Rockies, Cubs close out set at Wrigley
(Sports Network) - Veteran right-hander Jon Garland will once again face the team that drafted him when the Colorado Rockies visit the Chicago Cubs in the finale of a three-game series at Wrigley Field.
The 33-year-old Californian was a first-round pick - 10th overall - of the Cubs in 1997, but never appeared in a big-league game for them and was dealt to the crosstown Chicago White Sox for pitcher Matt Karchner in 1998.
He was with the White Sox in the big leagues through 2007, reaching double- digit wins seven times - including a career-high 18 in both 2005 and 2006.
He's pitched with five major-league teams since and was acquired by the Rockies as a free agent on March 24, a day after he was released by the Seattle Mariners.
Colorado is 4-3 in seven games he's started, and Garland allowed three runs on seven hits in five innings of his most recent appearance - a 3-0 loss at St. Louis on May 10.
He's 4-4 against the Cubs with a 3.61 earned run average in 52 1/3 innings.
For Chicago, righty Jeff Samardzija tries to end a seven-start winless skid.
The former Notre Dame football player was a 3-1 winner at Pittsburgh in his initial start of the season on April 1, but is 0-5 with two no-decisions in seven subsequent starts.
He was touched for five earned runs in five innings of a 7-3 loss at Washington in his last outing on May 10.
Samardzija has a 2.25 ERA in five career meetings with the Rockies, against whom he's allowed a .220 batting average and struck out 13 batters in 16 innings.
On Tuesday, Jeff Francis surrendered one run in six innings and Carlos Gonzalez went 5-for-5 with two home runs as the Rockies downed the Cubs, 9-4.
Gonzalez also doubled and singled twice for Colorado, which had lost five of six entering play. Eric Young hit a two-run homer and scored twice, while Troy Tulowitzki went 3-for-5 with two doubles.
The Rockies erupted for 17 hits as a team and led 7-0 before Chicago finally got to Francis for a run on Darwin Barney's homer in the bottom of the fifth.
"It's nice to see not only (Gonzalez) bust out but also our whole offense," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.
Francis (2-3), a winner for the first time since his first start of the season, allowed just three hits, walked one and helped himself at the plate with a sacrifice fly.
The Rockies did most of their damage off Carlos Villanueva (1-3), who yielded seven runs on 12 hits in five innings.
"There wasn't a whole lot he had tonight," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
The Rockies won four of six games between the teams last season. Chicago last won the series in 2008.
05/15 10:48:45 ET