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Colorado at Chicago

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Colorado (38-40)100001010360
Chi. Cubs (32-46) «20022010x7102

Pena, Ramirez HRs power Cubs past Colorado

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

CHICAGO -- This is how the Cubs drew it up in spring training -- before the mistake-filled games, the injuries and all the losing.

Carlos Pena and Aramis Ramirez each homered twice to lead the Cubs to a 7-3 win over the Colorado Rockies on Monday.

Ramirez hit a two-run homer in the first, doubled and scored in the fifth and homered again to lead off the seventh. It was his 24th career multihomer gamer. Ramirez has finally started to heat up after hitting just two homers in the season's first two months.

"I'm more comfortable," Ramirez said. "I'm driving the ball more, driving in some runs. It paid off, the kind of work I was doing."

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Pena homered leading off the fourth and added a two-run shot in the fifth for his 20th career multihomer game. Pena and Ramirez each drove in three runs.

"I keep on saying, if you ask [hitting coach] Rudy Jaramillo, he'll tell you every day in the morning we're working in the cage and working on trying to get that consistent swing and I can't tell you that I feel outstanding at the plate," Pena said. "I'm glad I'm able to contribute, but I know there that there's still work to do."

The longball barrage backed a strong outing by Cubs starter Matt Garza (4-6), who threw 7 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on five hits. He struck out six and did not issue a walk.

"Attacking the zone, keeping my team in the ballgame, that's what I'm supposed to do," Garza said. "I didn't want to come out, but [Cubs manager Mike Quade] made the call. It was the right move, I was already at 110 pitches. As a starter, you want to go out and finish what you start."

Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin (8-5) struggled with his command and lost for the first time in four decisions, allowing season highs with six runs, nine hits, three homers and seven extra-base hits. He departed after throwing 107 pitches in five innings.

"Unfortunately, Jhoulys didn't have it today and that happens once in a while," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "He couldn't get the ball down today and he paid for it."

Carlos Gonzalez homered twice for the Rockies and Todd Helton added a run-scoring single.

"My first at-bat, it was a fastball away and I tried to hit the ball away and it just kept going," Gonzalez said. "The second was a mistake on a changeup down and in."

Gonzalez has 12 homers, including a pair of two-homer games this season.

Chacin hadn't allowed more than one run in any of his four June starts, but allowed two runs in the first Monday. Starlin Castro tripled off the ivy in center field with two outs, then Ramirez homered to left-center on a 1-2 pitch.

"Today my slider wasn't good," Chacin said. "I didn't make my pitches today and I struggled all over the place."

The triple gave Castro a career-best 11-game hitting streak. Castro, who entered the day second in the NL with 104 hits, is batting .384 over his last 21 games.

After the Cubs squandered scoring chances in the second and third, Pena hammered a 3-1 pitch from Chacin into the batter's eye in dead-center to lead off the fourth.

Later in the fourth, the Cubs loaded the bases on Geovany Soto's two-out double and back-to-back walks to Garza and Kosuke Fukudome. With Tony Campana at the plate, Chacin threw a pitch to the screen, allowing Soto to score and put the Cubs ahead 4-1.

Chicago broke the game open in the fifth. Ramirez doubled up the right-field line with one out. Pena then homered for the second time, an opposite-field shot that also came on a 3-1 count. That gave Pena 16 homers, all since May 3, the most in the NL over that span.

"As hitters we like to hit the ball the other way with power, that's a good sign, so I was able to do so today and that's always a good sign for me if I'm driving the ball the other way," Pena said. "That's important as a hitter and a sign of good things to come."

Not to be outdone, Ramirez launched a 1-0 pitch off reliever Clayton Mortensen onto the roof of the batting eye in center leading off the seventh, putting Chicago up 7-2. It was his eighth homer of the season.

"The formula is exactly how you draw it up, minus a few mistakes," Quade said. "We were able to outhit them."

The Rockies started fast against Garza when Gonzalez led off the game with a homer to opposite field. It was Gonzalez's third career leadoff homer.

Garza then hit Jonathan Herrera in the foot with a pitch, but settled down to retire the next 10 Colorado hitters. Troy Tulowitzki broke the streak with a one-out single in the fourth.

Garza cruised into the eighth, when he allowed Gonzalez's second homer of the day with one out, trimming the Cubs' lead to 7-3.

"[Home runs and pitching is] a pretty good combination," Quade said.

The Cubs have had a disappointing season and even after Monday's win, Chicago remains 14 games under .500. As the team gets healthier, Ramirez says they have to forget about the standings.

"We have to," Ramirez said. "You have to show and play every day. Don't think about tomorrow, don't think about yesterday. Just concentrate on that game and see what happens."

