CHICAGO (AP) — Aramis Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning, his first home run in more than a month, lifting the Chicago Cubs to a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Monday night.
Starlin Castro opened the 11th with his third hit of the game, a single off Matt Belisle (1-1). After Derrek Lee lined out, Ramirez lined a 1-0 pitch through a stiff wind into the left-field bleachers.
Ramirez, who also drove in Chicago's first run with a first-inning single, has been in a season-long slump. Even after the two-hit game, he is batting only .175 after hitting .300 in his first seven seasons with the Cubs.
He hadn't homered since April 15 and has gone deep just four times. Ramirez averaged 32 homers in his first five full seasons with the Cubs before an injury-filled 2009.
While the Cubs won for the fourth time in their last 13 games, the Rockies had a three-game winning streak snapped.
Sean Marshall (3-1), the fourth Cubs pitcher, worked two perfect innings, striking out four.
Cubs starter Randy Wells allowed one run on seven hits in 6 2-3 innings, but the bullpen couldn't protect a late 2-1 lead.
John Grabow opened the eighth by allowing Seth Smith's single and walking Brad Hawpe. After center fielder Marlon Byrd made a diving catch on Troy Tulowitzki's sinking liner, Grabow walked Todd Helton to load the bases.
Closer Carlos Marmol, unable to convert his first five-out save this season, walked Miguel Oliva on four pitches to force in the tying run before getting Ian Stewart to ground into a double play. Marmol then struck out the side in the ninth.
Colorado starter Aaron Cook allowed two runs — one earned — on seven hits in seven innings. He came in with an 8.84 road ERA and still hasn't won away from Coors Field since last July.
Colorado tied it at 1 in the third as Carlos Gonzalez doubled with two outs, extending his hitting streak to 11 games, and Smith followed with a single.
After shortstop Tulowitzki's error on Mike Fontenot's grounder kept Chicago's fourth inning alive, Koyie Hill snapped an 0-for-12 skid with an RBI single.
NOTES: Cubs manager Lou Piniella said RHP Carlos Zambrano would be "stretched out" so he can be switched from short to long relief. Zambrano, who has a $91.5 million contract, already had gone from the rotation to the bullpen. ... Rockies closer Huston Street strained his groin during a rehab appearance at Double-A Tulsa on Saturday. Street, who had 35 saves last year, has been on the DL all this season with right shoulder inflammation. Colorado hoped to have him back next week. "This isn't a major setback," manager Jim Tracy said. ... Lee struck out twice and grounded into two double plays.