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MILWAUKEE -- Mark Redman managed to keep the Brewers offense relatively in check and the Rockies offense closed the gap to just one run, but an injury at the worst possible moment cost the team a chance to tie the game.
After Brewers starter CC Sabathia ended the sixth-inning scoring threat, the Colorado bullpen let the game get out of hand Tuesday night and the Brewers ended up with the 7-3 win at Miller Park.
The game-changing play came in that decisive sixth inning.
The Rockies had the bases loaded with the Brewers leading, 4-1, and catcher Yorvit Torrealba at the plate. Torrealba laced a double into the right-field corner that would have almost certainly cleared the bases if not for an injury to Ryan Spilborghs, who was at first base before the hit.
Two runs scored on the play, but Spilborghs had to stop at third base and couldn't score from first to tie the game because of a sharp pain in his side.
"I felt like I got shot between first and second," Spilborghs said. "I was looking for someone to tag so they could keep running for me, maybe pass the baton or something. That was miserable, I think it hurt more that I couldn't score and get the game tied."
Spilborghs was pulled from the game in favor of pinch-runner Scott Podsednik. He was diagnosed with a left oblique strain and will be sent back to Denver on Wednesday and will be placed on the disabled list.
Bill Hall, the Brewers third baseman, had a bird's eye view of the play and said that Spilborghs surely would have scored to knot the game up at 4 had it not been for the injury.
"Definitely," Hall said. "He probably could have walked home. I saw him pull up halfway between first and second. Unfortunate for him, but it was fortunate for us at the time. Who knows how the game would have turned out if he would have scored and it's a tie ballgame."
Colorado manager Clint Hurdle and the rest of the players in the Rockies' dugout were stunned when Spilborghs pulled up injured.
"I think it took the wind out of us a bit," Hurdle said. "You see the tying run [stuck at third]. He looked like he got stabbed. It hit right before he got to second and he did everything he could just to get to third."
It seemed as if all of the air went from the Rockies' sails on that play, and Sabathia managed to escape the inning with the lead. He made a great catch and doubled off Podsednik at third base and then struck out Brad Hawpe to end the threat.
"[Jayson] Nix took a tough pitch and fired it up the middle and Sabathia made a shoestring catch and [Podsednik] got doubled off," Hurdle said. "Then we sent the one bat that can maybe rearrange the game a little bit in [Hawpe], and Sabathia was able to get him.
"That game was right there on the edge for awhile, and then it got away from us."
All of the buzz at Miller Park was about Sabathia's debut for the Brewers, but he had a so-so first outing and Redman kept the game competitive.
Making just his second start since returning to the Rockies, Redman (2-4) didn't pitch a lights-out game, allowing four runs on five hits over five innings of work, walking just one. He allowed three of his four earned runs in the first inning, but then settled down to allow just one over the next four.
"[Redman] just missed location on the first three hitters, he wasn't able to make quality pitches to them," Hurdle said. "It was a three-run ballgame right off the bat, but after that I thought he sharpened up a bit.
"He was able to shut it down and stop [the scoring] there. One run the rest of the way through and he rolled eight ground balls to give us a little more of what we were looking for, but the first three hitters set the tone."
The Brewers got out to an early three-run lead when Ryan Braun yanked a Redman pitch into the left-field bleachers and added another run in the third inning. But the Rockies would close the gap, scoring a run in the fourth inning and then two more in the sixth to bring the game to 4-3.
"That first inning was tough," Redman said. "Braun hit a decent pitch, it wasn't where I wanted it, but it was down and in. You just have to tip your cap and go back out there and try to minimize the damage."
The Rockies managed to do just that and get the game close again, but reliever Matt Herges had a rough seventh inning, allowing three runs on four hits with a wild pitch and a balk to give the game its lopsided final score.
Sabathia didn't have his best stuff but he picked up the win, his first with the Brewers, working through six innings. He allowed three runs -- two earned -- over five hits while walking five and striking out five.
After striking out Hawpe to end the sixth inning and escape the jam, Sabathia showed some of his trademark emotion by yelling animatedly into his mitt.
"That was just letting out everything from the past couple of days," Sabathia said. "The anticipation of getting out there on the mound and being frustrated with the five walks and not really throwing the ball where I wanted to. It was kind of relief. You'll see that from me from time to time."
Matt Holliday extended his hitting streak to a season-high 12 games with a single in the sixth inning. He has now hit safely in 23 of his last 24 games and is hitting .422 during the 12-game hitting streak.