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KC@COL: De La Rosa turns in three solid innings

The start of the 2013 season couldn't come soon enough for Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa.

After a trying rehab from June 2011 elbow surgery, De La Rosa missed much of the '12 season. When he finally got back to the mound in late September, he struggled in three starts, never making it past the fourth inning.

On Tuesday, De La Rosa gets that fresh start he's been looking for. He faces Milwaukee, aiming to help the Rockies avoid an 0-2 start to their 2013 campaign.

"I've started feeling like me again," De La Rosa said. "Last year was a tough year, but I'm back to finding me."

Countering De La Rosa will be Brewers right-hander Marco Estrada, who made three starts during the spring and posted a 1.88 ERA.

"I'll be relaxed [during the game], but there will be a few butterflies," Estrada said. "Then once I get that first pitch out of the way, it's like, all right, here we go."

Estrada started last season in the Brewers' bullpen, but ended up making 23 starts. He posted a 3.64 ERA and went 5-7 on the year. He pitched mostly in relief in 2011, but spent some time as an early-season fill in for Zack Greinke.

"Now that I'm here [as a starter], it feels like the right thing," Estrada said. "It is a milestone. It's a milestone just to be part of a Major League team, and getting the chance to start means the world to me. I always have seen myself as a starter, even when I wasn't. [Relief work] was hard for me; not knowing when you were going to pitch. Starting, mentally, is easier. At least for me it is."

The Brewers won in 10 innings on Monday, with Jonathan Lucroy's walk-off sacrifice fly serving as the decisive blow. The Crew rallied to score three runs in the eighth and take the lead before Colorado's Dexter Fowler tied the game in the ninth with a homer.

Rockies: Rutledge transitioning to second
Rockies infielder Josh Rutledge went 1-for-5 in his first game as a full-time second baseman.

Rutledge performed well enough last year to warrant a roster spot this season, but with Troy Tulowitzki returning from injury, he was forced out of his spot at shortstop.

"There are nerves no matter where you're playing or what's going on, especially the first game," Rutledge said. "We had a long spring, and everybody is ready to get things going."

Brewers: Lohse to follow Peralta

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke set his pitching rotation on Monday, splitting up Estrada and newly signed right-hander Kyle Lohse. Wily Peralta will get the start on Wednesday against Colorado, and Lohse will pitch Friday against the D-backs.

 

"As far as Lohse mixing in with our other staff, [he is] a little bit similar, maybe, to Marco Estrada, so we wanted to try to split that up a little bit," Roenicke said. "I think with Peralta, who is a 'stuff' guy, between Marco and Lohse, we're comfortable with that."

Mike Fiers will pitch on Saturday to round out the rotation, as lefty Chris Narveson was pushed to the bullpen when Lohse signed.

Worth noting
• De La Rosa was held out of his last Spring Training start, pitching instead in a Minor League game because the big league club was facing the Brewers. Rockies Manager Walt Weiss didn't want Milwaukee hitters entering the game familiar with De La Rosa's pitches. Estrada faced the Rockies on April 21 last season, tossing five solid innings while allowing just one run -- a Troy Tulowitzki homer.

• With Monday's victory, the Brewers snapped a four-game losing streak against Colorado.

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