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Brewers nip Rockies in Coors Field's ML-high 11th shutout

DENVER (AP) -- Jeff Cirillo sank heavily into the chair at his
locker, shrugged his shoulders, tilted his head and raised his
eyebrows.

"Do you believe me now?" begged his body language.

Hours after suggesting illegal, waterlogged baseballs were being
used at Coors Field, accounting for the dramatic decline in scoring
at the ballpark formerly known as "Coors Canaveral," the
Milwaukee Brewers beat the Colorado Rockies 1-0 on Tuesday night.

It was just the fourth 1-0 game in the stadium's 12-year history
but the third this year at what is fast becoming just another
pitcher's park.

"Another coincidence?" Cirillo asked. "Don't get me wrong
(David) Bush and (Josh) Fogg pitched great. But two guys with a
5.00 ERA pitching a 1-0 game?"

Another raise of the eyebrows -- fitting, because his comments
assuredly did the same across baseball Tuesday night.

Teams are combining to average a record low 9.09 runs a game at
Coors, a 33 percent decrease from its heyday a decade ago, and
there have always been grumbling about the humidor since its
introduction five years ago at Coors Field to keep baseballs from
drying up and shrinking in Denver's thin air.

But Cirillo was the first to publicly suggest that the baseballs
are waterlogged, preventing them from leaving the ballpark with
their usual regularity in the mile-high altitude.

"I don't feel anything different. The ball feels the same in my
hands," said Bush, who allowed five singles over six innings.

Damian Miller's RBI single in the seventh was the only scoring
in the major league-leading 11th shutout at Coors Field.

"I remember how it used to be, and yeah, I think the numbers
speak for themselves," Colorado's Todd Helton said. "There's a
difference, but we are competing every game, so that's OK. I think
the park plays a lot better. Pitchers throw better games, the pace
of games is the way it should be.

"Selfishly, I'd like to see the ball fly a little bit more, but
I'm all right with it."

Bush (7-8) hit two batters and struck out two. Francisco Cordero, who came to the Brewers last Friday in a trade with Texas,
got the final four outs for his second save.

The Rockies loaded the bases in the ninth when Helton led off
with a triple and Cordero walked Brad Hawpe and Choo Freeman around
two strikeouts. He struck out Cory Sullivan to end the game.

Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said he has so much faith in his new
closer, who replaced an ineffective Derrick Turnbow, that "I still
felt good" after center fielder Tony Gwynn Jr. misplayed Helton's
hit into a triple.

"I think I might have been surprised if they scored there,"
Yost said.

Cordero wasn't bothered by Helton's hit.

"I've been in that situation before. This isn't my first game
in the big leagues," he said. "I set it in my mind that I had to
get a couple of strikeouts because any contact probably a run
scores."

Cirillo was right about the wet baseballs Tuesday night -- a
steady rain started falling in the seventh and lasted about 15
minutes while fans scurried for shelter.

Fogg (7-6) took the loss despite allowing one run and seven hits
in 6 2/3 innings. He walked two, both intentional, and struck out
six.

Geoff Jenkins led off the seventh with a double into the right
field corner and advanced on David Bell's groundout. Bill Hall, who
had singled and doubled, was intentionally walked, bringing up
Miller.

Fogg picked off Hall for the second out but Miller sent a 2-2
pitch between shortstop Clint Barmes and third baseman Garrett Atkins for an RBI single.

Later that inning, Tony Graffanino's fly ball to left with the
bases full died at the wall for the third out, another piece of
evidence in Cirillo's conspiracy theory.

"We will keep playing games," Colorado manager Clint Hurdle
said, "and the park will establish its own identity."

Game notes
For just the third time ever, the Rockies have been
involved in five straight games where neither team scored more than
four runs. ... Brewers OF Rickie Weeks (right wrist) will start
hitting off a tee Friday.