DENVER (AP) – Antonio Senzatela picked a good day not to have his best stuff.
His offense had his back and gave him some breathing room.
Ryan Hanigan hit a two-out, bases-clearing bloop single as part of a six-run third inning, Mark Reynolds homered for a fourth straight game and the Colorado Rockies beat the Chicago Cubs 10-4 on Tuesday in a day-night doubleheader opener.
Reynolds also added two RBI singles as every player in the starting lineup, including Senzatela, had a hit for the NL West-leading Rockies.
Senzatela (5-1) wrestled with his command over six innings but wiggled out of several tough spots to keep the damage to just two runs. The hard-throwing rookie had three walks and four strikeouts.
“There’s some resiliency where he hung in there and got through it when he’s probably not pitching how we’ve seen him overall,” manager Bud Black said.
Even with his usually pinpoint accuracy a little off, Senzatela, the NL rookie of the month for April, never shied away from Kris Bryant & Co.
“He’s not pitching scared, whether he’s got his command or not,” Hanigan said. “He’s not trying to nibble. He’s going after guys.”
Jake Arrieta (4-2) couldn’t find his groove and was removed after 3 2/3 innings – his shortest start since 2012. He surrendered nine hits and nine runs, but just five were earned.
“There were too many hittable pitches left in the middle of the plate,” Arrieta said. “The bottom line was I didn’t do my job.”
The Cubs got a good night’s rest when Monday’s game was rained out. They arrived in town earlier that day after an 18-inning loss to the New York Yankees that lasted 6 hours, 5 minutes. The team needed a little break, even if it meant playing two on Tuesday.
“Just different when you have that swimming feeling in your cranium. It’s difficult to focus,” said manager Joe Maddon, whose team lost its fourth straight.
Arrieta and the Cubs were undone by a mistake-filled third inning. A damaging play was an error on shortstop Javier Baez, who threw the ball away trying to get DJ LeMahieu crossing from second to third on a grounder.
There was another costly play too, when Albert Almora Jr. started back on a shallow blooper by Hanigan, forcing left fielder Kyle Schwarber to race after it. But the ball just eluded Schwarber’s reach, and the bases cleared.
“As soon as I hit it, thought it was an out,” Hanigan said. “When I saw him full sprint at it, I was like, ‘Oh, maybe there’s a chance there.’ It worked out.”
Cubs: OF Jason Heyward (sore knuckle on right hand) is eligible to come off the 10-day disabled list on May 16. “I’d be surprised if it’s any longer than that,” Maddon said.
Rockies: C Tom Murphy (fractured right forearm) is “getting closer,” Black said. “He’s starting to do some things with his arm that he hadn’t been able to do before, range of motion.”
Maddon had a chance to visit with former Broncos QB Peyton Manning on Monday. He even invited Manning to spring training sometime. Maddon’s one regret?
“Should’ve asked him about ‘Omaha,'” Maddon said in reference to the word Manning used to call out at the line of scrimmage. “I had my opportunity to ask about Omaha and I screwed up.”
The Cubs and Rockies were to each add a 26th player for the second game. The Cubs planned to bring up infielder Jeimer Candelario from Triple-A Iowa and the Rockies right-hander Jeff Hoffman from Triple-A Albuquerque.
QUIETING THE CROWD
By scoring early, the Rockies quieted a crowd that was filled with Cubs fans.
“You kind of look around, ‘Wow, it’s a home game for us, I thought,'” Nolan Arenado said. “Cubs fans travel. They’re a great team and World Series champs.”
THIS & THAT
Usually at third, Bryant started in right field. … Two of Chicago’s runs scored on groundouts. … Ian Desmond, Trevor Story and LeMahieu each had two hits. … Reynolds is batting .533 through four games on this 10-game homestand.
RHP John Lackey (2-3, 5.14 ERA) was to start the nightcap for Chicago and LHP Kyle Freeland (3-1, 2.65) goes for Colorado.
– By PAT GRAHAM, AP Sports Writer
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