Jeff Samardzija (2-5, 3.45) won for the first time since April 1 as the Chicago Cubs defeated the Colorado Rockies 6-3 Wednesday night at Wrigley Field in the Windy City. Samardzija struck-out 7 Rockies in 8 innings, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. The right-hander also delivered a 2-run homer in the bottom of the 2nd that held-up until Colorado scored off Kevin Gregg in a 9th inning rally that fizzled with runners on 1st and 3rd.
Chicago tallied a run in the 1st when David DeJesus knocked Rockies’ starter Jon Garland’s (3-4, 4.89) fourth pitch into the left-center-field seats. Colorado tied it in the top of the 2nd when Todd Helton walked, moved to 3rd on a Nolan Arenado single and scored when Josh Rutledge, who was 3 for 4 with 2 RBI, grounded a single to right-field. Darwin Barney doubled with 2 out in the bottom of the inning and Samardzija followed with his big fly to center, putting the Cubs up 3-1.
The Rockies pulled to within one when RWO favorite Reid Brignac, pinch hitting for Garland, led-off the 6th with a homer of his own to center. Josh Outman came-on for Garland and made short-order of Chicago in the 6th, but in the 7th Barney, who has been a pest, led-off with a walk, stole 2nd, and moved to 3rd on a sacrifice bunt by Samardzija. Outman then hit DeJesus with a pitch, and Starlin Castro grounded a single into right wide of a diving Rutledge, scoring Barney and moving DeJesus to 3rd. Anthony Rizzo knocked him in with a single to right, Castro to 3rd. Wilton Lopez relieved Outman and got Alphonso Soriano to ground into a force play that plated DeJesus before Nate Schierholtz flew-out to left. But the Cubs had pushed their lead to 6-2.
Colorado made it interesting in the 9th. Troy Tulowitzki singled with one out, advanced to 2nd on defensive indifference and 3rd on an error by Gregg. He scored on a Rutledge single, which brought the tying run to the plate with 2 out, but Wilin Rosario flew-out sharply to center.
The Rockies return home for a 4-game set with defending World Champion San Francisco. They’ll be looking for Jhoulys Chacin (3-2, 2.70) to do the stopper thing again against Matt Cain (2-2, 5.04) of the Giants. Game time is 6:40 pm MDT at Coors Field in Denver.