Chicago at Colorado

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Chi. Cubs (46-58)000020030570
Colorado (54-50) «0310001016121

Rockies' Gonzalez completes cycle with walk-off shot

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

DENVER -- Carlos Gonzalez went to the plate in the bottom of the ninth replaying in his head the words of his teammates: this was his night and he had it in him to do something special.

Punctuating those encouraging words, Gonzalez hit a game-ending home run to complete the cycle, and the Colorado Rockies rallied to beat the Chicago Cubs 6-5 Saturday night after blowing a three-run lead in the eighth inning.

"I heard everyone saying I was going to do it," Gonzalez said. "You just believe in yourself. I guess it was meant to be. It was my night, it was the Rockies' night."

Gonzalez became the sixth Rockies player to hit for the cycle and the first since Troy Tulowitzki did it last Aug. 10, also against the Chicago Cubs.

"I put a really good swing on the ball," Gonzalez said. "The pitch helped me. It was 90-something, inside, and I put it right on the barrel."

Derrek Lee hit a tying three-run homer in the eighth off Rafael Betancourt.

"It's been a struggle offensively for us, no question about it," Lee said. "We just haven't clicked on all cylinders. Tonight was tough. We battled back, but Carlos Gonzalez just had a great night."

Melvin Mora, who went 2 for 2 during Colorado's record-setting 13-hit, 12-run eighth inning Friday night, went 4 for 4 Saturday to stretch the streak to six hits in six at-bats.

Huston Street (2-2) retired the Cubs in order in the ninth and Gonzalez crushed the first offering from Sean Marshall (6-3), driving the ball into the third deck beyond the right-field fence, 462 feet away. He thrust his arms into the air as he rounded third and touched home plate as his teammates swarmed around him.

"That was unbelievable," Gonzalez said. "It was a great feeling. All the crowd screaming, it's a moment you just want to pass out because you don't know what to do. Just try to get with my teammates and celebrate."

Marshall said he went right after Gonzalez, who singled, tripled and doubled in his first three at bats.

"He's a good hitter," Marshall said. "He's locked in right now. He's putting good swings on bad pitches and good swings on good pitches. He's probably the guy in the lineup that we didn't want to beat us. I went in and challenged him and he beat me."

The Cubs were dealt their fourth straight loss on a day when they sent pitcher Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for infielder Blake Dewitt, two minor leaguers and cash.

The game also marked the return of Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano, who was activated from the restricted list Friday. Zambrano, who was placed on the list June 29 in the aftermath of a dugout altercation with Lee, came on in relief of starter Tom Gorzelanny with one runner on and one out in the seventh inning.

Zambrano apologized to his teammates after Friday's activation and he made a grateful return to play, kneeling quietly beside the mound for a moment before pitching and pointing a finger skyward as he walked to the dugout after working out of the seventh-inning jam by fanning pinch-hitter Seth Smith and getting Brad Hawpe to pop out.

Zambrano said he wasn't uneasy taking the mound again after the monthlong layoff.

"Not at all," he said. "Just another game for me. That's what I think every time I go to the mound. I just wanted to get the hitters out and do my job."

Gorzelanny came in having gone 4-0 with a 3.42 ERA in July but got a no-decision in his final start of the month, giving up five runs and nine hits before leaving in the seventh after allowing a sacrifice fly to Gonzalez.

Colorado starter Jason Hammel also didn't figure in the decision after leaving in favor of Betancourt with one out and two on in the eighth and holding a 5-2 lead. Betancourt fanned Starlin Castro but Lee jumped on Betancourt's first pitch, driving it over the center field wall for his 12th homer and pulling the Cubs into a tie 5-all.

Trailing 4-0, the Cubs pulled to within two in the fifth. Marlon Byrd led off with a single and Alfonso Soriano followed with an RBI double, taking third on the throw home. Soriano then scored on Geovany Soto's sacrifice fly that right fielder Ryan Spilborgh's caught with his back against the wall.

Mora led off the second with a single and Spilborghs walked to set the stage for Olivo, who drove Gorzelanny's first offering over the center field fence for his 13th homer.

The Rockies went ahead 4-0 when Gonzalez tripled off the top of the center field fence in the third and Mora singled him home with his fourth consecutive base hit. Mora made it five in a row with another single in the sixth.

