MILWAUKEE (AP) – Carlos Gonzalez is happy to see Troy Tulowitzki back in the Colorado Rockies’ lineup.
Gonzalez homered for the second straight game and drove in two runs to lead the Rockies over the Milwaukee Brewers 8-4 Tuesday night, giving Walt Weiss his first win as a major league manager.
Tulowitzki also homered for the second straight game and drove in two runs, giving him four RBIs for the season.
Tulowitzki is off to a quick start after missing the last four months of the 2012 season with an injured left groin that required surgery. The All-Star shortstop went 2 for 5 with a homer and two RBIs in Monday’s loss on opening day.
“It’s great to have him out there,” Gonzalez said. “Any team would want him on their side. He is one of those players that can win games all by himself.”
Weiss, who posted his first victory, a year after managing his son’s high school team, had a lot of praise for Tulowitzki and Gonzalez after the game.
“Tulowitzki looks great,” Weiss said. “Having him and Carlos in the three and four hole is very nice. Those two guys are going to have to be the ones if we are going to make a push this year.”
Gonzalez said he is seeing the ball well early in the season.
“I am not trying to hit home runs, but when pitchers make mistakes in this league, you have to make them pay,” he said. “So far, I feel really good at the plate and it is paying off.”
While the home runs were important, both Weiss and Gonzalez talked about the importance of the Rockies’ three-run seventh inning that features four singles, a walk and a sacrifice fly.
“We really had some good at-bats tonight,” Weiss said. “We did a little bit of everything out there. I know that if the game is close, our offense will do something.”
Edgmer Escalona (1-0) pitched 1 2-3 innings of scoreless relief for the victory.
Jorge De La Rosa started for Colorado and pitched 4 1-3 innings, giving up four runs and five hits. Rafael Betancourt got the last out to record his first save.
Marco Estrada started and went five innings for Milwaukee. He gave up four runs and nine hits and struck out eight.
Tulowitzki hit a solo homer in the third to make it 2-all. Gonzalez’s two-run homer in the fifth tied it at 4.
The Rockies broke it open in the seventh off Brewers relievers Michael Gonzalez (0-1) and Burke Badenhop.
Dexter Fowler had a leadoff walk, Josh Rutledge bunted for a hit and Gonzalez singled to load the base. Tulowitzki’s sacrifice fly put Colorado ahead, and Michael Cuddyer and Todd Helton added RBI singles.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was disappointed about the seventh inning.
“What do you do about an inning like that?” he said. “That’s weird. You don’t see too many innings that could go bad with really pretty good pitches. A bunt that maybe we should make a play on. The broken bat, I don’t know what you do about that thing. It just didn’t go well.”
Roenicke said Estrada struggled with his command.
“His off-speed pitches, which he usually can get command of as the game goes along, he didn’t get command of,” he said.
Rutledge had a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
Chris Nelson’s RBI single in the second gave the Rockies a 1-0 lead. Carlos Gomez’s RBI double and Estrada’s RBI single in the bottom half put Milwaukee ahead 2-1.
Ryan Braun hit a two-run shot into the right-field seats in the third, his first home run of the season.
NOTES: Tulowitzki’s home run was his 131st since 2007, the most among active shortstops. … Braun kept up his robust hitting against De La Rosa, going 1 for 2. Overall, Braun is 8 for 11 against him with two home runs and three doubles. … After drawing 45,781 fans Monday, the fifth-largest crowd in Miller Park history, Tuesday night’s attendance was 24,753. … Brewers RHP Wily Peralta will close out the series on Wednesday against Rockies RHP Juan Nicasio.
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