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Rockies Slip Past Cubs 4-3

David Banks/Getty Images

Suddenly becoming one of baseball’s hottest teams, the Colorado Rockies (51-74), with the help of their bullpen pitching five scoreless innings, shut the door the the Chicago Cubs (48-77) 4-3 yesterday in Chicago. The rubber game of the series is this afternoon at 12:20 MT at Wrigley Field (TV: Root Sports).

Colorado reliever Carlos Torres entered Saturday’s game because starter Alex White wasn’t efficient enough with his pitches to make it past the fourth inning, and began a relay that saw four pitchers throw five scoreless innings to spearhead the victory.

The performance increased the Rockies’ bullpen innings total to 494. Going into Saturday, the Royals were second in the Majors in relief innings at 441. The Rockies’ 28 bullpen wins also tops the Majors.

Colorado, winners of 13 of its last 19 games, also had homers from a pair of rookies. Josh Rutledge, limited for the last week by a strained left quadriceps, hit his seventh homer since his July 13 callup from Double-A Tulsa — a fifth-inning, pinch-hit shot off Cubs starter Brooks Raley. Alex Brown swatted his first career homer over the left-field bleachers and onto Waveland Avenue, off former Rockies pitcher Manuel Corpas (0-1), to tie the game at 3 while leading off the sixth.

Official: Saturday’s Box Score.

The winning run scored on a giveaway. Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro fielded Carlos Gonzalez’s grounder with runners at first and third and threw wide of first base while trying to complete a double play in the seventh inning. DJ LeMahieu scored from third.

But the Rockies won because Torres (3-1) and fellow relievers Rex Brothers, Will Harris and Rafael Betancourt (26 saves) combined to hold the Cubs to two baserunners.

Brothers fanned one during a perfect 1 1/3 innings. Harris watched a breathtaking fly ball by Alfonso Soriano land in the glove of Carlos Gonzalez near the ivy. Betancourt pitched a perfect ninth, with plenty of help. LeMahieu, a former Cub, made a twisting catch in short right field on Welington Castillo’s blooper for the second out.

Also in the seventh, catcher Wilin Rosario, who had thrown out Castro stealing in the fourth inning, erased Joe Mather at second on the back end of a double-steal attempt to end the seventh.

Rosario said, “It’s great to execute like that. When everybody knows what to do and does it, it makes us a good team.”

It was a nice comeback for a Rockies club whose eighth-inning mistakes led to a 5-3 loss to the Cubs on Friday afternoon.

Tickets are available for the Rockies’ next home game at Coors Field vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers on August 27th, and can be purchased by calling (800) 388-ROCK, or click here.

[ColoradoRockies.com]

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