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Cubs Look To Avoid Sweep By Rockies

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Casey Coleman

Casey Coleman (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

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(AP) – The Colorado Rockies nearly failed to record a hit during Jhoulys Chacin’s most recent start. He didn’t need much help from the offense in his last outing against the Chicago Cubs.

Looking to rebound from a bumpy performance, Chacin will try to help the Rockies complete a three-game sweep of the Cubs on Wednesday.

Chacin (3-1, 2.67 ERA) gave up four runs, seven hits and three walks in five innings of a 4-1 defeat at Florida on Friday.

“The first couple innings, I couldn’t control my fastball,” Chacin said. “Everything was off the plate, everything was a struggle. I couldn’t make an adjustment the first couple innings.”

The Marlins’ Anibal Sanchez threw a one-hitter against the Rockies in that game. However, it was Chacin who was the star of Colorado’s 5-0 win over Chicago (10-13) on April 15, when the right-hander allowed six hits and struck out seven en route to his first career complete game.

“What a good-looking young pitcher,” Cubs manager Mike Quade told the Rockies’ official website. “To have that kind of repertoire in (Coors Field), he was good. We created one, maybe two opportunities. I was impressed.”

While Chacin has yet to allow a run during his two wins at home, he is 1-1 with a 6.55 ERA on the road, where opponents are batting .318 against him.

The Cubs, who have gone 1 for 16 with runners in scoring position in the series, were stifled Tuesday by Jorge De La Rosa, who allowed two runs – one earned – and struck out nine over seven innings of the Rockies’ 4-3 win.

Todd Helton hit two home runs for Colorado (16-7), which is off to its best 23-game start in franchise history.

“We were in this situation last year and I really hope that our interest level walking into this clubhouse tomorrow is that we’re not satisfied that we’ve won the series,” Tracy said. “We’re interested in sweeping the series because we have an opportunity to do so.”

In contrast, Chicago continues to falter and has lost five of six – all at Wrigley Field.

“We got to be patient,” said Alfonso Soriano, who hit his team-best seventh homer. “It’s not easy to play here, especially in April. But that’s not the key right now. We gotta win some games and score some runs.”

Casey Coleman (1-1, 7.43), who gets the start in the finale, held the Rockies to one run and four hits over 5 2-3 innings of a 8-3 road win April 16 to snap Colorado’s season-best seven-game winning streak.

In his last start, though, the right-hander was anything but sharp, surrendering four walks and a season-worst six runs in 2 2-3 innings of Friday’s 12-2 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“I don’t think I’ve seen Casey like that since he got here last year,” Quade told the Cubs’ official website. “He looked completely out of sync from the get go. I really haven’t a clue why. He was missing down, and you watch him and that’s kind of what we want, but not that often. Just a tough day for him.”

While second baseman Darwin Barney is batting .353 during a career-best seven-game hitting streak, shortstop Starlin Castro has seen his average drop 26 points to .350 over the last two games after going 1 for 10.

Barney and Castro are a combined 0 for 10 with three strikeouts against Chacin.

Copyright 2010 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. STATS LLC and The Associated Press contributed to this article. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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