Series: Game 2 of 3

Milwaukee leads 2-0 (as of 6/30)

Game 1: Tuesday, June 29
Game 2: Wednesday, June 30
Game 3: Thursday, July 1

Brewers 5

(40-34, 19-17 away)

Rockies 4

(28-48, 17-20 home)

    9:05 PM ET, June 30, 2004

    Coors Field, Denver, Colorado 

    123456789 R H E
    MIL 000023000 5 10 0
    COL 000301000 4 10 1

    W: B. Sheets (7-5)

    L: A. Cook (2-3)

    S: D. Kolb (23)

    Walker's 2,000th hit isn't enough

    DENVER (AP) -- Ben Sheets hasn't been getting much help from his teammates, so he decided to take matters into his own hands.

    It wasn't pretty, but it worked.

    Sheets (7-5) struck out eight in seven-plus innings and had a rare RBI with his first hit in nearly a year, helping the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Colorado Rockies 5-4 on Wednesday night for their fourth straight victory.

    "My eyes might have been closed. It's easier to make contact when they are closed," Sheets said after his fifth-inning blooper ended an 0-for-41 slump.

    Sheets' 2.58 ERA is second in the majors only to Tom Glavine's 2.11, but the big right-hander won just six of his first 15 starts because the Brewers didn't give him much run support -- nine runs in his five losses.

    The Brewers took care of Sheets this time with 10 hits -- three by Chad Moeller -- and five different players driving in a run. Junior Spivey homered and Sheets even got into the act, flipping a single to right in the fifth inning for his first hit since last Aug. 3 against Montreal and his seventh career RBI.

    "We owed this one to Ben," Milwaukee's Wes Helms said. "He'd pitched well so many times this year and we haven't scored many runs for him."

    Todd Helton ended Colorado's six-game homerless streak at Coors Field with his 14th of the year, but the Rockies couldn't get much off Sheets after a three-run fourth inning.

    Larry Walker had his 2,000th career hit and Jeromy Burnitz had three hits and drove in two runs for Colorado, which has lost four straight and six of nine.

    "Obviously, the old cliche: We lost, so it's kind of disappointing," Walker said of reaching the milestone.

    Rockies starter Aaron Cook (2-3) had his sinker working early in the cool, humid air and his fastball reached the mid-90s. He gave up a leadoff single to Scott Podsednik in the first, but didn't allow another hit until Helms' one-out single in the fifth to extend his scoreless streak to a career-high 12 innings.

    But Cook's good fortune didn't last.

    He allowed two runs in the fifth and was lifted with one out in the sixth after allowing four hits and three runs in the inning. Cook gave up eight total hits for his third loss in five starts.

    "I made a couple of bad pitches the last two innings and they were able to connect on them," Cook said. "I made some pitches that I thought were good ones and they were able to get to them."

    Sheets was throwing just as hard, mixing in curveballs and changeups to keep the Rockies off balance. He retired the first nine hitters he faced, but had trouble finishing the fourth inning after getting two outs.

    Helton made it 1-0 with a solo homer to right, Colorado's first at Coors Field in 210 at-bats. Walker followed with a double down the line in right -- hit No. 2,000 -- then scored on Vinny Castilla's double off the wall in right-center. Burnitz made it 3-0 with a bloop single to right.

    But Sheets only seemed to get stronger after that.

    He allowed a run on Burnitz's bloop single in the sixth, but struck out the side in the seventh. Sheets allowed a season-high four runs on eight hits in 7 1/3 innings, but it was just good enough for the win at hitter-friendly Coors Field.

    "He's got some filthy stuff and the seventh inning was probably his best as far as pure stuff goes," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "When you crack a guy like that, you need your guys to step up and we couldn't follow what we had in the one inning."

    Spivey tied it in the sixth with his seventh homer, a solo shot that landed in the back of Milwaukee's bullpen in right-center. Ben Grieve followed with a double, then Helms and Moeller had consecutive RBI singles to put the Brewers up 5-3.

    Colorado cut the lead to 5-4 on Burnitz's single in the sixth and had runners on first and second with one out in the ninth, but Dan Kolb got J.D. Closser to ground into a game-ending double play for his 23rd save in 24 chances.

    "When he comes in, you can almost mark it up that the game's over," said Brewers manager Ned Yost, whose team is on its longest winning streak since taking 10 straight last August. "Another big save for him, you know, a one-run save in a tough situation."

    Game notes

    The game's start was delayed 27 minutes by rain. ... Closser was 1-for-4 in his major league debut. He also threw out Podsednik on a steal attempt in the first inning. ... The Rockies have used 13 rookies this season, tied for third-most in team history. ... Colorado's last homer at Coors was a solo shot by Helton with one out in the eighth on June 15 against Boston. ... Walker is the 234th player -- 24th active -- to reach 2,000 hits. He's also the first Canadian-born player to reach the milestone.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press