The Colorado Rockies are now 13-6 in what is fast becoming known as the Post-Jaredean Epoch. They rode the bullpen arms of Carlos Torres, Rex Brothers, Will Harris and Rafael Betancourt to a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs Saturday afternoon at Wrigley Field on the north side of the Windy City. Reminiscent of their sweep of the Mets, the Rockies were down early but pecked-away at the Cubs in the middle innings while the relievers shut Chicago down in their 5 frames of work.
Colorado starter Alex White blew-through his pitch-count early, needing 80 of them to cover 4 innings, 51 strikes. He held the Cubs at-bay in the first three but ran into trouble when Alfonso Soriano and Starlin Castro singled to open the fourth. Rockies’ catcher Wilin Rosario caught Castro stealing with Soriano at 3rd base, but when Welington Castillo grounded to third with Soriano running on contact, third-baseman Chris Nelson lost control of the ball in his haste to throw home and Soriano scored. Brett Jackson then homered into the outfield wall “basket” in left-center field putting Chicago in front 3-0.
Colorado finally got it going against Chicago rookie Brooks Raley, who had held them scoreless for four, in the fifth. Jonny Herrera singled leading-off, and with White due, Jim Tracy went to Josh Rutledge off the bench. The rookie infielder, nursing a sore quadriceps, pulled the only pitch he saw into the left-field seats, bringing the Rockies to within one. In the sixth it was Downtown Andrew Brown who did the damage, driving a 2-1 slider from former Rockie Manuel Corpas onto West Waveland Avenue to tie things-up. Then in the seventh pitcher Torres singled leading-off. DJ LeMahieu knocked a double-play grounder to the shortstop Castro, who forced Torres at second but then threw wildly to first allowing LeMahieu to reach. He and Jordan Pacheco executed a perfect hit and run, moving to third on the first-baseman’s single and bringing Rockies slugger Carlos Gonzalez to the plate. Cargo hit another double-play grounder, this one to Anthony Rizzo, who forced Pacheco at second, but LeMahieu came home with what became the winning run when pitcher Alex Hinshaw, on for Corpas, was late covering first.
Torres set the Cubs down in-order in the fifth and sixth, but walked Jackson leading-off the seventh, then with one out pinch-hitter Joe Mather singled, putting runners on first and second. Rex Brothers came-on to strike out David DeJesus, and with Josh Vitters batting Rosario was on-the-money again, catching Mather trying to swipe second. Brothers handled Vitters and Rizzo in the eighth, with Will Harris coming-on to dispatch Soriano on a warning-track fly to Gonzalez. El Deliberado notched his 26th save with a 1-2-3 ninth.
The clubs play a rubber game Sunday afternoon starting at 12:20 Mountain time. Colorado will send right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (1-3, 6.16) out for his second start since returning from the Disabled List against fellow-righty Chris Volstad (0-9, 6.88) of Chicago. ROOT Sports will have plenty of excuses ready for the TV show and Jerry and Jack are on radio KOA 850 am.