With 25 road wins, the Brewers have the most victories away from home of any team in the Majors. They're also tied with the Braves for most quality starts. The unique, hitter-friendly atmosphere at Coors Field figured to present a challenge to the road warrior Brewers, and although Milwaukee pulled out a 13-10 victory in the series opener on Friday, the pitching staff struggled.
"You can't worry about it. Ours is a good hitter's park. A lot of opposing teams come into ours and worry," manager Ron Roenicke said. "You just have to make pitches. You make pitches and the damage is going to be little. ... So hopefully we command the ball well and we can keep the run total down."
They failed to do so on Friday, but they'll send Wily Peralta (7-5, 2.98 ERA) to the mound on Saturday in hopes of returning the team to its stingy pitching ways.
The 25-year-old right-hander has had a career season thus far. He has tailed off a tad lately, though. He allowed three or more earned runs just twice in his first 11 starts and since then, he's been tagged for three or more runs earned in three of four starts. Peralta is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA through 10 innings pitched in three career appearances (two starts) against the Rockies.
He'll be opposed by lefty Christian Friedrich, who'll be making his first MLB appearance since July 28, 2012.
Brewers: Braun slumping
Ryan Braun, who played in his 1,000th career game on Friday night, has been scuffling lately, hitting .169 (10-for-59) in the last two weeks. Despite Braun's struggles, manager Ron Roenicke isn't shuffling his lineup.
"With the way they're swinging, I don't really want to change things right now. Our 3-4 [hitters] are pretty good. Brauny is not swinging it as well, so we don't really want to move him from his spot yet," Roenicke said. "Aramis [Ramirez] is swinging the bat well, so I think that as long as we're scoring runs and everything is going well, everybody is pretty happy."
Both Braun and Roenicke said the rib-cage injury that landed Braun on the disabled list last month is no longer a factor. But he is still bothered from time to time by a nagging nerve issue in his right hand that dates to last season, plus the usual bumps and bruises common for everyday Major Leaguers.
"It's just from at-bat to at-bat, we need to get him [Braun] back and being that consistent guy who gives you the three good at-bats a game," Roenicke said. "We're not there with him yet. We were for a while, he was swinging well for a while. Then all of a sudden, he lost it. Physically, it's part of the problem when he goes in a little bit of a funky stage."
Rockies: Friedrich returns
It took nearly 23 months, but Friedrich is back in the Majors.
"It's always nice to put this stuff on again," Friedrich said of the Rockies' uniform on Friday. "I'm really excited just to be back in the clubhouse with a lot of the guys who I came up through the system."
He was 5-8 with a 6.17 ERA in 16 starts before he was put on the disabled list because of a stress fracture in his lower back in 2012.
Friedrich will be called up from Triple-A Colorado Springs. The lefty has not been pitched well for the Sky Sox. He is 1-8 with a 7.89 ERA in 13 starts. He's served up 91 hits -- including 11 home runs -- in 67 1/3 innings.
"There's been some glimpses of some dominant performances and he's struggled at times too. So it's been a mixed bag for him down in Triple-A," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.
"He's had some success here before and we hope that it's a spark for him, being back in the big leagues."
Friedrich hopes so as well, though he feels good about how his 2014 has transpired so far.
"Most of the starts have been pretty good in the start and usually there' s maybe a crooked number every now and then," Friedrich said. "I just feel real healthy. Getting out in front, working on some mechanical things, just trusting all my pitches. This year's been a lot of ups and downs, but I'm healthy, made all my starts for the most part. So it's been great."
• Carlos Gomez has a 16-game hitting streak and has reached base in 33 consecutive games.
• Friedrich will be the 11th pitcher to start for the Rockies this year. Entering Thursday, the Rockies were tied with the Rangers among Major League teams for most starting pitchers used this season.
Ryan Hood is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.