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Chicago at Colorado

Chi. Cubs
W: J. Nicasio (6-4) L: C. Villanueva (2-6)
HR: CHC - L. Valbuena (9)   COL - C. Gonzalez (26)

Rockies 9, Cubs 3

CBSSports.com wire reports

DENVER -- Todd Helton has conceded some things to age. He knows he still has a lot of baseball left in his near 40-year-old body.

The Colorado Rockies first baseman takes more days off but when he's in the lineup he wants to contribute. He did just that Saturday, getting three hits and reaching base four times to help lead the Rockies past the Chicago Cubs 9-3.

Carlos Gonzalez homered and Troy Tulowitzki, Dexter Fowler and Wilin Rosario had two hits each for a Colorado offense that had scored eight runs in its previous five games.

Luis Valbuena homered and had two RBIs for the Cubs.

The younger players are getting more attention now but Helton showed he can still hit. He held a .320 career average coming into the season but he was hitting 65 points below that entering Saturday.

He is showing signs of his old self of late with 10 hits in his last 20 at-bats. The 2000 NL batting champion hopes his work in the cage will pay off in what is likely his last season.

"It feels good. I feel good at the plate, I feel comfortable, I feel in control," said Helton, who turns 40 in a month. "It doesn't always translate into success. I've tinkered and messed with it and hopefully it works. Hopefully I found something and I can ride it for a while."

Helton's 191st career three-hit game helped the Rockies break out of their slump, at least for one night. They were held to a single run by Jeff Samardzija on Friday night but found their rhythm against Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva for the second time this season.

"It's a team that has given me trouble throughout my career for some reason," Villanueva said. "I don't really look that much into it but today it was strange. I didn't really feel like myself out there."

The Rockies' offense woke up in the bottom of the fourth. Helton started it with a one-out single and scored on a groundout. Juan Nicasio walked to put runners on the corners and Fowler followed with a two-run triple to make it 3-1.

"That was a big hit by Dex," manager Walt Weiss said. "I have a lot of confidence in our offense. I know we've struggled but it's a good offensive club and I stick by that."

Cubs manager Dale Sveum said the walk to Nicasio was the key to the Rockies' fourth inning.

"That kind of changed the game around, walking him on a 3-2 slider," he said. "Then throwing Fowler a 3-2 fastball. It was a little backwards."

Colorado blew it open in the fifth. Gonzalez led off with his NL-leading 26th home run into the second deck above the Rockies' bullpen, and three straight singles made it 5-1 and chased Villanueva.

"That was a good swing," Gonzalez said of his 433-foot homer. "As soon as I hit the ball I knew it was out of the ballpark. I didn't know where it was going to land but I knew I hit it pretty far."

Michael Bowden came on and surrendered an RBI single to Rosario. Charlie Blackmon walked and Fowler hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Helton to make it 7-1.

Helton scored twice and is now needs 26 hits before the end of the season to reach 2,500 for his career.

"When he's healthy he's going to give you good at-bats," Weiss said.

Villanueva (2-6) allowed seven runs on nine hits in four-plus innings. He is winless in his last eight starts and his last victory came in relief against Seattle on June 29.

Nicasio (6-4) allowed one run on three hits in five innings, striking out three and walking two to get his second straight win since being recalled from Triple-A on July 12. He beat Clayton Kershaw last week.

A warm night turned blustery as wind speeds reached 35 mph in the fourth inning. A strong gust coming in from right field helped keep Nate Schierholtz's drive to the wall from going out in the top of the frame, and food wrappers and plastic bags from the stands littered the field in the bottom of the inning.

"It seemed like it got caught in a little jet stream there, no doubt about it," Sveum said of Schierholtz's out.

The wind wasn't strong enough to hold Valbuena's drive in the third. He crushed a 92 mph fastball into the Rockies bullpen to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. It was his ninth homer of the season.

The Cubs got within 7-3 with single runs in the sixth and seventh, but Tulowitzki added to Colorado's cushion with a two-run double in the eighth.


