CHICAGO (The Sports Xchange) – Right-hander Tyler Chatwood gave up a first-inning home run and then little else to help lead the Colorado Rockies to a 4-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs in the opener of a four-game series on Thursday.
Charlie Blackmon went 2-for-3 with an RBI while DJ LeMahieu added a three-run homer as the NL West leaders (39-23) won their fifth straight and sixth in seven games.
Jon Lester (3-4) worked five innings and took the loss for Chicago (30-29), losers of two straight.
Lester missed out on claiming his 150th career victory and now has two losses and a no-decision in his last three games. He’s 1-3 all-time against Colorado.
Chatwood (6-7) pitched through the sixth inning before departing for a pinch hitter. He allowed one run on four hits, walked two and struck out four and allowed no runs after the first inning. He’s now 3-0 all-time against the Cubs.
Three Rockies relievers — Scott Oberg, Jake McGee and closer Greg Holland — took it the rest of the way, allowing just two base runners and no runs in the final three innings. Holland collected his 22nd save with a scoreless nine.
Kris Bryant’s team-leading 14th homer of the season gave the Cubs a 1-0 first inning lead.
The Rockies replied with four runs in the top of the second — all coming after two out.
Leadoff batter Charlie Blackmon doubled to shallow left to drive in Tony Wolters and Chatwood. DJ LeMahieu then homered to right to bring home Blackmon for a 4-1 lead.
After Bryant’s homer, Chatwood didn’t give up another hit until Anthony Rizzo’s single to right with one out in the fourth.
Lester worked five innings before departing. He allowed four runs on six hits, walked one and struck out five while throwing 94 pitches.
The Cubs were without shortstop Addison Russell, told to take Thursday off in the wake of allegations of domestic abuse against his wife, Melissa, that surfaced on social media on Wednesday. Major League Baseball is investigating the charges.
NOTES: Colorado two took of three from the Cubs in a May 9-10 set at Coors Field that included a split doubleheader after a rainout the night before. The Rockies also took four of six in the 2016 series. … The Rockies have the most wins in franchise history to date and the best winning percentage (.623) through 61 games in franchise history. … Colorado rookie RHP German Marquez (4-3, 4.53 ERA) will make his ninth start of the season, fifth on the road and second against the Cubs on Friday. He goes against Cubs reliever Mike Montgomery (0-3, 2.21 ERA), who got the call after Kyle Hendricks was placed on the 10-day disabled list with tendinitis in his right hand while LHP Brett Anderson (lower back strain) was moved from the 10-day disabled list to the 60-day list. Chicago also called up RHP Seth Frankoff from Triple-A Iowa.