Notes

  • Monday's game was a makeup of an April 27 rainout.
  • The Rockies, who finished a weekend series in New York against the Yankees on Sunday, return to Denver to face the White Sox in an interleague series beginning Tuesday. The Cubs play a day-night doubleheader to open a four-game series at Wrigley against the Giants on Tuesday.
  • Cubs 2B Darwin Barney homered for Triple-A Iowa on Sunday. Barney is on a rehab assignment as part of his recovery from the left knee sprain that landed him on the disabled list on June 14. Quade hopes to have Barney back in the lineup in time for Wednesday game against San Francisco.
  • Quade also said that OF Marlon Byrd (fractured orbital bone) and reliever Kerry Wood (blister on right index finger) are improving and could be back with the club in a week or so. Byrd has been out since May 21, when he was hit in the face by a pitch by Boston's Alfredo Aceves.
 
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 Pena's two-run shot in the fifth inning marks the 20th multi-homer game of his career. (AP)
Carlos Pena's two-run shot in the fifth inning marks the 20th multi-homer game of his career. (AP)

Players of the Game
Colorado

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

A. Ramirez
AB 4
R 3
H 3
HR 2
RBI 3
 
Colorado Rockies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Carlos Gonzalez, CF4222010 .283
Jonathan Herrera, 2B3110010 .241
Todd Helton, 1B4011001 .304
Troy Tulowitzki, SS4020002 .276
Seth Smith, RF3000112 .310
Ty Wigginton, 3B4000023 .270
Charlie Blackmon, LF3000020 .277
    Clayton Mortensen, P0000000 .000
   a- Jason Giambi, PH1000012 .260
Chris Iannetta, C4000003 .229
Jhoulys Chacin, P2000010 .097
    Rex Brothers, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Spilborghs, LF1000000 .234
Totals3336319  
a-struck out for Mortensen in the 9th
Batting
HR - Carlos Gonzalez 2 (12, Garza, Garza)
RBI - Carlos Gonzalez 2 (45), Todd Helton (34)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Herrera-Helton, Herrera-Tulowitzki-Helton
Colorado Rockies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jhoulys Chacin (L,8-5) 5966343 3.10
Rex Brothers 1000120 4.50
Clayton Mortensen 2111111 3.33
WP - Jhoulys Chacin (4)
Pitches-Strikes - Jhoulys Chacin 107-59, Rex Brothers 22-13, Clayton Mortensen 32-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jhoulys Chacin 7-3, Clayton Mortensen 3-1
Batters Faced - Jhoulys Chacin 26, Rex Brothers 4, Clayton Mortensen 7
Chicago Cubs
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Kosuke Fukudome, RF4010111 .281
Tony Campana, CF3010112 .258
Starlin Castro, SS4110003 .325
Aramis Ramirez, 3B4333001 .289
Carlos Pena, 1B4223010 .226
Alfonso Soriano, LF3010100 .270
    Sean Marshall, P0000000 .000
    Carlos Marmol, P0000000 .000
Blake DeWitt, 2B4000012 .265
    DJ LeMahieu, 2B0000000 .243
Geovany Soto, C3110122 .227
Matt Garza, P2000111 .037
    Reed Johnson, LF1000001 .347
Totals32710657  
Batting
2B - Aramis Ramirez (20, Chacin), Alfonso Soriano (10, Chacin), Geovany Soto (14, Chacin)
3B - Starlin Castro (6, Chacin)
HR - Aramis Ramirez 2 (8, Chacin, Mortensen), Carlos Pena 2 (16, Chacin, Chacin)
RBI - Aramis Ramirez 3 (37), Carlos Pena 3 (42)
2-OUT RBI - Aramis Ramirez 2 (8)
SB - Tony Campana (8, 2nd base off Brothers/Iannetta)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Ramirez-DeWitt-Pena
E - Matt Garza (4, Misplayed grounder), Geovany Soto (5, Throwing)
Chicago Cubs
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Matt Garza (W,4-6) 7.1533062 4.07
Sean Marshall 0.2000010 2.23
Carlos Marmol 1100120 2.55
HBP - Herrera (by Matt Garza)
WP - Matt Garza (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Garza 109-74, Sean Marshall 8-7, Carlos Marmol 20-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Garza 12-4, Sean Marshall 1-0
Batters Faced - Matt Garza 28, Sean Marshall 2, Carlos Marmol 5
Game Information
Attendance - 40854
Game Time - 3:03
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Brian Runge, First Base - Ted Barrett, Second Base - Marvin Hudson, Third Base - D.J. Reyburn