Cubs Rallied in the Eighth for a 5-3 Win over Rockies
Down by a score of 3-2, Brett Jackson’s homer and Joe Mather’s RBI-single powered the Cubs past the visiting Colorado Rockies in a 5-3 victory. An attendance of 31,255 witnessed the come-back victory in the opener of the three-game series.
Their victory snapped their four-game losing streak and it was their fourth straight win at home, improving their records to 31-28 at Wrigley Field.
A three-run rally commenced in the eighth inning by Jackson, who led-off to smack a 2-1 pitch delivered by reliever Matt Belisle (3-5) onto the center field bleachers for his second of the year to tie the game at 2-2.
The game-winning run came one out later. Pinch-hitter Luis Valbuena hit a double to left field and Joe Mather, whom manager Dale Sveum penciled in to face a left-handed starter, followed by ripping a line-drive single that tallied Valbuena.
The panicking Rockies then made two fielding errors, the latter one, an offset throw by pitcher Mark Reynolds to first base scored Mather from third for the Cubs’ insurance run.
Josh Vitters could have added one more run but was tagged out at home on right-fielder Charlie Blackmon’s bullet throw to catcher Ramon Hernandez.
The Rockies scored one run each in their first three innings causing the Cubs to come back for the victory.
With one out in the opening frame, Jonathan Herrara reached base on Starlin Castro’s error and one out later, he scored on starter Jeff Samardzija’s wild pitch.
Samardzija gave up back-to-back lead-off homers to the Rockies in the following innings. First, Chris Nelson smacked his sixth of the season in the second. Slugger Carlos Gonzalez hit his club-leading 21st dinger in the third.
The right-hander found his composure after the last home run to retire 13 of the last 14 Rockies he faced. He got off the hook thanks to the Cubs’ rally and ended the day giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits through seven innings while striking out seven.
The Rockies starter Drew Pomeranz took care of the Cubs in the first four innings. He only walked Castro and did not give out a hit.
It was not until the fifth in which the Cubs finally solved the lefty and got on board. Alfonso Soriano connected on Pomeranz’s 1-3 pitch for his 23rd home run of the year. One out later, Welington Castillo sent on a 2-2 pitch onto the center field bleachers; his fourth long ball of the year cut down the Cubs’ deficit to one run.
The southpaw was pulled after the two-run inning. He tossed five innings surrendering two runs on five hits while striking out one and walking one.
James Russell (6-1) came into the game in the eighth retiring the last two Rockies of the inning to pick up the win.
Closer Carlos Marmol gave up a one-out single to Nelson but retired DJ LeMahieu and struck out pinch-hitter Joshua Rutledge for his 16th save of the year, his 14th straight since June 15.
Note: Former Cubs Tyler Colvin and LeMahieu both made their first visit back to Wrigley Field since being traded. Colvin went 0-for-4 while LeMahieu hit 3-for-4 but was caught stealing in the fourth inning.
Patrick Au Yeung