Having recently earned a three-game sweep at Coors Field, the Brewers will look for more success against the Rockies this weekend in a four-game set between the two clubs at Miller Park that begins on Thursday night at 7:10 CT.
The Brewers outscored the Rockies, 28-19, in last weekend's high-scoring series but came home to see their bats cool off against the tough pitching of the Nationals. The Crew scored two runs in 12 innings against Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann before breaking through against Stephen Strasburg in Wednesday's 9-2 win.
"I think running into good pitching can cool you off in a hurry, but usually then you jump-start it again the next day or the day after," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke before Wednesday's game. "Unfortunately, we ran into Zimmermann [Tuesday] night."
In Thursday's series opener against Colorado, the Brewers will try to continue rolling against Christian Friedrich. The left-hander will be making his second start of the season, and his first came against Milwaukee.
On Saturday, Friedrich surrendered nine runs (four earned) over six innings and took the loss as the Rockies' defense committed four errors in a 9-4 Milwaukee win.
"I was OK," Friedrich said. "I was missing inside quite a bit, but our game plan was to keep them off the plate. They're a very good breaking-ball-hitting team. I tried to stick with the fastball. My changeup was a little too down. I tried to make an adjustment with [Aramis] Ramirez and make it a competitive pitch, but I just left it up. I made a few mistakes, and those are things I have to work on."
Wily Peralta was the winning pitcher in that game, and he'll try to repeat the feat at home. Peralta threw 110 pitches in that outing, striking out two and allowing eight hits and one walk to win his career-best fourth straight game.
"I thought Wily did a great job of keeping the ball down," Roenicke said after that start. "He got a lot of ground balls today, which is what he does when he's right. He threw some nice sliders today and got some outs on his changeup, too."
The Brewers hold the National League's best record at 48-32, and they'll try to take advantage of playing a Colorado team that has lost eight of its last nine games.
Rockies: Butler returns to throwing
Rookie right-hander Eddie Butler isn't sure what to do with himself when he's not rehabbing from right rotator cuff inflammation.
"I'm losing my mind," Butler said. "[Veteran reliever LaTroy] Hawkins came up to me yesterday and said, 'You look like a lost 12-year-old.'"
Colorado placed Butler on the 15-day disabled list when unexpected soreness set in after his Major League debut on June 6, a loss to the Dodgers, and the club later shut him down to do exercises designed to strengthen his muscles around the shoulder -- especially at the front and underneath it. The sub-scapula, the muscle that showed weakness, is a difficult one if a significant tear occurs. Surgery is not an option, because doctors would have to work through other rotator cuff muscles, and rehab can take six months.
But Butler returned to throwing this week, threw long toss at 120 feet on Wednesday and will move to 150 feet on Thursday before throwing his first bullpen session since being shut down on Friday. He'll throw another bullpen session after the team returns from its road trip on Thursday, and he will face hitters a few days later.
After completing those rehab steps, Butler hopes to go on a Minor League assignment. The Rockies believe that stopping Butler and reworking his routine between starts will help him progress. Though Butler pitched well enough at Double-A Tulsa to make the jump to the Majors, he felt his sinker wasn't as strong as it was last year, when he posted a 1.80 ERA across three levels.
Brewers: Club banged up after 16-inning game
Though it's not unusual for starters to get a break when a day game comes on the heels of a night game, Roenicke said that resting on Wednesday was particularly necessary for Ramirez and Ryan Braun.
Roenicke said that Ramirez, who was removed after the 11th inning of Tuesday night's 4-2, 16-inning loss to the Nationals, was still hurting from the left hamstring injury that kept him on the disabled list from May 13 to June 4. The manager said the Brewers planned to re-evaluate Ramirez after Wednesday's game and see if he needed additional time off.
"He was hurting; it worked out, but I needed to get him out of there somewhere," Roenicke said of Ramirez's removal from Tuesday's game. "It's a little bit of everything. The back is creating some things. The hamstring, that one is still not 100 percent gone. He feels fine, but that tightened up."
Braun endured a DL stint of his own in May because of a right oblique strain and sustained a mild right ankle sprain last Sunday in Colorado. Roenicke said that Braun's hamstring has also been bothering him.
• The two hits allowed by the Brewers in Wednesday's win were the fewest the team has allowed in a game this season.
• The Brewers and Dodgers as the only two teams in the Majors not to have been swept this season.
Caitlin Swieca is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.