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Rockies snap losing streak as Jennings beats Cubs

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Jason Jennings finally looked like the confident pitcher who earned a big contract from the Colorado Rockies.

Jennings (2-6), who entered Thursday's game with a 7.05 ERA, yielded one run on seven hits in seven innings as the Rockies snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over the Chicago Cubs.

The right-hander walked two and struck out two.

"Today is real big," Jennings said. "The key was I wasn't overdoing it, I wasn't pressing too hard to make a great pitch. I kind of lost it in my last three starts."

Jennings signed a two-year deal worth $7 million during the offseason. But he was hit hard in his previous five starts, going 0-4 and allowing 29 runs in 26 2-3 innings.

"I was so frustrated," he said. "Mentally, I needed to regroup and have fun. I tried to be aggressive early in the count, tried to keep it down in the zone, just keep it simple"

Fill-in Colorado manager Jamie Quirk said he talked to Jennings after an 8-3 loss at Pittsburgh last Saturday to try to straighten him out.

"He had lost his confidence as a professional," Quirk said. "We assured him that we were confident in him and that the organization was behind him."

After Neifi Perez and Todd Walker led off the Rockies' eighth with a single and a walk, Jay Witasick relieved Jennings and retired Derrek Lee, Jeromy Burnitz and Aramis Ramirez -- the Cubs Nos. 3, 4 and 5 hitters -- to end the threat.

Preston Wilson and Todd Greene hit solo homers for the Rockies. Wilson added a run-scoring single.

"It's just a matter of hitting a hole or where they can't catch it," Wilson said. "It feels good to come into the locker room after a win."

Desi Relaford, filling in at second base for the injured Aaron Miles, went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Clint Barmes also singled in a run as the Rockies posted just their fourth road win in 24 games away from home.

Chicago starter Carlos Zambrano (3-3) pitched seven innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He struck out five and walked three. Cliff Bartosh gave up Wilson's homer in the eighth that gave the Rockies a 4-1 lead. Greene homered in the ninth off Joe Borowski.

Todd Walker's single in the third scored Michael Barrett, who had doubled, to get the Cubs even at 1-1. But that and a run-scoring wild pitch from Brian Fuentes in the ninth was the only offensive the Cubs produced.

"We're all frustrated, everyone from the top to the bottom," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "We got a number of hits and no runs. We had chances to get back in the game or get the lead."

Zambrano retired eight of the first nine hitters he faced before giving up a two-out run in the third. Barmes walked and scored from first on Relaford's double.

Colorado took a 3-1 lead in the fifth on RBI singles by Barmes and Wilson.

Notes

  • The Rockies placed Miles on the 15-day disabled list, with a strain in his ribcage, and recalled INF Eddy Garabito from Triple-A Colorado Springs. Garabito arrived in time for Thursday's game, but didn't play.
  • Quirk, the bench coach, served as the manager again in place of Clint Hurdle, who is expected to rejoin the team on Friday after missing six games. Hurdle's 2-year-old daughter, who was hospitalized due to seizures, was released Wednesday.
  • Barmes slightly twisted his right ankle sliding into second base in the ninth inning, but finished the game.
  • Baker shuffled his lineup in search of offense. Perez led off for the first time this season, with Walker in the second spot. In 44 previous games, Jerry Hairston led off 26 times and Corey Patterson 18 times. Perez went 1-for-5.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Clint Barmes slides home in the third as the Rockies win just their fourth road game in 24 tries.  (AP)
Clint Barmes slides home in the third as the Rockies win just their fourth road game in 24 tries. (AP)

Players of the Game
Colorado

P. Wilson
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Colorado

J. Jennings
IP 7.0
H 7
ER 1
BB 2
K 2
 
Colorado Rockies
Clint Barmes, SS4211100 .341
Desi Relaford, 2B4021111 .300
Todd Helton, 1B3000124 .278
Preston Wilson, CF4122001 .246
Bradley Hawpe, RF3000102 .310
Matt Holliday, LF3000101 .275
Todd Greene, C4111011 .265
Garrett Atkins, 3B4110000 .288
Jason Jennings, P2000010 .105
    Jay Witasick, P0000000 .000
   a- Cory Sullivan, PH1000000 .286
    Brian Fuentes, P0000000 .000
Totals325755510 
a-grounded out for Witasick in the 9th
Batting
2B - Desi Relaford (5, Zambrano)
HR - Preston Wilson (5, Bartosh), Todd Greene (4, Borowski)
SH - Jason Jennings (3)
RBI - Clint Barmes (27), Desi Relaford (8), Preston Wilson 2 (24), Todd Greene (15)
2-OUT RBI - Desi Relaford (4), Preston Wilson 2 (9)
SB - Clint Barmes (4, 2nd base off Borowski/Barrett), Matt Holliday (4, 2nd base off Zambrano/Barrett)
CS - Desi Relaford (1, Home by Zambrano/Barrett)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Helton-Barmes
Colorado Rockies
Jason Jennings (W,2-6) 7711220 6.37
Jay Witasick (H,2) 1000000 2.51
Brian Fuentes 1111000 2.91
HBP - Barrett (by Brian Fuentes)
WP - Brian Fuentes (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Jennings 87-56, Jay Witasick 6-6, Brian Fuentes 17-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Jennings 13-5, Jay Witasick 2-1, Brian Fuentes 3-0
Batters Faced - Jason Jennings 29, Jay Witasick 3, Brian Fuentes 5
Chicago Cubs
Neifi Perez, SS5010002 .288
Todd Walker, 2B3011100 .333
Derrek Lee, 1B4010002 .340
Jeromy Burnitz, RF4000012 .271
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4010012 .226
Corey Patterson, CF4020001 .276
Todd Hollandsworth, LF2000101 .206
   a- Jerry Hairston Jr., PH1100001 .264
Michael Barrett, C3120000 .283
Carlos Zambrano, P2000001 .292
   b- Jason Dubois, PH1000002 .260
    Cliff Bartosh, P00000001.000
    Joe Borowski, P0000000 .000
   c- Jose Macias, PH1000000 .273
Totals342812214 
a-hit into fielder's choice for Hollandsworth in the 9th
b-grounded out for Zambrano in the 7th
c-grounded out for Borowski in the 9th
Batting
2B - Michael Barrett (7, J. Jennings)
RBI - Todd Walker (4)
2-OUT RBI - Todd Walker (2)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Lee-Perez-Bartosh
E - Neifi Perez (4, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago Cubs
Carlos Zambrano (L,3-3) 7533350 3.62
Cliff Bartosh 0.2111201 2.70
Joe Borowski 1.1111001 3.86
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Zambrano 110-64, Cliff Bartosh 11-2, Joe Borowski 24-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Zambrano 11-4, Cliff Bartosh 1-0, Joe Borowski 3-2
Batters Faced - Carlos Zambrano 28, Cliff Bartosh 4, Joe Borowski 6
Game Information
Attendance - 38393
Game Time - 2:21
Temperature - 63
Umpires - Home - Bob Davidson, First Base - Rob Drake, Second Base - Mike Reilly, Third Base - Andy Fletcher