Brewers rip Rockies behind Sheets, gain playoff ground

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Milwaukee manager Ned Yost knew Ben Sheets was

ready from the way the pitcher completed his pregame warmup.

"He turned the last couple of balls loose and they had a lot of

life to it," Yost said. "We figured he'd have a pretty good


Sheets threw seven sharp innings and Prince Fielder drove in two

runs to lead the Milwaukee Brewers over the Colorado Rockies 7-1

Wednesday night.

Tony Graffanino also had two RBI for Milwaukee, which won for

the fourth time in five games to move within 4½ games of Cincinnati

in the NL wild-card race.

"If we're going to make a good run at this we're going to need

Sheets," Graffanino said. "He threw the ball great again. We'd

like to keep him just the way he is, see him go out there every

five days and throw just like that."

Sheets (4-5) struck out seven, and allowed six hits and one run,

bouncing back from one of his worst starts of the season. Houston

got to him for seven runs and 10 hits in seven innings to beat the

Brewers 7-3 last Thursday.

"I pitched more aggressively," Sheets said. "I'm not a cute

pitcher. There's no way around it. That's who I am tonight."

Byung-Hyun Kim (7-9) doubled in a run and pitched five innings

for Colorado, which lost its fifth straight game. They have scored

only nine runs during the skid.

"We've dug ourselves a hole," Colorado manager Clint Hurdle

said. "There comes a point in time, we've got to come together as

a club and say, 'enough's enough.'

"The reality of it is right now, it just doesn't smell right

right now. We get down, we're not throwing punches back. We've got

to find a way to rekindle the flame, go out there and play with

more passion, more energy and have some fun while we're doing it."

Kim (7-9), who hasn't won on the road since May 28, a span of

seven starts, walked four and hit two batters with pitches. He gave

up six runs and four hits.

Milwaukee pushed across four runs in the fifth to take a 6-1

lead. After Gabe Gross was intentionally walked to load the bases,

Graffanino delivered a two-run single for a 4-1 lead.

Fielder added his second run-scoring single before Laynce Nix

was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

Jeff Cirillo hit his third homer of the season and first since

May 31 in the sixth to make it 7-1.

Colorado got its only run in the fifth. Kazuo Matsui, making his

Colorado debut after he was called up from Triple-A Colorado

Springs on Tuesday, led off with a double and scored on a one-out

double by Kim.

"Any game at this stage of the year is important," Colorado's

Jamey Carroll said. "We've got to find a way to find some energy

to get out of this thing."

Game notes
Milwaukee's Geoff Jenkins made his second start in right

since he was removed from the starting lineup on Aug. 10. ... The

Brewers have won eight of their last 11 home games. Kim threw a

wild pitch in the fifth that struck plate umpire Mike Reilly in the

left shoulder. ... Kim leads Colorado pitchers with four RBI. ...

Graffanino has reached base safely in 23 of his 25 games with

Milwaukee. ... Todd Helton has hit safely in 24 of his last 29

games for Colorado. ... The Rockies extended their player

development contract with Casper of the Pioneer League through