DENVER -- On most nights, spotting the opponent six runs on the road in the first two innings is a death wish for a starting pitcher. Then again, most nights your No. 8 hitter doesn't double his home run total in one game.
Right-hander Marco Estrada settled down enough for the Brewers to cling to a 13-10 win on Friday in the series opener against the Rockies at Coors Field. Following a game that saw both the Brewers and Rockies each register 10 hits in two-strike counts, manager Ron Roenicke couldn't help but feel "worn out."
"It's unbelievable," said Roenicke. "I know the ball carries well, but there were balls squared up all night long. It's amazing how many balls were hit hard."
Five Brewers finished the game with three hits with the team matching a season high in hits, 19, and setting a new season high in runs. Jean Segura led the charge with two of his three hits leaving the yard for the first multi-home run game of his professional career.
"It's amazing how balls go out of play [at Coors Field] so quickly," said Segura. "I wasn't trying to hit a home run. I was trying to just put the ball in play."
Estrada (6-4) seemed destined for a short evening after serving up a two-run double and a three-run home run to Justin Morneau before the second inning was over. Despite three doubles in the first inning from Scooter Gennett, Jonathan Lucroy and Aramis Ramirez and Segura's first homer since May 5 to start the second, the Brewers still found themselves in a 6-4 hole when the third inning rolled around.
But the run support for Estrada wouldn't stop there. Following Ramirez's single off the left wrist of Rockies right-hander Christian Bergman, one of his three hits on the evening, Khris Davis sent a two-run shot into the left-field bleachers for his 13th home run of the season. Two batters later, Segura retook the lead with his second home run on a ball that landed in precisely the same location as Davis' -- albeit with far less hang time.
Bergman (0-2) would finish out the inning, but was replaced by right-hander Tommy Kahnle to start the third after requiring 69 pitches to labor through three frames.
"I was just leaving pitches up in the zone -- my fastball was up a little bit, off-speed pitches were up a little, too, and they capitalized on it," said Bergman, who was dealing with a swollen wrist.
Kahnle fared better, with Ryan Braun scoring the only run against him in the fourth thanks to some aggressive baserunning. From there, Estrada was provided enough cushion to complete 5 2/3 innings, striking out seven and walking one against 10 hits and seven earned runs.
There were outs left on the field behind Estrada, though. Roenicke was "baffled" by the official scorer's decisions on a handful of non-errors including a near-collision in centerfield between Carlos Gomez and Davis which allowed two to score and Wilin Rosario being gifted a single on a play in which Estrada was slow to cover first.
"If you look at his overall performance, look at the plays that should have been made," said Roencike. "He shouldn't have gave up that many runs if we play well behind him."
Estrada, too, felt he outpitched his final line and admitted he didn't make any adjustments after the Rockies scored six through two innings, chalking it up to "a couple things not going my way."
"I thought I did what I could," said Estrada. "I made a lot of good pitches for a lot of weak hits today … It was unfortunate it went the way it did, but who cares? We won, that's all that matters."
The Brewers welcomed right-hander Chris Martin into the game by totaling five hits in the sixth, building their lead up to 11-6. As soon as Estrada departed though, the Brewers again ran into trouble.
Left-hander Zach Duke was chased after the lone batter he faced, Corey Dickerson, teed off on his 2-2 offering for a two-run home run, cutting the lead to 11-8. Right-hander Brandon Kintzler came on for the final out of the sixth, but suffered the same fate in the seventh with Brandon Barnes smacking another two-run shot to center.
"We kept fighting our way back into it, but we couldn't hold back their offense," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.
Braun supplied an insurance run on an RBI double in the seventh and the Rockies were unable to cut the deficit to fewer than two. Left-hander Will Smith and right-hander Francisco Rodriguez, earning his Major League best 24th save, combined to close out the win.
"It was a football game out there tonight," said Lucroy. "We were able to hold on and get it done."
Playing in his 1,000th game in a Brewers uniform, Braun finished his day 3-for-6 with two runs, two RBIs and two doubles. Gomez also tied Prince Fielder for the franchise's fifth-longest streak of reaching base safely with his first inning single. He'd finish his night 3-for-6 with two runs and one RBI, extending his hit streak to 16 games and his on-base streak to 33, the longest current streak in the Majors.
Cody Ulm is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.