Rusch pitches well enough for callup

Rusch pitches well enough for callup

CHICAGO -- It's as good a time as any for the Rockies to turn to left-handed pitcher Glendon Rusch.

He brings plenty of experience pitching at Wrigley Field into Saturday's game against the Cubs, as the Rockies try to keep alive hopes of a split of the four-game set after dropping the first two games.

The Rockies blew a late lead in Thursday night's 8-4 loss then tied a club record by losing an eight-run lead in Friday afternoon's 10-9 loss. Rusch knows the fickle Wrigley winds well, having pitched for the Cubs from 2004-07.

More than that, Rusch comes to the Rockies having pitched well at Triple-A Colorado Springs, where he has been since being released by the Padres earlier this season.

In two starts for the Sky Sox, Rusch held opponents to a .135 batting average against with nine strikeouts and three walks.

"We've seen him in the past," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "He's shown the ability to give you some length. I don't want to give you a number -- I won't give you a number for his pitch count, but he's not stretched out completely as of yet -- but he's thrown a lot of effective innings down there.

"He's had arm-side command. He's spinning the ball a little bit, changing speeds. He's a professional. We've seen him in a number of different uniforms. We saw him here, we saw him a month ago in San Diego. He's got some veteran presence."

Pitching matchup
COL: LHP Glendon Rusch (1-2, 6.41 ERA)
It's full circle for Rusch, a former Cub. Rusch last pitched for the Cubs in 2006, but the club released him after the season because of a blood clot in his right lung. Rusch made a comeback with the Padres this season, but was released after 12 appearances -- the last of which was against the Rockies on May 9. Since signing with the Rockies, Rusch has given up one run in 11 innings at Triple-A Colorado Springs. Rusch replaces lefty Jorge De La Rosa, who has been moved to the bullpen.

CHC: RHP Ryan Dempster (6-2, 2.56 ERA)
Dempster posted his eighth quality start of the season in his last outing against the Dodgers. The right-hander gave up seven hits over seven innings, the fourth time in his 11 starts he's pitched seven. Dempster also struck out three and escaped some tough jams. He's made the conversion from closer to starter look easy, but Dempster deserves credit for the hard work he's put in.

Tidbits
Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, who knocked a three-run homer on Friday, has hit safely in six straight games, during which he has batted 7-for-20 (.350) with two doubles, the homer, six walks and five RBIs. ... The Rockies have committed an error in seven straight games. ... In Friday's loss, the Rockies went 4-for-7 with runners in scoring position, after entering the game with a .230 average in that situation. ... Rusch's addition to the roster will become official before the game. The Rockies announced they are optioning left-handed reliever Josh Newman to Colorado Springs.

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Up next
• Sunday: Rockies (Ubaldo Jimenez, 1-5, 5.37) at Cubs (Sean Gallagher, 2-1, 4.50), 12:20 p.m. MT
• Monday: Rockies (Greg Reynolds, 0-2, 5.40) at Dodgers (Derek Lowe, 2-5, 4.52), 8:10 p.m. MT
• Tuesday: Rockies (Jeff Francis, 1-5, 6.12) at Dodgers (Brad Penny, 5-6, 5.66), 8:10 p.m. MT

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.