Notes

  • Rockies shortstop Tulowitzki's next game will be the 500th of his career.
  • Cubs manager Lou Piniella left the team Saturday to attend funeral services in Tampa for his uncle. Bench coach Alan Trammell was managing the team in Piniella's absence.
 
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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Carlos Gonzalez slams a mammoth 462-foot homer to earn the cycle and the dramatic win for the Rockies.  (AP)
Carlos Gonzalez slams a mammoth 462-foot homer to earn the cycle and the dramatic win for the Rockies. (AP)

Players of the Game
Colorado

C. Gonzalez
AB 4
R 2
H 4
HR 1
RBI 2
Chicago

D. Lee
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
 

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Chicago Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Tyler Colvin, RF4110001 .268
Starlin Castro, SS4010012 .305
Derrek Lee, 1B4113001 .246
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4010011 .222
Marlon Byrd, CF4110001 .311
Alfonso Soriano, LF4111000 .266
Geovany Soto, C3001010 .283
Mike Fontenot, 2B3110011 .282
Tom Gorzelanny, P1000010 .154
    Carlos Zambrano, P0000000 .250
   a- Kosuke Fukudome, PH1000011 .249
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .000
Totals3257506  
a-struck out for Zambrano in the 8th
Batting
2B - Alfonso Soriano (25, Hammel)
HR - Derrek Lee (12, Betancourt)
SF - Geovany Soto (2)
SH - Tom Gorzelanny (4)
RBI - Derrek Lee 3 (48), Alfonso Soriano (55), Geovany Soto (39)
2-OUT RBI - Derrek Lee 3 (18)
Team LOB - 2
Chicago Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Tom Gorzelanny 6.1955251 3.48
Carlos Zambrano 0.2100110 5.59
Sean Marshall (L,6-3) 1211011 2.65
IBB - Olivo by Tom Gorzelanny
Pitches-Strikes - Tom Gorzelanny 92-61, Carlos Zambrano 15-9, Sean Marshall 18-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tom Gorzelanny 5-9, Sean Marshall 1-1
Batters Faced - Tom Gorzelanny 30, Carlos Zambrano 4, Sean Marshall 5
Colorado Rockies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Dexter Fowler, CF5120020 .235
Clint Barmes, 2B5010001 .253
Carlos Gonzalez, LF4242000 .321
Troy Tulowitzki, SS3000103 .307
Melvin Mora, 3B4141000 .282
Ryan Spilborghs, RF2100102 .277
   a- Seth Smith, PH-RF1000013 .286
Brad Hawpe, 1B4000015 .258
Miguel Olivo, C3113120 .306
Jason Hammel, P3000012 .118
    Rafael Betancourt, P0000000 .000
   b- Jonathan Herrera, PH1000000 .278
    Huston Street, P0000000 .000
Totals35612637  
a-struck out for Spilborghs in the 7th
b-grounded out for Betancourt in the 8th
Batting
2B - Carlos Gonzalez (16, Gorzelanny)
3B - Carlos Gonzalez (5, Gorzelanny)
HR - Carlos Gonzalez (21, Marshall), Miguel Olivo (13, Gorzelanny)
SF - Carlos Gonzalez (5)
RBI - Carlos Gonzalez 2 (68), Melvin Mora (21), Miguel Olivo 3 (47)
2-OUT RBI - Melvin Mora (9)
SB - Dexter Fowler (11, 2nd base off Marshall/Soto), Carlos Gonzalez (15, 2nd base off Gorzelanny/Soto)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Barmes-Tulowitzki-Hawpe
E - Melvin Mora (5, Throwing)
Colorado Rockies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jason Hammel 7.1644050 4.37
Rafael Betancourt (BS,3) 0.2111011 4.89
Huston Street (W,2-2) 1000000 2.65
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Hammel 83-60, Rafael Betancourt 14-11, Huston Street 5-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Hammel 12-5, Huston Street 1-2
Batters Faced - Jason Hammel 28, Rafael Betancourt 3, Huston Street 3
Game Information
Attendance - 48065
Game Time - 2:25
Temperature - 87
Umpires - Home - Hunter Wendelstedt, First Base - Mike Estabrook, Second Base - Jerry Layne, Third Base - Mike Winters