Castro and Coleman Starlin in Win Over Rockies – Cubs 8 Rockies 3

Game Fourteen – Cubs 8 Rockies 3
WP – Casey Coleman (1-0) LP – Jason Hammel (1-1) Save – None

wflag.jpgThe Cubs beat the Rockies Saturday night at Coors Field for the first time since 2009. Q’s squad ended their seven-game losing streak in Colorado behind Alfonso Soriano, Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney and a solid outing by Casey Coleman.

The Cubs out hit the Rockies and handed Jim Tracy their first nine-inning loss of the year … and in the process snapped their seven-game winning streak.

Q’s offense pounded out a season-high 17 hits and every starter with the exception of Marlon Byrd recorded a hit.

Alfonso Soriano, Starlin Castro and Darwin Barney led the way. Soriano doubled in the Cubs’ first run of the game and added his fifth longball of the year in the sixth that gave the Cubs a 3-1 lead.

Starlin Castro continued his hot start with a 4-for-5 performance that included a double and his first home run of the season. Castro’s three-run shot in the fifth broke the game open and was the big highlight in the Cubs’ five-run seventh inning.

Darwin Barney quietly had a great night at the plate and in the field. Barney turned in two sensational defensive plays that kept the Rockies from taking a lead early in the game. Barney also drove in the go ahead run with a groundout to first in the fifth. Barney doubled and scored in the seventh.

Casey Coleman picked up his first win of the season with a solid effort against a hot team. Coleman allowed only one run on four hits in 5 2/3 innings with three walks, three strikeouts and he hit two batters. Coleman appeared to make adjustments as the game went on. And while he struggled with his command for a majority of the night, Coleman was able to make a big pitch when he needed it.

The Cubs young right-hander also singled in the fifth and scored the eventual winning run.

James Russell and Sean Marshall did their job in relief of Coleman and kept the Rockies off the board until the offense was able to break the game open.

John Grabow was horrible. Grabow walked three and served up a two-run homer to Chris Iannetta. Grabow’s ineffectiveness forced Quade to use Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol.

With Saturday’s victory, the Cubs evened their record at 7-7 (4-4 on the road trip) … it is the seventh time this season the Cubs have been at the .500 mark.

The Cubs showed some character Saturday night. Q’s squad looked lifeless Friday against Jhoulys Chacin but came back Saturday behind Casey Coleman and played a good game. The final score does not indicate how close the game was and not only did the Cubs hit the ball, they also made several excellent plays in the field behind Casey Coleman.

Starlin Castro led off the game with a seven-pitch at bat that resulted in a single to right. Darwin Barney popped out to right. Castro took off for second on a 0-1 pitch to Marlon Byrd. Castro stole second but Byrd swung so hard that he hit Chris Iannetta on the back with his follow through. Catcher’s inference was called but it was deemed unintentional. Castro had to go back to first and Byrd eventually struck out.

Aramis Ramirez lined out to third to end the inning.

Casey Coleman retired the Rockies in order in the first on 15 pitches, eight for strikes. Darwin Barney made a tremendous diving stop to take away a hit from Jason Giambi to end the inning.

The Cubs took a small lead in the second but let Jason Hammel off the hook.

Carlos Pena reached on a solid single to center to start the inning. Alfonso Soriano then ripped a double into left center. The ball rolled all the way to the wall and Pena scored from first.

Kosuke Fukudome worked a walk on the ninth pitch of the at bat. With runners on first and second with one out, Koyie Hill stepped in and hit a shallow fly into center. Dexter Fowler made the routine catch and for some reason Alfonso Soriano tagged and tried to advance to third. Soriano slid into the tag for the second out of the inning.

After Soriano’s incredibly bad baserunning mistake, Casey Coleman struck out swinging to end the inning. Soriano took the bunt away and the possibility of Castro hitting with two men in scoring position.

The Rockies tied the game in the home half of the second. Troy Tulowitzki launched a 3-2 pitch off the wall in right. Kosuke Fukudome tried to make a spectacular catch and got leather on the ball but could not haul it in. Tulowitzki ended up at third with a triple.

Seth Smith hit a 1-2 pitch into center, Tulowitzki tagged and scored the tying run.

Coleman lost his command after the sac fly. Ty Wigginton walked on four pitches then Coleman issued a two out walk to Chris Iannetta. Jason Hammel tapped back to the mound to end the inning. After two, Coleman had thrown more balls (20) than strikes (18).

