Cubs-Rockies Preview

The Associated Press

Their latest game notwithstanding, the Chicago Cubs have fared well against the NL-worst Colorado Rockies in the past two weeks.

The Cubs will try to close out the season series Thursday with their fifth victory in seven matchups as Kyle Hendricks looks to provide another impressive outing in his fifth major league start.

A victory would give the Cubs their first series win at Coors Field since Aug. 3-5, 2004.

Chicago (48-64) has won six of nine overall and earned four wins in six matchups with Colorado (45-68) during that stretch. The Rockies, though, routed the Cubs 13-4 on Wednesday with Corey Dickerson going 4 for 4 with three RBIs and Michael McKenry also driving in three.

Dickerson was a home run shy of the cycle and Carlos Gonzalez finished a triple short in Colorado's second win in 10 games. Gonzalez was making his first start since aggravating a sprained right ankle Friday in Detroit and was 1 for 17 in his previous six games.

"Hopefully it's a sign that CarGo's getting on track again," manager Walt Weiss said. "We've seen him have a night like this many times. When he gets rolling it's something to see."

Hendricks (2-1, 2.05 ERA) will try to help his club bounce back with a fourth straight impressive start. The right-hander gave up two runs and four hits over seven innings Friday in an 8-2 win at NL West-leading Los Angeles.

Since being recalled from the minors July 22, Hendricks is 2-1 with a 0.89 ERA in three starts.

"He seems to have a real good feel of what he wants to do, is very prepared and has some great calmness to him. He continues to impress everybody," manager Rick Renteria told MLB's official website.

The Rockies' Yohan Flande (0-3, 5.72) will once again try for his first major league win in his third appearance against the Cubs in as many games. The left-hander gave up two runs over 6 2-3 innings and struck out eight in a 4-1 loss as a starter at Wrigley Field on July 28, then pitched 1 2-3 hitless innings of relief three days later.

Anthony Rizzo is 0 for 4 against Flande and 0 for 8 with four strikeouts so far in this series, dropping his lifetime average in 14 games at Coors Field to .204.

Rizzo, however, might not mind seeing the rookie again. Chicago's first baseman's .931 OPS against left-handed pitchers is the best in the majors by a batter hitting from the left side.

The other member of the right side of the Cubs' infield has struggled in this series despite hitting the tiebreaking homer in the 12th inning Tuesday. Top prospect Javier Baez has gone 0 for 9 in his other at-bats in his first two major league games.

Center fielder Chris Coghlan, on the other hand, finished a homer shy of the cycle Wednesday and is 13 for 25 with five walks in his last seven games.

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