Schwarber’s 4 RBI Lead Cubs in 10-1 Rout of Rockies
By Steven S. Garcia
Denver, CO- The Cubs (37-29) and Rockies (35-31) faced off for the series finalé at Coors Field Wednesday with the Cubs trying to avoid the three-game sweep. Pitcher Cole Hamels (5-2 3.24) was on the hill against Antonio Senzatela (5-4 3.95).
Hamels, coming off a sensational performance in his last outing, pitched himself out of a one-out base-loaded jam in the 1st by forcing Ian Desmond to ground into a forceout at the plate and striking out Mark Reynolds to end the Rockies’ scoring threat.
The Cubs were in business in the 2nd. After a Carlos Gonzalez single and Victor Caratini double to start the inning, Jason Heyward hit a single to right to drive in the runners and give the Cubs a 2-0 lead. Following a Cole Hamels single to left, Kyle Schwarber belted his 14th home run of the season to right, a three-run shot to give the Cubs a 5-0 lead.
The Cubs got the bats going again in the 5th. After Javier Baez reached on a fielding error and a Carlos Gonzalez double, Rockies’ starter Antonio Senzatela loaded the bags by walking Victor Caratini, forcing Rockies’ manager Bud Black to go to the bullpen.
With reliever Jake McGee on the mound now for Colorado, Cole Hamels hit a two-run RBI-single to left to give the Cubs a commanding 7-0 lead. Chicago added another run on a Kyle Schwarber sacrifice-fly to right, his fourth RBI of the game to make it an 8-0 ballgame at the mid-way point.
Hamels continued to pitch well after the 1st by retiring 15 of the next 19 Colorado hitters, nine via strikeout through six innings. Hamels left the game after seven innings of shutout ball allowing 6 hits and no walks while striking out 9.
On to the 8th and with Anthony Rizzo on 2nd, Javier Baez blasted a two-run shot deep into the leftfield seats for his 17th long-ball of the season and increase the Chicago lead to 10-0.
The Rockies would get a run in the 9th off Brad Brach to end the Cubs’ chance for a shut-out. Brach struck-out Raimel Tapia to end the game and avoid the sweep. The 10-1 win ends the Cubs’ five-game road losing streak.
Cole Hamels picks up his 6th win of the season and his second in a row.
The Cubs’ road trip continues Thursday night when they travel to Los Angeles to take on the Dodgers at 9:10 PM. The starters will be Jon Lester (5-4 3.56) vs. Clayton Kershaw (5-1 3.00).