Denver, CO – Anthony Rizzo hit the go-ahead double in the top of the seventh inning and the Chicago Cubs edged the Colorado Rockies, 3-1, in the opener of a three-game series at Coors Field.
With Edgmer Escalona (1-3) pitching for the Rockies and the game tied at 1-1, Cody Ransom walked with two outs in the seventh. Rizzo then brought him home with a double to right. However, on the same play, Rizzo was thrown out trying to reach third.
Jeff Samardzija (6-9) went 7 1/3 innings for Chicago, allowing one run on four hits while fanning six and walking three. He picked up his first win since June 23 against the Astros. Kevin Gregg escaped trouble in the ninth to notch his 18th save.
Alfonso Soriano smacked a solo homer and Darwin Barney added an RBI for the Cubs, who have won seven of their last 10 games.
"We've been doing pretty good on the road, we've been winning on the West Coast, we've been beating good teams, we've been pitching good against really good offenses," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said of his team's success. "It brings a light to your team and gives everyone confidence."
Dexter Fowler had a home run, but that was it for Colorado. Starter Jorge De La Rosa was solid, surrendering one run on five hits and three walks over six frames, but the lack of run support earned him a no-decision.
The Rockies have alternated losses and wins over the last nine games. They have not won consecutive games since June 28-29 against San Francisco.
"I'm not overly concerned about our offense," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Getting back to full strength here, I think our offense will get rolling."
Soriano homered to begin the top of the fourth. However, in the home half, Fowler connected on the first pitch given to him by Samardzija to tie the game.
The Cubs added an insurance run in the ninth. Cole Gillespie drew a one-out walk off Colorado's Rex Brothers and scored on a double by Barney.
Gregg gave up a leadoff double to DJ LeMahieu in the bottom of the inning. Carlos Gonzalez grounded out but LeMahieu advanced to third. Gregg walked Troy Tulowitzki but got Michael Cuddyer to ground into a double play, ending the game.
The Cubs' Junior Lake made his major league debut after being recalled from Triple-A Iowa before the game. He went 3-for-4, including a double and a stolen base ... De La Rosa entered the game 4-0 with a 2.05 ERA in eight appearances (four starts) against the Cubs ... The Cubs hit 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and the Rockies were 0-for-4 with RISP. They combined to leave 13 runners on base.