DENVER (AP) — Casey Coleman scattered four hits while working into the sixth inning and Starlin Castro went 4 for 5 with a three-run homer in Chicago’s 8-3 win over Colorado on Saturday night that snapped the Rockies’ seven-game winning streak.
Alfonso Soriano also went deep for the Cubs, whose win ended a six-game skid at Coors Field that dated to Aug. 9, 2009.
The Rockies, who were missing Carlos Gonzalez (soreness) and Todd Helton (rest) from their starting lineup, hadn’t been blown out all year, losing just twice in their first 13 games, both in extra innings.
Jason Hammel (1-1) became the first Rockies starter to lose a game all season, allowing three runs on seven hits over six innings.
Despite walking three and hitting two batters, Coleman (1-0) kept the Rockies off balance while giving up just four hits and one run, which came in the second when Troy Tulowitzki tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly that tied the game at 1.
So efficient while jumping out to a baseball-best 11-2 start, the Rockies’ watered-down lineup was 0 for 12 with runners in scoring position, including 0 for 9 against Coleman. Colorado left 13 men on base.
The Cubs, who had 17 hits, broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth when Coleman slapped a one-out single to center and took third on Castro’s double down the left-field line. Coleman scored on Darwin Barney’s slow roller to first baseman Jason Giambi.
Soriano made it 3-1 in the sixth with his fifth homer, which came off Hammel.
The Cubs put it away with a five-run seventh inning with all the runs coming off righty Felipe Paulino, who allowed hits to five of the six batters he faced and was charged with five earned runs. He saw his ERA jump from 1.59 to 9.00.
Castro’s blow was the big one. He sent an 0-1 offering into the left field stands for his first homer, which made it 6-1.
Chris Iannetta homered for Colorado, his two-run shot off John Grabow in the eighth making it 8-3. The Rockies had a chance to make it interesting, putting two men on base for Giambi, who battled Kerry Wood through a 10-pitch at-bat before striking out.
Soriano’s RBI double put the Cubs ahead 1-0 in the second, and the Rockies tied it in the bottom half on Seth Smith’s sacrifice fly that scored Tulowitzki, but Colorado wasted leadoff doubles in the fifth and sixth innings while the game was still up for grabs.
Smith led off the fourth with a double and Ty Wigginton was hit by a pitch. Ian Stewart, mired in a 2 for 24 slump, popped out to second, Iannetta struck out looking and Hammel grounded out to third.
An inning later, Dexter Fowler led off with a double and took third on catcher Koyie Hill’s throwing error. Jonathan Herrera grounded out to the mound and Giambi was hit by a pitch before Tulowitzki fouled out and Smith grounded out.
Notes: Castro swiped second base in the first inning but was ordered to return to second because of Marlon Byrd’s backswing interfered with Iannetta. … RHP Alan Johnson will make his major league debut Sunday when the Rockies wrap up their three-game series with the Cubs. Johnson, 27, has spent six-plus seasons in the minor leagues, going 56-42 with a 4.55 ERA. … Rockies manager Jim Tracy said Gonzalez was dealing with “stiffness and soreness” related to the flu he played through in New York and it was affecting his offense. Tracy said he’d like to rest Tulowitzki on Sunday in the series finale. … Rockies backup C Jose Morales made his major league debut at 2B in the ninth.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)