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Chicago at Colorado

Scoreboard
Chi. Cubs (15-7)010000010241
Colorado (10-12) «10000012x4100

Cook, Fuentes stymie Cubs, end Rockies' four-game skid

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DENVER -- Aaron Cook gave the Colorado bullpen some rest. Brian Fuentes gave it some much-needed redemption.

Cook pitched eight strong innings, and Fuentes, back as the team's closer, earned his first save in 10 months to help the Rockies end a four-game skid with a 4-2 win over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday.

Cook (3-1) won his third consecutive start and halted the Cubs' six-game winning streak. Chicago had won nine of its previous 10 games.

"A big-time performance from Aaron, and to finish off like the way we did with Brian was good to see," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said.

Jason Marquis gave up eight hits and struck out four in seven innings. Kevin Hart (2-1) took the loss in relief.

Fuentes, who took over the closer's role from struggling Manny Corpas before the game, worked a perfect ninth to record his first save since last June 21. He ended a personal streak of seven consecutive blown save opportunities.

"As much as I tried to make it the same, it wasn't," Fuentes said. "There was so much electricity in the air, the crowd was into it, and I just kind of go with my emotions."

Fuentes' performance ended another skid. The Colorado bullpen had surrendered late-inning leads in the past four games, including back-to-back blown saves by Corpas.

The Rockies broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth. Matt Holliday led off with a double and moved to third on a ground out by Garrett Atkins. After an intentional walk to Brad Hawpe, Troy Tulowitzki hit a grounder to Ronny Cedeno at second, but shortstop Ryan Theriot overran second and couldn't make a play and Holliday scored.

"I tried to rush it. If we don't turn it, they score," Theriot said. "I wasn't concerned as much about the baserunner as I was getting the out at first. Troy runs hard and it was on a check swing."

One out later, Ryan Spilborghs drove in Hawpe with a single to left.

Chris Iannetta hit his first home run of the year leading off the seventh to give Colorado a 2-1 lead, but the Cubs came back in the eighth. Geovany Soto led off with a single, Felix Pie and pinch-hitter Daryle Ward followed with walks, and Mike Fontenot drove in pinch-runner Cendeno with a groundout.

Cook escaped with minimal damage when Theriot lined into a double play to end the inning.

"I knew I just had to settle down, make a couple good pitches and fortunately we were able to get out of there with just one run," Cook said.

Hurdle said he didn't consider taking Cook out of the game in the eighth.

"We needed a shot in the arm from a starter. He gave it to us," Hurdle said. "He was the best guy, the best option for me available in the eighth inning."

The Cubs knew they missed a chance to take control.

"We had the bases loaded in the eighth with no outs and come out of it with one run," Chicago manager Lou Pinella said.

The Rockies took a 1-0 lead in the first. Scott Podsednik led off with a single, stole second and came home on Todd Helton's single to right.

Chicago answered in the second inning. Kosuke Fukudome and Mark Derosa drew one-out walks and Pie's two-out single drove in Fukudome.

Cook settled down after giving up the run, retiring the next 16 batters, including a five-pitch fourth inning. That gave Colorado's busy bullpen some much-needed rest.

Marquis kept pace with Cook. After Colorado got two on in the second inning, he gave up one more hit through the sixth and didn't let a runner get past first base. He allowed a leadoff walk to Holliday in the sixth, but retired the next three batters before giving up Iannetta's solo home run to start the seventh.

Notes

  • The Rockies acquired minor league pitcher Sean Smith from the Cleveland Indians to complete the trade that sent infielder Jamey Carroll to Cleveland on Dec. 8, 2007.
  • Chicago's 15-6 record matched its best start in franchise history. The last time the Cubs won 15 of their first 21 was 1975.
 
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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Chris Iannetta's home run helps Aaron Cook earn his third victory of the season.  (AP)
Chris Iannetta's home run helps Aaron Cook earn his third victory of the season. (AP)

Players of the Game
Colorado

A. Cook
IP 8.0
H 4
ER 2
BB 3
K 5
Colorado

S. Podsednik
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Chicago Cubs
Mike Fontenot, 2B4011010 .211
    Henry Blanco, C0000000 .357
Ryan Theriot, SS4000013 .321
Derrek Lee, 1B4000000 .362
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4000020 .274
Kosuke Fukudome, RF3100110 .338
Mark DeRosa, LF2000120 .284
Geovany Soto, C3010002 .352
    Ronny Cedeno, PR-2B0100000 .375
Felix Pie, CF3021000 .237
Jason Marquis, P2000002 .200
   a- Daryle Ward, PH0000100 .077
    Kevin Hart, P0000000 .000
Totals2924237  
a-walked for Marquis in the 8th
Batting
RBI - Mike Fontenot (4), Felix Pie (6)
2-OUT RBI - Felix Pie (6)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Fontenot-Theriot-Lee
E - Ryan Theriot (2, Missed catch of throw)
Chicago Cubs
Jason Marquis 7822241 3.47
Kevin Hart (L,2-1) 1221110 3.68
IBB - Hawpe by Kevin Hart
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Marquis 98-64, Kevin Hart 28-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Marquis 6-10, Kevin Hart 3-0
Batters Faced - Jason Marquis 30, Kevin Hart 7
Colorado Rockies
Scott Podsednik, CF5130002 .304
Clint Barmes, 2B-3B4000004 .333
Todd Helton, 1B4011012 .264
Matt Holliday, LF3110111 .325
Garrett Atkins, 3B4010002 .323
    Brian Fuentes, P0000000 .000
Brad Hawpe, RF3100123 .232
Troy Tulowitzki, SS3001101 .161
Chris Iannetta, C4111013 .333
Aaron Cook, P3020000 .273
   a- Ryan Spilborghs, PH1011000 .275
    Jayson Nix, 2B0000000 .128
Totals34410435  
a-singled for Cook in the 8th
Batting
2B - Scott Podsednik (1, Marquis), Matt Holliday (6, Hart), Garrett Atkins (5, Marquis)
HR - Chris Iannetta (1, Marquis)
RBI - Todd Helton (7), Troy Tulowitzki (11), Chris Iannetta (5), Ryan Spilborghs (9)
2-OUT RBI - Ryan Spilborghs (7)
SB - Scott Podsednik (4, 2nd base off Marquis/Soto)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Tulowitzki-Barmes-Helton, Helton
Colorado Rockies
Aaron Cook (W,3-1) 8422350 2.91
Brian Fuentes (S,1) 1000020 2.25
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Cook 97-61, Brian Fuentes 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Cook 9-8
Batters Faced - Aaron Cook 29, Brian Fuentes 3
Game Information
Attendance - 32791
Game Time - 2:18
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Ed Hickox, First Base - C.B. Bucknor, Second Base - Joe West, Third Base - Ed Rapuano