So eager were the Rockies to get to the ballpark Wednesday, a bus awaited outside their hotel at 1:30 p.m. on Third Street. There were five autograph seekers downtown, a couple of whom actually recognized the players.

Early arrivals reflected the season's novelty and the Rockies' optimism about winning a road series. Anyone who has followed this team for more than a few mouse clicks knows these moments are to be cherished.

Miles away from home, Juan Nicasio achieved a milestone, winning his first road game as the Rockies cobbled together a 7-3 victory at Miller Park.

"When you get pitching like that, a lot of things fall into place," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "I'm really proud of and happy for Juan."

With the team so many times an empty vessel away from Coors Field, there was some meaning to this first series, brief as it was. For starters, the Rockies' starters were adequate, save for Jorge De La Rosa, who will remain a concern until he's not.

It's difficult to project significance after three games, but what Jhouyls Chacin and Nicasio did, working at least six innings, hinted of hope. Both labored to record the first three outs, then settled into a pattern of less predictability.

Nicasio needed 30 pitches in the first inning. Only four were off speed, leading the Brewers to foul off fastballs to extend at-bats. In the second inning, he and catcher Wilin Rosario made an important adjustment, pitching "backward," using the slider and changeup more liberally.

Nicasio also showed less trepidation while fielding. It's impossible to blame any hesitation. A line drive to his head and subsequent fall broke his neck in 2011, and he missed the final four months last year after hurting his knee fielding a comebacker.

"I am confident in what I can do," Nicasio was saying the other day. "I am ready."