Chicago at Colorado

Chi. Cubs
W: M. Prior (9-4) L: B. Kim (3-10)
S: R. Dempster (19)
HR: CHC - T. Walker (9)   COL - J. Piedra (4)

Cubs clip Rockies as Prior has double-digit strikeouts for 20th time

CBS wire reports

DENVER -- Mark Prior is concerned about his pitch count. So is his manager.

Prior struck out 10 in six strong innings, then got relief help from Kerry Wood again in the Chicago Cubs' 5-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Friday.

"I can't keep going out there and throwing 120 in six innings," Prior said. "I mean, it's fine for a couple starts but I know I need to get deeper into ballgames."

Cubs manager Dusty Baker agreed.

"He wasn't sharp, he threw a lot of pitches," Baker said. "We were hoping he could get us through six. ... He got us there."

Prior (9-4) allowed two runs, five hits and two walks, improving to 4-1 in his last eight starts. He threw 118 pitches and struck out Todd Helton twice in the 20th double-digit strikeout game of his career.

Todd Walker homered and Jeromy Burnitz drove in two runs for the Cubs, who have won three straight.

After Roberto Novoa gave up a run in the seventh, Wood came on and struck out two in a scoreless eighth. He also helped preserve a win for Prior on Sunday night, a 5-4 victory over St. Louis. That was the first time both of Chicago's hard-throwing aces pitched in the same game.

After coming off the disabled list this month, Wood was moved to the bullpen in an effort to relieve the stress on his troublesome right shoulder.

Ryan Dempster worked a perfect ninth for his 19th save, delighting a crowd of 30,175 that was dominated by Cubs fans.

Burnitz broke out of an 8-for-58 slump by getting three hits. Aramis Ramirez had an RBI single, Henry Blanco added a sacrifice fly and Derrek Lee scored twice for Chicago.

"It's always nice to hit the ball good," Burnitz said. "Especially on a day that's not a typical Coors game."

Jorge Piedra homered and Danny Ardoin had an RBI single for the Rockies, who have lost seven of eight. The Rockies didn't have many opportunities to get to Prior and the three relievers.

"Prior was tough, but everybody we saw from them was tough," Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. "When you strike out 15 times it makes it difficult to score runs."

Byung-Hyun Kim (3-10) allowed four runs, five hits and five walks in 4 2/3 innings.

"He wasn't efficient with his pitches, 103 pitches in less than five innings," Hurdle said. "Two walks in the first inning led to a run and then he gives up a home run to Walker on an 0-2 pitch."

Burnitz gave Chicago a 1-0 lead in the first with a two-out bloop single to center. Kim walked Walker and Ramirez before Burnitz singled past second baseman Luis Gonzalez.

The Cubs failed to take advantage of a three-base throwing error by third baseman Garrett Atkins on Corey Patterson's bunt to start the second. Atkins airmailed the throw into the right-field corner, but one out later, Patterson was thrown out at the plate on Prior's grounder to Gonzalez.

The Rockies tied it in the second on a one-out double by Larry Bigbie and an RBI single by Ardoin.

Blanco hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth for a 2-1 Chicago lead.

The Cubs chased Kim in a two-run fifth inning that featured Walker's ninth homer, a solo shot to right. Lee walked, stole second and scored on Ramirez's single to make it 4-1.

Piedra homered in the fifth, and Gonzalez had an RBI single in the seventh off Novoa to pull Colorado to 4-3.

"I hit it good," Piedra said of his home run. "I'm young and he should think he can throw a fastball by me."

Burnitz added an RBI double in the ninth off Brian Fuentes.


  • The Cubs activated INF Jerry Hairston from the disabled list and optioned OF Matt Murton to Triple-A Iowa.
  • Prior had a 10-pitch at-bat in the fourth before striking out.
  • Helton batted cleanup for the first time since Sept. 27, 2002, against Arizona. He struck out three times.
Copyright 2017 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.
Chicago starter Mark Prior improves to 9-4 after striking out 10 Rockies.  (AP)
Chicago starter Mark Prior improves to 9-4 after striking out 10 Rockies. (AP)