The Rockies placed RHP Rafael Betancourt (appendectomy) on the 15-day DL and recalled RHP Mitchell Boggs from Double-A Tulsa. ... Helton's double was the 578th of his career and ties him with Wade Boggs for 18th on the career list. ... Cubs rookie Junior Lake followed Friday's 3-for-4 debut with a single and a walk Saturday. ... The Rockies will send RHP Tyler Chatwood (5-3) against Chicago's Edwin Jackson (6-10) in Sunday's series finale.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

D. Fowler
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0

L. Valbuena
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
Luis Valbuena, 3B4122100 .240
Starlin Castro, SS5010004 .240
Anthony Rizzo, 1B4110021 .241
Alfonso Soriano, LF3010110 .260
Nate Schierholtz, RF3001002 .266
   a-Cole Gillespie, PH-RF1000000 .091
Junior Lake, CF3010111 .571
Darwin Barney, 2B4120001 .226
Welington Castillo, C3000111 .263
Carlos Villanueva, P2000020 .182
   b-Julio Borbon, PH1000002 .194
a-grounded out for Schierholtz in the 8th
b-flied out for Bowden in the 7th
c-hit by pitch for Parker in the 9th
2B - Alfonso Soriano (24, Ottavino), Darwin Barney (17, Boggs)
HR - Luis Valbuena (9, Nicasio)
RBI - Luis Valbuena 2 (31), Nate Schierholtz (35)
SB - Starlin Castro (8, 2nd base off Nicasio/Rosario)
CS - Junior Lake (1, 2nd base by Nicasio/Rosario)
Team LOB - 8
DP - Villanueva-Barney-Rizzo
E - Starlin Castro (15, Interference), Junior Lake (1, Misplayed grounder)
Chicago (N.L.) Cubs
Carlos Villanueva (L,2-6) 4977401 4.16
Michael Bowden 2100230 3.26
Hector Rondon 1000020 5.93
Blake Parker 1321110 2.79
IBB - Arenado by Carlos Villanueva
Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Villanueva 87-47, Michael Bowden 39-23, Hector Rondon 12-9, Blake Parker 27-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Villanueva 6-5, Hector Rondon 1-0
Batters Faced - Carlos Villanueva 24, Michael Bowden 9, Hector Rondon 3, Blake Parker 7
Colorado Rockies
Dexter Fowler, CF3123100 .288
DJ LeMahieu, 2B5120013 .268
Carlos Gonzalez, LF4111123 .298
Troy Tulowitzki, SS5122002 .338
Michael Cuddyer, RF4110101 .328
Todd Helton, 1B4231111 .265
Wilin Rosario, C5121013 .275
Nolan Arenado, 3B3001101 .239
Juan Nicasio, P1100102 .182
   b-Josh Rutledge, PH1000010 .211
a-walked for Nicasio in the 5th
b-struck out for Lopez in the 7th
2B - Troy Tulowitzki (17, Parker), Todd Helton (8, Villanueva), Wilin Rosario (15, Villanueva)
3B - Dexter Fowler (3, Villanueva)
HR - Carlos Gonzalez (26, Villanueva)
SF - Dexter Fowler (1)
RBI - Dexter Fowler 3 (30), Carlos Gonzalez (65), Troy Tulowitzki 2 (54), Todd Helton (31), Wilin Rosario (47), Nolan Arenado (28)
2-OUT RBI - Dexter Fowler 2 (13)
SB - Dexter Fowler (14, 2nd base off Parker/Castillo)
CS - DJ LeMahieu (4, 2nd base by Parker/Castillo)
Team LOB - 10
DP - Tulowitzki-Helton
Colorado Rockies
Juan Nicasio (W,6-4) 5311231 4.73
Adam Ottavino 1322110 2.79
Wilton Lopez 1100000 4.47
Josh Outman 1000020 4.50
Mitchell Boggs 1100110 10.34
WP - Adam Ottavino (5)
HBP - Ransom (by Mitchell Boggs)
Pitches-Strikes - Juan Nicasio 93-52, Adam Ottavino 31-16, Wilton Lopez 9-6, Josh Outman 15-9, Mitchell Boggs 24-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Juan Nicasio 5-6, Adam Ottavino 2-0, Wilton Lopez 1-1, Josh Outman 1-0, Mitchell Boggs 2-0
Batters Faced - Juan Nicasio 19, Adam Ottavino 7, Wilton Lopez 3, Josh Outman 3, Mitchell Boggs 6
Game Information
Attendance - 45616
Game Time - 3:29
Temperature - 86
Umpires - Home - Field Culbreth, First Base - Lance Barrett, Second Base - Bill Welke, Third Base - Adrian Johnson