Rockies stay hot, win fourth in a row

Rockies stay hot, win fourth in a row

DENVER -- While other teams in the National League West dealt for players to boost their lineup this weekend, the Rockies stood firm.

Despite coming off a 2-9 road trip and needing an immediate turnaround, the team felt it had enough firepower in its clubhouse to return to the playoffs without dealing for any extra parts.

This weekend's sweep of the Cubs, including Sunday's 8-7 series-finale win at Coors Field, was proof of just that.

Every Rockies batter who stepped to the plate on Sunday reached base, scored or drove in a run. It capped a weekend in which the club recorded 31 runs.

As it turned out, the Rockies needed every one of them.

"We had to hang on to win, but there's absolutely nothing that's going to come easy from now until the end of the season," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "It was that way last year. The important thing is to win the game."

Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa, who spent more than two months on the disabled list with a torn tendon in his left middle finger, pitched 6 2/3 strong innings for his first win since April. But once he gave way to the bullpen in the seventh, Chicago started chipping away at the Colorado lead.

Reliever Manuel Corpas allowed an RBI single in the seventh and a solo homer to Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano in the eighth inning, cutting Colorado's lead to 8-4.

With a four-run lead in the ninth, closer Huston Street surrendered two walks before Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd drove in two with a triple to right field. Then, Dexter Fowler saved a potential home run in right field with a leaping catch on a ball hit by Soriano, on which Byrd tagged and scored.

"I thought it was hit well," Street said. "I thought he got it off the end [of the bat], truthfully. I thought it was hit deep. But right off the bat, Dex had his hand up pointing at [right fielder Seth Smith]. When he caught it, that's all I care about. Then, when he fell to the ground, I got nervous."

Fowler, who crashed into the wall, was taken off the field after the play. Rockies athletic trainer Keith Dugger said Fowler did not go to the hospital but would likely have precautionary X-rays on his ribs on Monday to further assess the injury.

"When you're going against the wall, you go at its highest point," Byrd said. "He did it right. If not for the collision, it's one of the best plays of the year."

Representing the tying run with two outs, Cubs third baseman Jeff Baker struck out to end the game.

With the victory, De La Rosa -- who lined two singles and scored a run -- moves into a tie with Armando Reynoso for 10th on the franchise list with 30 career wins with the club.

Though he'd shown significant improvement from his first two starts off the DL (11 earned runs in 7 2/3 innings) to his second pair (four earned runs in 13 innings), it was the first time De La Rosa's teammates provided him with enough boost to earn a win.

"I feel better every time," De La Rosa said. "I think I'm starting to get in my rhythm every time. I'll keep doing the same things I did today."

Cubs starter Carlos Silva was troubled early, allowing a walk, two hits and two runs in the first before he left after one-third of an inning with an abnormal heart rate. He will remain in a local hospital overnight for further evaluation.

With a beleaguered Cubs bullpen relieving Silva, the Rockies' balanced offense pounded out six runs in the first two frames.

Colorado tacked on two more in the fifth with RBI singles from third baseman Ian Stewart and Fowler.

The three-game sweep is the Rockies' fourth of the year, coming off a discouraging eight-game losing streak that ended Thursday. After failing to score more than four runs in any of those eight games, the Rockies have averaged 10 runs per game over their past four.

"This was a big series for us because after the horrible week or two, it's just a really good feeling to come back and win this series," said outfielder Carlos Gonzalez, who is riding a five-game hitting streak. "The way we did it was amazing -- we score over 30 runs in three days. That's the way we do it, that's the Rockies, and that's why we can be a really hard team to play."

Joey Nowak is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.