Chicago Cubs halt Colorado Rockies' seven-game win streak

By Sarah Trotto, The Sports Xchange  |  June 11, 2017 at 7:47 PM
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CHICAGO -- Manager Joe Maddon felt his Chicago Cubs pitched and played defense well enough to win more.

The offense just needed to be more consistent.

He went with a more veteran lineup Sunday against the National League West-leading Colorado Rockies because some of the younger players were struggling. But in the end, the youngsters led the offense in a comeback.

Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber hit back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning, and the Cubs earned a 7-5 victory over the Rockies on Sunday afternoon.

"Our confidence has been nicked a little bit, happens to everybody, but you rebuild it by maintaining the process, don't get too out of bounds, don't try to do too many different things and let the guys play," Maddon said. "I like the way we played."

Russell hit his fourth home run to give the Cubs the lead and help them avoid a four-game sweep. The Rockies (41-24) saw their seven-game winning streak -- their longest since 2013 -- snapped.

"Good at-bats pretty much the whole day, and we're going to take this as a positive and move on," Schwarber said.

Ben Zobrist and Miguel Montero also homered for the defending World Series champions, who ended a four-game losing streak to return to .500 at 31-31.

Carl Edwards Jr. (2-0) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings to pick up the victory. Wade Davis earned his 13th save despite giving up a run in the ninth.

The go-ahead home run was Russell's first since Major League Baseball began looking into an allegation made on social media last week that the shortstop abused his wife. Russell's wife suggested in an Instagram post on Wednesday that Russell had been unfaithful, and a woman identified as a friend posted that Russell had "hit" his wife.

Russell in a statement called the allegation "false and hurtful."

The team told the shortstop not to go to the ballpark Thursday. By Friday, he was available off the bench, and he was back in the starting lineup Saturday.

Schwarber followed Russell's home run with his first career pinch-hit homer and 11th of the season. Jordan Lyles (0-2) gave up both homers.

"It was pretty big, Schwarber coming up behind me and adding on," Russell said. "It feels good to see some success a little bit. ...

"Five in a row (lost) definitely would be tough."

Rockies starter Antonio Senzatela fell short of becoming the first nine-game winner in the National League. In his shortest outing of the season, Senzatela allowed four runs and seven hits in four innings. He struck out six and walked two.

Zobrist belted a three-run homer off Senzatela in the first inning.

"The one hanging breaking ball -- three-run home runs hurt," Rockies manager Bud Black said.

Cubs starter Jake Arrieta gave up four runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings to tie his second-shortest outing of the season. The Rockies routed Arrieta for nine runs (five earned) in 3 2/3 innings May 9 in their previous meeting.

Colorado tied the game with four runs in the fifth. The Rockies loaded the bases with no outs with a double, a walk and a hit batter by Arrieta.

The umpiring crew talked to Arrieta after the hit batter before Maddon exited the dugout to discuss it.

Arrieta then issued a walk to bring in a run. Carlos Gonzalez was ejected after he disagreed with a strikeout-looking call before Mark Reynolds hit an RBI single to cut the lead to two and prompt Arrieta's exit.

"Everybody knows I'm not a guy who argues balls and strikes," Gonzalez said. "I've been in this league for a long time. ... The whole situation, too. We got runners on... That's what really frustrated me. I get upset when I feel like I have an opportunity to help the team and I don't."

Ian Desmond's two-run single off Edwards tied the game.

The struggling Chicago offense broke out early. After the Cubs averaged just 2.5 runs during their four-game losing streak, they went ahead in the first inning on three straight hits, capped by Anthony Rizzo's RBI double. Zobrist followed with his seventh home run.

"I just threw a pitch and they got contact," Senzatela said.

Senzatela's first-inning ERA ballooned to 7.62, nearly double his overall 3.84 mark.

The Rockies scored a run in the ninth on DJ LeMahieu's RBI single.

"We had our chances," Gonzalez said. "We came back and tied the game. It was a good series, playing a really good team. We take the series."

NOTES: Cubs CF Jon Jay batted leadoff instead of LF Kyle Schwarber, who entered Sunday hitting .167. Jay went 2-for-4. ... Rockies RF Carlos Gonzalez was ejected for the second time in his major league career. His previous ejection was Sept. 9, 2011, against the Reds. ... 3B Nolan Arenado was out of the Rockies' starting lineup for rest. However, he pinch-hit in the ninth inning and struck out. ... The Rockies won a four-game series in Chicago for the first time since 1996.

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