Casey dodged a bullet in the third. He issued his third walk in five batters to Dexter Fowler leading off the inning. Jim Tracy called for a hit and run on a 1-1 pitch to Jonathan Herrera. The Rockies second baseman hit the ball where Barney had vacated to cover the bag but Barney stopped and made a tremendous stop on a ball ticketed for right field. Barney checked second before throwing to first for the out.

With Fowler at second, Jason Giambi flied out to left center and Tulowitzki flied out to left to end the inning.

The Cubs took a one-run lead in the top of the fifth. Casey Coleman singled to center on a 1-2 pitch. Starlin Castro then ripped a double down the left field line on a 3-2 offering … his third hit of the game, one to right center, one to center and one to left.

Darwin Barney grounded out to first on the first pitch. Coleman scored … 2-1 Cubs. With Castro at third, Byrd grounded out to Tulowitzki on the first pitch to end the inning.

Coleman got himself into a huge jam in the bottom of the fifth … and was able to get out of it.

Dexter Fowler led off the inning with a hustle double to right center. With Jonathan Herrera at the plate, Koyie Hill tried to throw behind Fowler but the ball ended up in center and Fowler ended up at third.

Coleman jammed Herrera on the next pitch and he bounced the ball right back to Coleman. Casey checked on Fowler then threw to first for the out.

Jason Giambi stepped in and was promptly hit on the shoulder. With runners on first and third with one out, Troy Tulowitzki looked at three out of the strike zone. Tulowitzki then popped up the 3-0 offering and Pena caught it in foul ground for the second out.

Seth Smith grounded out to Carlos Pena, who made a sensational play on a ball in the hole, to end the inning.

Alfonso Soriano gave the Cubs a 3-1 lead with his fifth longball of the season. Soriano lined a 0-1 pitch from Hammel over the wall in right.

The Cubs took a 3-1 lead into the bottom of the sixth. Casey struck out Ty Wigginton swinging on a 3-2 pitch. Ian Stewart then drooped a bunt up the third base line. Ramirez tried to bare hand the ball but came up empty. Chris Iannetta hit a 2-2 pitch back up the middle that hit off Coleman’s leg and bounced toward first. Coleman kept his composure, picked up the ball and threw out Iannetta at first.

After a visit from Quade and Mark O’Neal, Coleman appeared okay and was going to stay in the game … but when Todd Helton was announced, Quade decided to bring in James Russell to get the last out. Two pitches and a pop out to left center later, the Cubs were back in the dugout.

Casey Coleman’s final line: one run on four hits with three walks, three strikeouts and two hit batsman in 5 2/3 innings. Coleman threw 97 pitches, 51 for strikes.

Felipe Paulino took over in the seventh and Koyie Hill greeted him with a bunt single up the third base line. Blake DeWitt hit for Russell and singled to right. Hill lumbered to third on the play.

Starlin Castro ripped a 0-1 pitch over the wall in left. Castro’s first homer of the year, a three-run shot, gave the Cubs a little breathing room. But they were not done …

Darwin Barney doubled down the left field line and advanced to third on a groundout to first by Byrd. Aramis Ramirez then singled to center on a 0-1 pitch. Barney scored … 7-1 Cubs.

After Carlos Pena struck out again, Alfonso Soriano blooped a single into right. Ramirez ended up at third and he scored on a bloop single over a leaping Troy Tulowitzki. Ramirez scored the Cubs eighth run. Koyie Hill hit for the second time in the inning … and ground out to short for the third out.

The Cubs took an 8-1 lead into the bottom of the eighth. John Grabow issued a one out walk to Ian Stewart. Chris Iannetta then ripped a 1-0 pitch over the wall in left. Ryan Spilborghs hit for Franklin Morales and walked … the second free pass of the inning.

Grabow struck out Dexter Fowler but issued a four-pitch walk to Jonathan Herrera. Mike Quade lifted Grabow after he issued his third walk of the inning.

With the Cubs up by five and runners on first and second with two outs, Kerry Wood was called upon to retire Jason Giambi. Wood fell behind 2-1 before striking him out swinging on a 3-2 pitch (the tenth pitch of the at bat) to end the inning.

Carlos Marmol retired three of the four batters he faced to end the game.

The Cubs played one of their better all around games of the season Saturday night.

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

Ryan Dempster will face rookie Alan Johnson Sunday afternoon in the series finale.

Quote of the Day

"There are places I remember. All my life though some have changed. Some forever not for better. Some have gone and some remain. All these places have their moments ... " John Lennon/Paul McCartney