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07/10/08 7:43 PM ET

Rockies fall to Brewers, settle for split

Starter De La Rosa allows seven runs in 3 2/3 innings

MILWAUKEE -- Rockies hitters couldn't muster much offense, starter Jorge De La Rosa was knocked out during a rough fourth inning and Brewers starter Dave Bush was brilliant to stymie Colorado, handing the Rockies an 11-1 loss in Thursday's finale.

"[Bush] was real good and we weren't good enough off the mound, not by any means," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.

The defeat also meant that the Rockies split the four-game series and head to New York to face the Mets with a chance to end the first half of the season with a winning road trip. Still, Hurdle knows his team must improve to have a shot at the playoffs.

"We need to get better, we know that," Hurdle said. "You continue to put opportunities out there, but guys need to move upon them. And when they don't you need to adjust and move forward."

Bush (5-8) allowed two straight baserunners to open the game and let Colorado get out to an early 1-0 lead, but that was all he would allow on the day. He retired 24 of the final 26 batters he faced, striking out a career-high 13 batters through his eight innings of three-hit baseball.

"He was able to throw his curveball 68-72 miles an hour and his fastball at 90," Hurdle said. "This guy had impeccable command and just kept throwing strikes. Even though his pitch count [124] got to what it was, he got into the eighth inning.

"The curveball was very problematic for us today. He didn't hang one, it had a late bite and it was always down. That made his 88-90 mph fastball look like is was 100, so he was able to control our bat speed today."

Bush is normally a guy who pitches to contact, making this strikeout binge all the more unusual, and a performance for his own personal record book.

"I knew that was more than normal for me," Bush said. "I'm not typically a high-strikeout guy, and as I was going I knew I had more than usual. At the end I kind of saw how many it was."

De La Rosa (3-5) was chased from the game before he could make it through four innings of work. After he allowed the Brewers to tie up the game with one run in the third inning, Milwaukee sent 10 men to the plate in the fourth, racking up six runs on five hits, all of which were charged to De La Rosa.

Brewers shortstop J.J. Hardy walked and scored during the fourth inning, and later homered to give the game its final score.

"In that [fourth] inning, the bad inning, [De La Rosa] kind of blew up a bit," Hardy said. "He's got really good stuff. It's hard to explain when somebody has that good stuff and they blow up like that."

De La Rosa ended up with a final line of 3 2/3 innings pitched, seven runs, nine hits, two walks and five strikeouts. Hurdle said it wasn't the first time one bad inning has haunted De La Rosa.

"It's been somewhat of a consistent theme," Hurdle said. "He gets that one inning that unravels on him. He's not been able to stop it and it, usually comes with a little bit of traffic [on the bases].

"He tends to overthrow to maybe try and get out of it a little quicker. He's speeding up his delivery and his mechanics fall out of line."

Though the Colorado offense was severely limited by Bush, one piece of good news did come out of Thursday's game.

Matt Holliday celebrated the news that he'd be starting for the National League in this year's All-Star Game by extending his hitting streak to 14 games. He singled in the fourth inning, is batting .415 during the streak and has hit safely in 25 of his last 26 games.

"For him to be wearing that Colorado Rockies uniform and playing right field at Yankee Stadium in the last All-Star Game there ... that's pretty good stuff," Hurdle said. "He's rolling, there is no doubt about it.

"He's the crown jewel in our offense right now, and he's trying to make a statement and keep his team rallying through some adversity."

Dave Fultz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.