How it happened: The Rockies jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead on the strength of a pair of solo homers from Chris Nelson and Carlos Gonzalez. Starter Jeff Samardzija settled down after that, allowing only two singles the rest of the way. Alfonso Soriano and Welington Castillo added solo shots in the fifth and Brett Jackson tied it up in the eighth with his second career home run and first at Wrigley Field. Later in that inning, Joe Mather put the Cubs up for good when he singled in Luis Valbuena. Carlos Marmol came in to close it out in the ninth.
What it means: Samardzija continues to add on to his career-high innings pitched total, as his seven on Friday brought him to 151 2/3 on the season. Though they haven't set an innings limit for him, the Cubs will continue to monitor Samardzija's workload the rest of the way. Along with his home run, Castillo also gunned out DJ LeMahieu on a steal attempt. Though Sveum says Steve Clevenger and Castillo will share catching duties through September, Castillo has shown signs of being a strong candidate to start full-time in 2013.
Outside the box: Entering play on June 24, Starlin Castro had six walks in 72 games. With a walk in the second inning on Friday, Castro has quadrupled that total and has 18 walks in his past 52 games. While the hits aren't coming as often as he would like, Castro's new-found patience at the plate is a huge step in the right direction for his development.