DENVER The kings of the road continue to roll.
Riding some early offense, a solid performance from their bullpen and another miraculous gift from the baseball gods this time in the form of a ninth-inning Corey Dickerson pratfall the Milwaukee Brewers closed out a tremendous road trip with a wild 6-5 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on Sunday afternoon.
The Brewers concluded their seven-game trip to Arizona and Colorado with a 6-1 record, upping their major-league-leading road record to 27-15. They're also a season-best 17 games over .500 at 47-30, tops in the National League, and just a half-game behind the Oakland A's for best overall record.
Had Dickerson not tripped and fell heading for home plate in that ninth, the Brewers might very well have headed back to Milwaukee on a sour note. But he did, making Wilin Rosario's home run one at-bat later moot when Francisco Rodriguez buckled down and got the final two outs.
"Man, I guess when things are going good, things are going good," said third baseman Aramis Ramirez, whose two-run homer in the second helped the Brewers to a 3-0 lead. "That guy don't fall, Rosario hits the homer, it's a tie ballgame.
"We'll take it any way we can."
Dickerson led off that ninth with a triple to right-center off Rodriguez that just missed going out. It caromed hard off the wall and rolled back toward the infield, with Carlos Gomez eventually running it down. He made a throw to third that tailed late and got past Ramirez.
The ball rolled to the front of Milwaukee's dugout. Rodriguez, who would have normally been backing up, wasn't able because he'd rolled his ankle after making the pitch. That left Ramirez to chase the ball down with Dickerson unsure of whether to stay at third or break for home.
Dickerson eventually started for the plate but didn't get far before falling on his face. He got up but was thrown out easily on Ramirez's throw to Jonathan Lucroy.
"I just wanted to get the ball in case something happened, because if he don't fall he scores easy," Ramirez said. "I saw that Frankie wasn't backing up."
Keeping that run off the board proved huge when Rosario followed with a booming home run to center to make it 6-5. With the crowd of 36,619 suddenly back into it, Rodriguez found his bearings.
He started by striking out pinch hitter Ryan Wheeler looking, and then got Charlie Culberson to ground out to notch his 25th save and seal the third bizarre victory in as many games for the Brewers in Denver.
"At that point, I fall behind, a solo shot's (by Rosario) not going to hurt me I'm up by two," said Rodriguez, who tied another former Brewer, Francisco Cordero, for 13th on the all-time list with his 329th career save.
"The last thing I want to do is walk a guy. So I'm just going to challenge and if I get him quick and he gets himself out, good. Otherwise I still have one run to play with and we're two outs away. The game situation dictates how I approach a hitter."
The Brewers held a tenuous 5-3 lead heading into the eighth after five innings from starter Kyle Lohse, who battled his control all day, and two shutout innings of relief by Brandon Kintzler, Zach Duke and Rob Wooten.
Will Smith allowed a one-out single to D.J. LeMahieu and, after Smith recorded the second out, Drew Stubbs tripled off the wall in right. LeMahieu scored easily to cut Milwaukee's advantage to 5-4.
Troy Tulowitzki, the leading hitter in the National League, came up next and was intentionally walked, drawing boos. That set up the left-hander Smith against the left-handed-hitting Justin Morneau, however, and the move worked to perfection as he grounded out to Ramirez on a first-pitch slider.
"To tell you the truth, I don't know what the right way is on that," said manager Ron Roenicke. "It worked out, but that's not comfortable, pitching to him there. We tried to pitch around him and we really didn't, and that even makes it worse.