DENVER (AP) — Chris Rusin and the Chicago Cubs got off to a good start Tuesday night. It didn’t last long, however.
The Colorado Rockies hit Rusin hard after the first inning, knocked him out in the fourth and overcame an early three-run deficit while beating the Cubs 10-5. The game was played in a steady rain with temperatures in the low 50s and finally halted after the top of the seventh. After a 48-minute delay, the game was called.
“We came out swinging the bats really well,” Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. “Obviously couldn’t get them to make any soft contact, that’s for sure. There were some balls hit pretty hard on their side. Even the outs we got were luckily at people.”
DJ LeMahieu had three hits and finished a home run short of the cycle, Wilin Rosario and Matt McBride went deep and Chris Nelson had three hits for the Rockies, who won a matchup of 94-loss teams.
Carlos Torres (5-3) got the win after allowing one run in two innings of relief. LeMahieu and Tyler Colvin, acquired from the Cubs last winter, combined to go 5 for 7 with five RBIs.
The Cubs have lost seven of their past eight games and need to win four of their final eight to avoid their first 100-loss season since 1966.
Making his sixth major league start, Rusin (1-3) retired the side in order on 12 pitches in the first after the Cubs staked him to a three-run lead. Dave Sappelt led off the game with a long homer off Jorge De La Rosa. It was Sappelt’s first career homer, ending a drought of 152 at-bats without one.
With two out in the first, Alfonso Soriano drew a walk. He scored on what should have been the third out, a ground ball Starlin Castro hit to shortstop Josh Rutledge, who heaved the ball into the camera bay adjacent to the Rockies dugout. Wellington Castillo followed with a run-scoring double.
Rosario led off the second with his 27th homer, extending his record for a Rockies rookie. Rusin gave up a leadoff triple to DJ LeMahieu to open the third, walked Rutledge with one out and both runners scored when Colvin tripled into the right field corner to cut the Cubs lead to 4-3.
“Rusin was just up in the zone with not a whole lot of life on anything,” Sveum said.
Rusin gave up back-to-back singles to start the fourth and a one-out double to LeMahieu. He left with runners on second and third after 3 2-3 innings, throwing 42 of 72 pitches for strikes and was charged with those two runs when Rafael Dolis came on to face Rutledge and gave up a two-run double that put the Rockies ahead 6-5.
“The first inning was good because I got ahead of the hitters,” Rusin said. “The second and third and from there on out, I just fell behind. When I got ahead, I got ground balls, I got outs. When I fell behind, they capitalized on my mistakes. And that’s pretty much what happened on all my extra-base hits.”
De La Rosa allowed four runs, two earned, and five hits in three innings in his second start for the Rockies after tearing his ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow May 24, 2011, and undergoing Tommy John surgery. He gave up a homer to Starlin Castro in the third, his 14th of the season.
The Cubs were hitless in the final three innings as their road record fell to 22-54, the worst in the majors except for the Astros (16-59). The Cubs are 0-14 on the road against the NL West this season.
“Tonight to score that many runs early and then just give it right back,” Sveum said, “you’re not going to win many road games giving up that many hard hit balls and balls out of the ballpark.”
NOTES: Sappelt also doubled for his second game this season with multiple extra-base hits. He had two doubles Sept. 10 at Houston. … Castro’s home runs was his 52nd extra-base hit of the season, three shy of his career-high last year.
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