did not have his foot on the bag when Arenado slid in. Two consecutive singles from Troy Tulowitzki and Michael Cuddyer knocked Peralta out of the game, and Helton drove in one more with a single off reliever Rob Wooten -- forced to make his big league debut in the toughest of situations.

The outing ended a remarkable run of dominance for Peralta, who owned a 0.87 ERA over his last six starts. He left after 3 2/3 innings, his second-shortest outing of the year, surrendering five earned runs and seven hits.

After Chatwood's masterful start, Rockies starters have a 2.07 ERA since July 8, tops in the National League. Brewers manager Rob Roenicke, who watched Chatwood when he pitched for the Angels in 2011, saw major progress from the 23-year-old.

"His fastball is the biggest difference." Roenicke, a former Angels coach, said. "Then, his fastball was really straight. He always had a great arm, always was 95 [mph], but really straight. He's got really nice movement on his ball now."

"I think it was just a matter of time before our offense broke through," Chatwood said. "We have a great offense, so it's tough to hold those guys down for a while. But I think it's a big confidence booster, and hopefully we carry this momentum through the series."

Even after a minor slip up in the sixth, when the Brewers scored two, Chatwood owns a 1.99 ERA over his last four starts and tabbed his second consecutive win.

But unlike Thursday night, when Juan Nicasio's two-hit, seven inning masterpiece faded into another loss, the Rockies' bats came to the pitcher's rescue.

"Our whole pitching staff has been great," right fielder Michael Cuddyer said. "Our starters have been awesome. They've continued to go out there and give us a chance to win, and Chatwood did that tonight both offensively and defensively. He was probably our best hitter tonight, too."

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