Tue. Final: Brewers 8, Rockies 6
PHOENIX (AP) -- Yovani Gallardo celebrated his new contract with a crisp outing Tuesday, striking out five and allowing only one hit over two innings in the Milwaukee Brewers' 8-6 victory over the Colorado Rockies.
"It was lot better for me than the last time," said Gallardo, who walked two and allowed a hit in an inning in his first start. "There's obviously a long way to go and a lot of things to work on."
Earlier Tuesday, the promising right-hander signed a one-year contract.
Gallardo made three starts before he tore his right anterior cruciate ligament trying to avoid a collision on May 1. He underwent surgery and didn't return until September 25, when he made one late-season start and two playoff appearances.
The 23-year-old was 9-5 with a 3.67 ERA in 17 starts and 20 appearances as a rookie in 2007.
"The first thing we're looking for from him is fastball command and he was down in the zone and popping it," Macha said. "It was a good outing."
Trot Nixon, Mike Rivera, Casey McGehee and Chris Duffy homered for the Brewers, who snapped a two-game losing streak.
Nixon's two-run homer, his first hit in 12 spring at-bats, broke a 6-6 tie in the bottom of the eighth.
"He broke the ice," Macha said.
Daniel Ortmeier and Seth Smith homered for the Rockies, who are winless in seven games.
"The guy's hit pretty much wherever he's been," Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said of Smith. "He's got a pretty good swing."
Career saves leader Trevor Hoffman, signed by Milwaukee as a free agent, retired the side in the seventh, striking out one.
"He was pretty good," Macha said. "He still has that changeup where they swing right through it even when he comes with it back-to-back."
Rockies starter Greg Smith, who allowed three runs on three hits and three walks in two innings against the Los Angeles Angels Friday, gave up two runs on three hits without a walk.
"It was top to bottom better," Smith said. "I wasn't as anxious, was more comfortable out there and threw more quality pitches."
Smith remains in the mix for the fifth spot in the Rockies' rotation.
"I only can do what I can do," Smith said. "I know it's a cliche but the reason cliches are cliches is because they're true."
Notes:@ Greg Reynolds allowed four runs on three hits and three walks in three relief innings for the Rockies. "The batters will pretty much tell you whether you've got good stuff or not," Hurdle said. ... Brewers RHP Braden Looper will not make his scheduled start Thursday against the Australian National Team. Macha said Looper, who strained his left oblique muscle warming up before Saturday's game against the Los Angeles Angels, will not throw for 10 to 12 days and could miss the start of the regular season.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)