For four innings, it appeared Drew Pomeranz might test manager Jim Tracy's 75-pitch limit.
The Colorado left-hander took a no-hit bid into the fifth, then allowed solo home runs to Alfonso Soriano and Wellington Castillo in the Rockies' 5-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Friday.
"I felt great today," said Pomeranz, who left with a 3-2 lead after five innings and 72 pitches. "Velocity was good. Location was good. I think Castillo hit that ball pretty good, but I don't think Soriano's ball was going out."
Joe Mather took advantage of a rare start with a go-ahead single during the three-run eighth against
Matt Belisle (3-5) as the Cubs stopped a four-game losing streak and Colorado's five-game winning streak.
With the Cubs trailing 3-2, Brett Jackson led off the eighth with his second homer of the season.
Pinch-hitter Luis Valbuena doubled with one out and Mather, batting in the leadoff spot usually occupied by David DeJesus, followed with a go-ahead single. Mather scored an unearned run on reliever Matt Reynolds' throwing error to first on Anthony Rizzo's grounder.
James Russell (6-1) got two outs for the win, and Carlos Marmol pitched a one-hit ninth for his 16th save in 18 chances.
Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija gave up three runs — two earned — and six hits in seven innings with seven strikeouts.
"I enjoy pitching late in the year, Samardzija said. "I feel like I get stronger, if we can iron out a couple of these things early in the games, keep that pitch count down, I'll be pitching deeper in games and giving our team a chance to win, that's where we want to be."
Colorado went ahead in the first on a run-scoring wild pitch by Samardzija after Jonathan Herrera reached on an error by shortstop Starlin Castro and Jordan Pacheco's single.
Chris Nelson doubled the lead with a second-inning homer and Carlos Gonzalez led off the third with his 21st homer of the season, his first since July 23.
"We were in a good place, but we were hanging on," Tracy said. We took advantage of a wild pitch and we hit a couple of solo home runs with Gonzalez and Nelson."
NOTES: Cubs manager Dale Sveum opted for Mather to lead off against Pomeranz, giving DeJesus a day off. "We'll keep everybody else in their slot and see what happens," he said. "We haven't seen many lefties in a while, so we'll give Joe a few at-bats." ... Pomeranz was the first lefty starter the Cubs faced since Aug. 8, a 2-0 loss to San Diego's Clayton Richard ... Colorado 3B coach Rich Dauer is to be inducted into the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame on Saturday. He played for the 1983 World Series champion Orioles ... Rockies OF Dexter Fowler (ankle) is off crutches but likely will not be in the lineup during the Cubs series. He could possibly pinch hit Sunday, Tracy said. ... Colorado INF Josh Rutledge (quadriceps) is doing better but is heavily taped and progressing slowly.