Jonathan Villar also hit a run-scoring double in the decisive seventh for the Brewers, who overcame Nolan Arenado's National League-leading 33rd home run, a three-run shot in the third, to win their third straight game. Rockies reliever Carlos Estevez took the loss after surrendering Perez's go-ahead hit, which came in an 0-2 count and gave the Brewers a 5-3 lead.
"I was having a tough day at the plate, so after two strikes, I went to my two-strike approach," said Perez, who was hitless with a pair of strikeouts in three previous at-bats. "He gave me a fastball, I put the bat on it and thankful it was a hit."
Entering the night, Estevez hadn't allowed any of 12 inherited runners to score this season. Perez changed that.
"You don't like to give up 0-2 hits, you don't ever like to do that, but [Estevez] is throwing 98, 99 and it's a fastball away," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Perez put the ball in play, it lands inside the line and ends up being a huge hit. Perez, he fought for that hit."
With closer Tyler Thornburg unavailable after logging three innings over the previous two days, the Brewers used Carlos Torres and Corey Knebel to hold the lead, with Domingo Santana's sacrifice fly in the eighth giving Knebel some margin for error. Knebel earned his first Major League save, and left-hander Brent Suter was rewarded with his first Major League win after working around two hits and a walk in a scoreless seventh.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Shortstops start it: The Brewers' winning rally began with their shortstops. Slumping rookie Orlando Arcia, 2-for-34 over his previous 10 games and out of the starting lineup in the wake of Monday's frustration-filled series opener, pinch-hit with one out in the seventh and lined an opposite-field double against Jake McGee, the first of three Colorado relievers to appear in the inning. Villar, manning short in Arcia's place, followed against left-hander Boone Logan and nearly tied the game with a two-run home run, only to see his long fly ball to left field hook foul. On the next pitch, though, Villar lined his own opposite-field double to cut the Brewers' deficit to 4-3.
"In fact, [Arcia] homered off Jake McGee in Spring Training," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "It was funny going out there, I said, 'This is one guy that you faced already.' He kind of winked. He knew he had faced him in Spring Training. It was a little bit of confidence for him in that at-bat."
Nolan being Nolan: Arenado thrust the Rockies in front and regained the -- albeit short-lived -- solo NL lead in homers in the third. Following singles by Charlie Blackmon (who returned to the lineup after missing four consecutive starts) and David Dahl, Arenado launched a first-pitch changeup from Brewers starter Chase Anderson into the left-field bleachers. Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant slugged his 33rd homer later in the evening to draw even for the NL lead, but Arenado's 107 RBIs are still tops by a wide margin.
"Once he gets rolling, he's capable of anything," Weiss said of Arenado. "That's why I don't worry too much about him when he struggles for a little bit."
Celebration time: When Knebel recorded the game's final out with a pair of Rockies runners on base, it marked the fourth time in franchise history that one pitcher logged his first Major League win, and another his first save, in the same game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Brewers' last such instance was Sept. 28, 2013, when Donovan Hand got a win after a blown save, and Alfredo Figaro earned the save in a 10-inning win over the Mets at Citi Field.
"Coming into it, I was nervous in the bullpen. I thought it was going to be a lot different," Knebel said. "And then when I got out there, it was like, 'This is the same thing I've been doing. I've closed in college, in the Minor Leagues, I've set-up in the seventh and the eighth [in the Majors]. It was all like I've been there before." More >
Gray's Anatomy: Not only did Rockies right-hander Jon Gray get the job done on the mound, logging his fourth double-digit strikeout game of the season over six quality innings, but he aided his own cause at the plate in the sixth. With two outs and two strikes against reliever Jhan Marinez, Gray laced an RBI double to the right-field gap to extend the Rockies' lead to 4-2 lead. It was an inning that got away from Marinez, who retired the first two batters of the frame and had Cristhian Adames in a 1-2 count before walking him. Gray, too, was in a two-strike count when he delivered his hit. Gray surrendered two runs over six frames to rebound from a string of two starts in which he allowed a combined 15 runs.
"I really needed the bounceback, for one," Gray said. "I know the team was really counting on me there to give us a chance to win."
QUOTABLE "I felt good overall. Obviously you want to go deeper in the game. I had more strikeouts than I usually do, and that gets your pitch count up there." -- Anderson, who struck out seven over five innings in his first start since he was struck in the left thigh by a 107-mph Bryant liner last week at Wrigley Field
WHAT'S NEXT Rockies: Rookie Tyler Anderson will get the start when Colorado closes out the three-game series with the Brewers at 12:10 p.m. MT on Wednesday. Despite giving up five runs in his last outing, the left-hander's 3.69 ERA is still the lowest for a Rockies starter through his first 13 starts in franchise history.
Brewers:Zach Davies takes the mound in Wednesday's 1:10 p.m. CT finale, looking to snap out of a recent funk and seal a sweep of the Rockies. He's lost each of his last two starts while allowing nine earned runs in 12 innings, ending a 17-start run during which he went 9-1 with a 2.92 ERA.