Denver, CO – Dexter Fowler had three RBI and Juan Nicasio pitched five innings of one-run ball as the Colorado Rockies defeated the Chicago Cubs, 9-3, in the middle test of a three-game series at Coors Field.
Nicasio (6-4) allowed just three hits and a pair of walks but needed 93 pitches in his outing.
"He had to work hard early ... he didn't have his best command early," said Rockies manager Walt Weiss. "But the bottom of the line is, he gave up one run."
Troy Tulowitzki drove in two runs while Carlos Gonzalez had a home run for the Rockies. Todd Helton, Wilin Rosario and Nolan Arenado had an RBI apiece in the victory.
Luis Valbuena had a home run and two RBI while Nate Schierholtz drove in one run for the Cubs, who saw starter Carlos Villanueva (2-6) give up seven runs on nine hits and four walks in four-plus frames.
"I didn't really feel like myself out there," Villanueva admitted. "I tried to do some things different to see if I could give the team a chance to win but it didn't work again."
Valbuena got Chicago on the board with a solo shot in the third.
However, Colorado took the lead in the fourth. With one out, Helton singled and Rosario knocked a double to right. Arenado grounded out to first, but was able to bring Helton home.
After Nicasio walked, Fowler delivered a two-run triple to right, giving Colorado a 3-1 lead.
The Rockies weren't done yet, as they scored four more runs in the fifth.
Gonzalez crushed a 2-1 pitch to right center to begin the frame. After Tulowitzki and Michael Cuddyer hit back-to-back singles, Helton smacked an RBI single to right center.
Michael Bowden came in relief but gave up an RBI single to Rosario on just his second pitch. Later in the inning, Fowler plated Helton with a sacrifice fly to left, giving Colorado a six-run cushion.
The Cubs scored one run in both the sixth and seven innings.
Anthony Rizzo singled with one out in the sixth, reached third on a double by Alfonso Soriano, and scored on a ground out to first from Schierholtz.
In the seventh, Valbuena delivered a one-out single to right, scoring Darwin Barney, who singled to lead off and advanced to second on a passed ball.
However, the Rockies would once again have a six-run lead after Tulowitzki hit a two-run, two-out double in the bottom of the eighth.
Mitchell Boggs made his first Rockies appearance in the ninth. He loaded the bases with two outs, but got Starlin Castro to ground towards the shortstop to end the game.
Boggs was recalled from Double-A Tulsa prior to the game. He was traded from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for the Rockies' international signing bonus No. 4 on July 9 ... Soriano has 16 extra-base hit since June 28, most in the majors ... The Rockies hit 5-for-15 with runners in scoring position while the Cubs were 1-for-8 with RISP ... Colorado's Tyler Chatwood is scheduled to face Chicago's Edwin Jackson in Sunday's series finale.