Players of the Game

M. Prior
IP 6.0
H 5
ER 2
BB 2
K 10

J. Burnitz
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0

Related Video

Chicago Cubs
Matt Lawton, LF4000002 .267
   a- Jerry Jr. Hairston, PH-LF1000000 .261
Todd Walker, 2B3211221 .304
Derrek Lee, 1B4210102 .345
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4021112 .306
Jeromy Burnitz, RF5132002 .261
Neifi Perez, SS3010203 .269
Corey Patterson, CF5010017 .233
Henry Blanco, C3001011 .230
Mark Prior, P3010011 .222
    Roberto Novoa, P0000000 .000
   b- Jose Macias, PH1000010 .292
    Kerry Wood, P0000000 .111
    Ryan Dempster, P0000000 .077
a-grounded out for Lawton in the 9th
b-struck out for Novoa in the 8th
2B - Jeromy Burnitz (26, Fuentes), Mark Prior (2, Acevedo)
HR - Todd Walker (9, Kim)
SF - Henry Blanco (2)
RBI - Todd Walker (29), Aramis Ramirez (90), Jeromy Burnitz 2 (58), Henry Blanco (14)
2-OUT RBI - Jeromy Burnitz 2 (27)
SB - Derrek Lee (14, 2nd base off Kim/Ardoin)
PK - Todd Walker (1, Kim)
Team LOB - 11
Chicago Cubs
Mark Prior (W,9-4) 65222101 3.66
Roberto Novoa (H,6) 1111120 3.66
Kerry Wood (H,4) 1000120 4.06
Ryan Dempster (S,19) 1000010 3.93
WP - Roberto Novoa (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Mark Prior 118-77, Roberto Novoa 20-11, Kerry Wood 18-12, Ryan Dempster 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mark Prior 6-2, Roberto Novoa 1-0, Ryan Dempster 1-1
Batters Faced - Mark Prior 25, Roberto Novoa 5, Kerry Wood 4, Ryan Dempster 3
Colorado Rockies
Luis Gonzalez, 2B5011032 .295
Jorge Piedra, RF3111111 .299
    Scott Dohmann, P0000000 .000
    Brian Fuentes, P0000000 .000
Matt Holliday, LF4010022 .314
Todd Helton, 1B4000032 .303
Garrett Atkins, 3B3000120 .275
Larry Bigbie, CF3110100 .246
Danny Ardoin, C3011021 .246
   a- J.D. Closser, PH-C1000001 .230
Omar Quintanilla, SS3110101 .229
Byung-Hyun Kim, P0000000 .045
    Jose Acevedo, P1000010 .143
    Randall Williams, P0000000 .000
    David Cortes, P0000000 .000
   b- Cory Sullivan, PH-RF1000010 .266
a-flied out for Ardoin in the 8th
b-hit a sacrifice bunt for Cortes in the 7th
2B - Larry Bigbie (10, Prior)
HR - Jorge Piedra (4, Prior)
SH - Byung-Hyun Kim (4), Cory Sullivan (8)
RBI - Luis Gonzalez (28), Jorge Piedra (10), Danny Ardoin (15)
2-OUT RBI - Jorge Piedra (4)
Team LOB - 7
Outfield Assists - Matt Holliday 1
DP - Ardoin-Helton, Holliday-Helton
E - Garrett Atkins (17, throwing error), Omar Quintanilla (1, misplayed grounder)
Colorado Rockies
Byung-Hyun Kim (L,3-10) 4.2544531 5.43
Jose Acevedo 0.2100000 6.50
Randall Williams 0.2000010 7.98
David Cortes 1000000 3.47
Scott Dohmann 1100010 8.62
Brian Fuentes 1311120 2.64
IBB - Perez by Brian Fuentes
Pitches-Strikes - Byung-Hyun Kim 103-61, Jose Acevedo 10-6, Randall Williams 10-6, David Cortes 11-7, Scott Dohmann 12-8, Brian Fuentes 26-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Byung-Hyun Kim 4-7, Jose Acevedo 1-1, David Cortes 3-1, Brian Fuentes 1-0
Batters Faced - Byung-Hyun Kim 24, Jose Acevedo 3, Randall Williams 2, David Cortes 4, Scott Dohmann 3, Brian Fuentes 7
Game Information
Attendance - 30175
Game Time - 3:16
Temperature - 87
Umpires - Home - Tim Tschida, First Base - Ron Kulpa, Second Base - Dan Iassogna, Third Base - Dale Scott