The Rockies arrived at Coors Field on Wednesday afternoon with visions of a sweet sweep dancing in their heads.
Two hours and 57 minutes after the first pitch, they were no doubt eager to forget a 10-1 drubbing by the Cubs, move on and thank their lucky stars that star third baseman Nolan Arenado was not seriously injured.
The Cubs received a superb start from left-hander Cole Hamels, who pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing six hits, striking out nine and personally putting a halt to Colorado’s 10-game home winning streak.
Hamels also drilled Arenado, who was forced to leave the game prior to the fifth inning with a bruised left forearm. Hamels hit Arenado in the third inning, and the Rockies’ third baseman clearly was not happy about the beaning, shouting at Hamels and the Chicago dugout. Tuesday, Chicago’s Kris Bryant showed his displeasure about being hit twice by rookie Peter Lambert.
By the end of Wednesday’s game, home plate umpire Roberto Ortiz had issued warnings to both benches and four batters were hit by pitches, including Hamels, who got plunked in the right foot by reliever Bryan Shaw in the seventh inning.
While Hamels pitched like an ace, Rockies right-hander Antonio Senzatela showed that he has a long way to go before he’s the kind of pitcher his team can count on. Over four-plus innings, Chicago ripped Senzatela for eight runs (six earned) on eight hits.
The Cubs pounded out five runs on five hits in the second inning, the big blow a three-run homer by Kyle Schwarber. Senzatela, 5-5, saw his ERA rise to 5.48.
Colorado averted a shutout on Chris Iannetta’s RBI groundout in the ninth.
The Rockies’ best chance to get to Hamels came and went in the first inning when they loaded the bases on singles by Charlie Blackmon and David Dahl and a walk by Arenado. But Hamels induced a groundout by Ian Desmond for a forceout at home and then struck out Mark Reynolds looking.
Colorado, the winner of 12 of its last 17 games, opens a four-game series against San Diego on Thursday night at Coors Field.
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