Rockies' bats stay quiet in 3-1 loss to Cubs

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 20, 2013 at 12:18 am •  Published: July 20, 2013
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DENVER (AP) — The Rockies' starters have found their groove just as the offense has gone cold.

It has added up to a rough month for the surprising contenders in the NL West.

Jeff Samardzija pitched effectively into the eighth inning and Anthony Rizzo doubled home the go-ahead run in the seventh, leading the Chicago Cubs to a 3-1 victory over Colorado on Friday night.

Samardzija baffled the struggling Rockies hitters, using a devastating split-finger fastball to stymie an offense that hasn't made much noise over the past month.

"Tonight the guy was nasty and dominated," outfielder Michael Cuddyer said. "You've got to tip your hat every once in a while. He pitched really well."

The Rockies have been pitching well, too, but the offense hasn't capitalized on several strong outings. Jorge De La Rosa gave Colorado another one Friday night, allowing one run on five hits over six innings, but was left with a no-decision after the lineup managed just one run on five hits against the last-place Cubs.

It has been a trend for the Rockies, who have been held to fewer than three runs 11 times since June 23. Colorado has gone 7-13 in that stretch to fall five games below .500.

Getting All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and Dexter Fowler back before the break hasn't sparked the offense.

"I'm not overly concerned about our offense," manager Walt Weiss said. "Getting back to full strength here, I think our offense will be rolling."

Being healthy didn't help against Samardzija (6-9), who kept the Rockies in check by limiting them to one run on four hits in 7 1-3 innings, bouncing back after tying a career high by allowing nine runs in a 13-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on July 10.

He walked three and struck out six, including striking out the side in the seventh, when he set down All-Stars Carlos Gonzalez, Tulowitzki and Cuddyer.

"He doesn't get a lot of credit, but I think he's one of the better pitchers I've seen," Nolan Arenado said. "Every time he threw that splitter it was landing right on the plate. He was getting us pretty good with that."

Alfonso Soriano added a home run, his 17th, and Junior Lake, recalled by Chicago from Triple-A Iowa before the game, had three hits in his major league debut, including a double in his first career at-bat. Darwin Barney drove in an insurance run with a ninth-inning double.