Mexican lefty Jorge De La Rosa can reach double digits in wins for the third time in his career -- and first since 2009 -- when the Colorado Rockies play the Chicago Cubs Friday night to begin a three-game series at Coors Field.
The 32-year-old De La Rosa won 10 games in 18 decisions with the Rockies in 2008 and added a career-high 16 wins in 2009 while posting a 4.38 earned run average across a career-best 185 innings of work.
He slumped to eight wins in 20 starts the following season and has since won just 14 times in 32 appearances across 2011, 2012 and the initial half of 2013.
De La Rosa got to nine wins in his final appearance before the All-Star break when he allowed two runs on two hits in five innings of a 5-4 victory at San Diego on July 10.
He missed the Cubs when the teams played earlier this season, but is 4-0 against them in eight career meetings with a stingy 2.05 ERA in 30 2/3 innings.
He's opposed by Cubs righty Jeff Samardzija, who dropped his final two starts of the first half after a stretch in which he had won three of four decisions.
The former Notre Dame football star was just 2-6 in his initial eight decisions of 2013, but won three of four between May 27 and June 23 to get to 5-7 on the year.
He then lost to Pittsburgh and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to wrap up the first half, allowing 14 runs in 10 2/3 innings in games the Cubs lost 6-2 and 13-2.
Samardzija allowed two runs on five hits in eight innings of a 6-3 win over the Rockies on May 15.
On Sunday in Chicago, Yadier Molina capped a 4-for-6 night at the plate with a three-run homer in the ninth, as the NL-leading St. Louis Cardinals used a 21- hit attack to beat the Cubs, 10-6, in the finale of a four-game series.
Darwin Barney hit a three-run homer and knocked in four runs for the Cubs (42-51), who sit 15 games behind the Cardinals. Cody Ransom had two RBI.
Chicago starter Travis Wood, who was named to his first All-Star squad, gave up three runs on 10 hits over 5 2/3 frames. Kevin Gregg (2-2) allowed four runs in the ninth to take the loss.
"The command of all my pitches was there," Wood said. "They put together some good swings and put hits together. They kept hitting balls and manufacturing runs. That's what good teams do."
In Los Angeles, All-Star Michael Cuddyer drove in all three of the Rockies' runs in a 3-1 win against the Dodgers and Colorado escaped Los Angeles with a split of a four-game series.
Cuddyer had two hits, including a two-run home run, for the Rockies, who finished 4-6 on a 10-game road trip.
Jhoulys Chacin (9-4) won for the sixth time in his last seven starts. He gave up one run on six hits and fanned six in as many innings.
"Instead of trying to strike guys out, I'm just trying to make my pitch," said Chacin. "I threw my sinker and slider pretty well. I'm happy we split here."
The Cubs lead the all-time series with the Rockies, 83-80, including two wins in a three-game series at Wrigley Field in May.