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Cubs vs. Rockies: Chicago gets swept by Colorado in Denver

The Colorado Rockies defeated the Cubs on Thursday, 7-5, to finish off the sweep.

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Starlin Castro's improvement gives Cubs hope

Chicago Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro is showing promise for the future of the middle of the team's lineup.


Cubs lose series finale to Rockies, 7-5

The Chicago Cubs lost Thursday's series finale to the Colorado Rockies, 7-5, resulting in the three-game sweep for the home team at Coors Field in Denver, Colo.

The Rockies jumped on Cubs starting pitcher Chris Volstad, who is now 3-11 on the season, early and often. Volstad allowed three runs in the first inning on a Jordan Pacheco home run, then gave up two more in the second by surrendering a two-run shot to former Cub DJ LeMahieu. The Cubs got runs back in the second and third on a Brett Jackson RBI single and an Anthony Rizzo solo homer, but the Rockies struck again for two more in the third, spelling the end of Volstad's day.

Chicago's bullpen pitched well, as three relievers combined to toss five shutout innings, while allowing the Rockies to get just two hits. However, the damage had long been done by that point, even though the Cubs fought back by scoring two runs in the ninth while threatening for more.

With the loss, the Cubs inched closer to claiming the No. 2 pick in next year's draft. They may get some help finishing the job, as they'll travel to Phoenix to face the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three-game series starting on Friday.


Cubs crushed in rain shortened game

Tuesday night's game between the Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies was canceled due to rain after the top of the seventh inning, with Colorado up 10-5. Cubs starter Chris Rusin took the loss, while Rockies righty Carlos Torres picked up the win in relief.

The Cubs got out to a three-run lead in the first inning off Colorado starter Jorge de la Rosa, thanks to the first career homer by Dave Sappelt, an error on Rockies shortstop Josh Rutledge and a double by Chicago catcher Welington Castillo. But Colorado fought back, putting up a run in the bottom of the second and two more in the bottom of the third, which came on a triple by ex-Cubs outfielder Tyler Colvin. The Cubs were able to keep a slim lead thanks to a Starlin Castro homer in the top of the third and a Darwin Barney single in the fourth that made it 5-3 Cubs.

But things would unravel from there, with Colorado putting up three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings, pushing the score to 9-5. They would add one more run in the sixth, which would ultimately be their last time at the plate. The Cubs would go quietly in the seventh prior to the game being called.

The two teams will be back on the field on at 7:40 p.m. CT Wednesday, with Jason Berken taking on Drew Pomeranz.


The Cubs and Rockies open a three-game set Tuesday

The Chicago Cubs and Colorado Rockies enter their three-game series this week with identical records and similar goals: Avoid 100 losses, avoid finishing as the second-worst team in baseball for 2012. One more win will keep the Cubs from matching their franchise record for losses, last set at 103 in 1966.

Chicago starts Chris Rusin (1-2, 6.00) on Tuesday night in Denver. The southpaw has started five times for the Cubs, giving them quality starts in two appearances and blowing up in the other three. Rusin will face Jorge De La Rosa (0-1, 12.27), who made his first start in 16 months last Thursday, a 9-2 loss to San Francisco.

Lineups as follows:

Cubs (59-94)

1. Dave Sappelt (R) RF
2. Darwin Barney (R) 2B
3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
4. Alfonso Soriano (R) LF
5. Starlin Castro (R) SS
7. Josh Vitters (R) 3B
8. Joe Mather (R) CF
9. Chris Rusin (L) P

Rockies (59-94)

1. Josh Rutledge (R) SS
2. Tyler Colvin (L) CF
3. Jordan Pacheco (R) 1B
4. Wilin Rosario (R) C
5. Chris Nelson (R) 3B
6. Andrew Brown (R) LF
7. Matt McBride (R) RF
8. DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
9. Jorge De La Rosa (L) P

Cardinals Vs. Cubs Final Score: Chicago Falls Short In Series Finale, 6-3

With a chance to knock the St. Louis Cardinals down a notch in the National League playoff race, the Chicago Cubs came up on the wrong side of a loss on Sunday to conclude the series, 6-3.

Cubs starter Justin Germano was shelled for four runs on 10 hits before being pulled from the mound in the sixth inning, and now falls to a meager 2-9 on the season. Despite watching his team suffer through its 94th loss of the year, Chicago outfielder Alfonso Soriano at the very least continued his strong month of September with a 3-for-4 performance that included his 31st home run of the season.

Soriano also managed to push his season tally to 105 RBI, marking just the third time in his career where he's eclipsed the 100-RBI plateau. The All-Star slugger has already belted six home runs with 22 RBI in September alone, and continues to defy critics who claimed that his skills were in rapid decline.

Only nine games remain on Chicago's 2012 schedule, as the Cubs will next hit the field to face the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday to open up a three-game set from Coors Field. Young left-hander Chris Rusin will take the mound for manager Dale Sveum in Game 1 looking for his second career victory.

Be sure to visit Bleed Cubbie Blue for more Cubs coverage, and check out Viva El Birdos for more on the Cardinals. Also head over to Baseball Nation for even more news and analysis from around the league.

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