DENVER (AP)—Lou Piniella rolled out another new lineup as the Chicago Cubs manager searches for the right combination.
This one may just be to his liking.
The win allowed the Cubs to remain a game behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Central and snapped the Rockies’ 15-game winning streak over teams from that division.
“This lineup here, it was OK the way it was put together,” Piniella said. “I can put out any lineup, the guys have to perform. But we’ll stay this way for a while and see where it goes.”
Thanks to a rash of injuries, the Cubs have only been able to use their opening day lineup just three times this season.
Both had big nights, combining to go 5-for-9 with two RBIs. They also teamed up for a pivotal run in the sixth when Theriot singled, stole second—when the ball popped out of Troy Tulowitzki’s(notes) glove—and scored after Bradley hit a ball off the wall in right.
Bradley also had a big play in the field, hauling in Tulowitzki’s liner in the seventh that looked destined to clang off the wall for extra bases.
“Milton made a terrific play—that’s a run there,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.
Instead, Bradley’s catch preserved a 6-5 lead.
“Real, real nice,” Piniella said.
Ryan Dempster(notes) (6-5) ended a four-game road skid for his first win away from Wrigley Field since April 12. He went six innings and give up nine hits. Of the five runs he surrendered, only two were earned.
Dempster also vanquished—to some degree—his demons in Denver. Dempster entered the game 0-2 at Coors Field with a 15.23 ERA in seven appearances.
“I’m not going to lie, it hasn’t been a lot fun pitching here for me,” Dempster said. “(This) was awesome.”
For Jason Marquis, win No. 13 is proving to be quite elusive. Marquis (12-8) failed for a third time to become the first NL pitcher to reach that mark. Adam Wainwright(notes) beat him to it, winning his 13th against Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Marquis was knocked around all night, giving up five runs and eight hits over six innings. He also walked a season-high five batters.
Yet he wouldn’t blame the subpar outing on a bothersome blister.
“That’s a non-issue,” he said. “I just wasn’t good tonight. I wasn’t sharp.”
Marquis pitched for the Cubs the last two years before being traded to Colorado in the offseason.
And usually, he fares well against former his teams, going 3-1 with a 2.28 ERA coming into the game.
Not this time.
One of Marquis’ biggest nemesis was the prime culprit. Lee finished 1-for-2 with a walk against Marquis, bringing his lifetime average against him to .486. Lee’s solo homer in the fifth was his 23rd of the season.
“He comes right at you, he’s going to give you something to hit,” Lee explained of his success against Marquis. “I’ve been fortunate enough to get some good swings. That’s what makes him successful. He throws strikes, he pitches to contact, he wants you to hit it and let his defense work.”
Marquis thought he fanned Lee in the fourth. With two strikes, Lee checked his swing on a nasty sinker. The Rockies appealed, and first base umpire Bill Welke ruled Lee didn’t go around.
Lee then drew a walk, and scored on Fukudome’s double. Marquis then walked three more in the inning, including Dempster with the bases loaded and two outs.
“Very disappointed in the check swing call,” Tracy said. “If (Lee) did swing, it ended up costing us a run because of Fukudome’s double. When you have two clubs of the caliber of these two teams, all the little things like that add up. It’s two very, very good baseball teams throwing punches at one another.”
NOTES: Cubs 3B Aramis Ramirez(notes) left the game in the fifth with soreness in his left shoulder. … Rockies INF Clint Barmes(notes) broke an 0-for-22 streak with seventh-inning homer. … INF Omar Quintanilla(notes) had a two-run single, plus turned in three great grabs in the field. … Rockies 1B Todd Helton(notes) extended his hitting streak to 13 games with two hits.