Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Prized infield prospect Javier Baez belted
the tie-breaking homer in the top of the 12th inning to give the Chicago Cubs
a 6-5 triumph over the Colorado Rockies in the opener of a three-game series
at Coors Field.
Baez, who had his contract selected from Triple-A Iowa on Tuesday for his
major league debut, took Boone Logan's (2-2) first pitch of the 12th inning
over the wall in right-center field. The Cubs' first-round pick in 2011 was
hitless and had three strikeouts in his first five at-bats, but lifted Chicago
to its fourth win in five games.
"He drove that ball pretty well," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "He had a
few strikeouts, but he didn't seem like he was anxious at all."
It marked the third time these teams have played extra innings in five
meetings this season.
Nolan Arenado had three hits, including a solo homer, for the Rockies, who
suffered their fifth straight defeat.
The Rockies wasted a bases-loaded chance in the 10th inning when Brandon
Barnes grounded into an inning-ending double play.
The Cubs went ahead in the 11th when Ryan Sweeney singled to right to plate
Starlin Castro, but they couldn't add on with the bases full as pinch-hitter
John Baker struck out and Arismendy Alcantara grounded back to the mound.
The Rockies were down to their last strike when Charlie Culberson lined a 3-2
pitch to right field to score Jason Pridie. With runners at the corners,
Justin Morneau struck out swinging to send the game to the 12th.
Hector Rondon (3-3) got the win despite giving up three hits, and Carlos
Villanueva notched his second save.
Rockies starter Brett Anderson pitched the first three innings, but left with
lower back spasms. Cubs starter Travis Wood lasted six frames.
Barnes doubled in two runs in the second, and it became 3-0 in the fifth on a
Josh Rutledge RBI single.
Welington Castillo homered leading off the sixth, but the Rockies appeared to
be their own worst enemy, leaving 12 men on base. In the bottom of the inning,
they failed to push a run across despite having men on second and third with
"I felt like that game was lost in the sixth or seventh inning," Rockies
manager Walt Weiss said.
The Cubs pushed across three runs in the seventh when the Rockies used four
pitchers. Nick Masset walked Castillo with the bases full and Rex Brothers did
the same to pinch-hitter Chris Coughlan. Pinch-hitter Chris Valaika lifted the
go-ahead sacrifice fly.
Arenado homered to left off Wesley Wright in the bottom of the seventh.
To make room for Baez, the Cubs optioned pitcher Blake Parker to Iowa ... The
Cubs are assured of winning the season series against Colorado for the first
time since 2008 ... The Rockies used a left-handed starting pitcher for a 20th
straight game, which ties the most over the last 100 years. That was set by
the 1982 Kansas City Royals. Righty Jordan Lyles will comes off the disabled
list to start Wednesday's game for the Rockies.