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Colorado at Chicago

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Chi. Cubs «10000400x5100

Lee's hot bat continues as Cubs roll past Rockies

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CHICAGO -- Derrek Lee's offense is taking some of the pressure off the Chicago Cubs' depleted pitching staff.

Lee hit two homers for the second straight game and the fourth time this season to lead the Cubs to a 5-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

Before the game, Chicago placed right-handed ace Mark Prior on the disabled list.

Lee, the National League home run leader with 16, slugged a solo shot in the first and added a two-run homer in the Cubs' four-run sixth. He has 13 career multihomers games and has accomplished the feat on consecutive days twice.

"He's a big old man with big shoulders," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "If anyone can do it, it's him. He goes about his business quietly. He doesn't boast or brag or flaunt what he's doing."

It's nothing new for Lee, who has been carrying the Cubs through the first two months.

"I think I've had my swing pretty much the whole season," he said. "I don't think I've been this hot for so long."

And it's a good thing for the Cubs that he has.

Prior was placed on the disabled list after an MRI revealed a compression fracture just above his right elbow. He was struck by a line drive in Friday's win over the Rockies.

The Cubs also traded former closer LaTroy Hawkins and cash considerations to the San Francisco Giants on Saturday for right-handers Jerome Williams and David Aardsma. Chicago recalled right-hander Roberto Novoa from Triple-A Iowa to take Prior's spot on the roster.

Glendon Rusch (4-1) made his fifth strong start since rejoining the Cubs rotation, that is also missing Kerry Wood. Rusch allowed one run and four hits in seven innings and he hasn't given up more than two runs since becoming a starter again on May 7.

Michael Wuertz worked the eighth inning, and closer Ryan Dempster pitched the ninth in a non-save situation. For the eighth time in nine games, a Cubs starter pitched at least seven innings.

"It's a big boost for the ballclub when you get out and go deep in the game," Rusch said. "It takes a little pressure off the bullpen, espcially in this streak we have going with 20 games in 20 days.

"I feel good as far as being up there on my pitch count. I think I have more stamina lately, and in the last couple of starts, I've felt good late in the game."

Lee homered twice off Rockies starter Byung-Hyun Kim (0-4).

"He's hot man, he's hot," Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said of Lee. "There's no doubt about it. You don't want to give him a good pitch to hit."

Aramis Ramirez added a two-run shot off Kim in the sixth.

Preston Wilson had an RBI double in the fourth, and Dustan Mohr had two doubles for the Rockies.

Kim -- also a former closer -- made his second start of the season in place of Shawn Chacon who is out with a sprained right ankle. Kim allowed five runs and eight hits in five-plus innings.

"I think it was a situation where his location put him in some dire straights," Hurdle said. "He pitched very effectively through five innings."

Blaine Neal replaced Kim with none out in the sixth after Lee and Ramirez homered and pitched two scoreless innings.

Lee homered over the left-field bleachers in the first to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead, the first earned run Kim gave up to the Cubs in 11 appearances and 12 2/3 innings.

Colorado tied it in the fourth on doubles by Luis Gonzalez and Wilson.

The Rockies loaded the bases with one out in the fifth, but Rusch got Gonzalez to ground into an inning-ending double play.

The Cubs broke it open in the sixth on the two-run shots by Lee and Ramirez.

Notes

  • Lee hit two homers in consecutive games on June 9 and 10, 2002 while with Florida.
  • Rockies 1B Todd Helton went 0-for-4 and is 2-for-42 over the last 12 games.
  • Colorado rookie SS Clint Barmes returned to the lineup after missing Friday's game with a sprained right ankle and was 0-for-3.
 
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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Todd Walker gives Derrek Lee some love after Lee crushes his NL-leading 16th homer of the season.  (AP)
Todd Walker gives Derrek Lee some love after Lee crushes his NL-leading 16th homer of the season. (AP)

Players of the Game
Chicago

D. Lee
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 3
Chicago

G. Rusch
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 1
BB 3
K 4
 
Colorado Rockies
Clint Barmes, SS3000111 .335
Luis Gonzalez, 2B4120001 .300
Todd Helton, 1B4000022 .265
Preston Wilson, CF3011110 .252
Todd Greene, C4000002 .253
Matt Holliday, LF4010001 .275
Garrett Atkins, 3B3000111 .267
Dustan Mohr, RF3020010 .207
Byung-Hyun Kim, P2000003 .000
    Blaine Neal, P0000000 .000
   a- Eddy Garabito, PH1000000 .000
    David Cortes, P0000000 .000
Totals311613611 
a-grounded out for Neal in the 8th
Batting
2B - Luis Gonzalez (6, Rusch), Preston Wilson (9, Rusch), Dustan Mohr 2 (4, Rusch, Rusch)
RBI - Preston Wilson (27)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Todd Greene (3, throwing error)
Colorado Rockies
Byung-Hyun Kim (L,0-4) 5855023 7.16
Blaine Neal 2100220 6.75
David Cortes 1100010 5.87
IBB - Lee by Blaine Neal
WP - Blaine Neal (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Byung-Hyun Kim 84-0, Blaine Neal 37-0, David Cortes 16-0
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Byung-Hyun Kim 9-4, Blaine Neal 2-2
Batters Faced - Byung-Hyun Kim 23, Blaine Neal 9, David Cortes 4
Chicago Cubs
Neifi Perez, SS4020002 .298
Todd Walker, 2B4110002 .313
Derrek Lee, 1B3223100 .357
Jeromy Burnitz, RF4110000 .263
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4112012 .234
Corey Patterson, CF4010010 .275
Jason Dubois, LF4010021 .259
    Ryan Dempster, P0000000 .077
Michael Barrett, C3010101 .285
Glendon Rusch, P3000013 .154
    Michael Wuertz, P0000000 .000
   a- Todd Hollandsworth, PH-LF1000001 .204
Totals3451052512 
a-flied out for Wuertz in the 8th
Batting
2B - Neifi Perez (8, Kim), Michael Barrett (8, Kim)
3B - Todd Walker (1, Kim)
HR - Derrek Lee 2 (16, Kim, Kim), Aramis Ramirez (8, Kim)
RBI - Derrek Lee 3 (45), Aramis Ramirez 2 (21)
2-OUT RBI - Derrek Lee (13)
SB - Corey Patterson (5, 3rd base off Cortes/Greene)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Perez-Walker-Lee, Perez-Walker-Lee
Chicago Cubs
Glendon Rusch (W,4-1) 7411340 2.35
Michael Wuertz 1100010 4.37
Ryan Dempster 1100010 4.97
Pitches-Strikes - Glendon Rusch 112-0, Michael Wuertz 12-0, Ryan Dempster 17-0
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Glendon Rusch 9-6, Michael Wuertz 1-1
Batters Faced - Glendon Rusch 26, Michael Wuertz 4, Ryan Dempster 4
Game Information
Attendance - 39368
Game Time - 2:18
Temperature - 60
Umpires - Home - Mike Reilly, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Bob Davidson, Third Base - Rob Drake