- Doug Padilla, Chicago White Sox beat reporter
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CHICAGO – The Cubs win the series with the 5-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday and improved to 10-2 against the National League West.
HOW IT HAPPENED: Chris Volstad fired 6 2/3 scoreless innings for his first victory in a Cubs uniform. It was his fifth start with three runs or less, including two this month, but none of them earned a victory until now. Darwin Barney provided the offense with an RBI ground out and a bloop single for a run.The game was called because of rain with three outs to go. It started in a 2-hour, 23-minute delay.
WHAT IT MEANS: The streak is dead. Volstad ended a run of 24 consecutive winless starts, four short of the major league record held by three pitchers. He was 0-14 during the run. The victory is the right-hander’s first since July 10 of last season when he beat the Astros as a member of the Marlins. His winless streak began in his next start, which was against the Cubs.
OUTSIDE THE BOX: After starting the season on pace for the lowest walk total of his career, Starlin Castro’s free pass Sunday gave him 25 on the season in 126 games, still not many but an improvement. Castro has struggled at times as he tries to be more patient at the plate but he slowly seems to be able to add that approach to his offensive game. He had 35 walks over 158 games last season and 29 over 125 in 2010.
OFF BEAT: Any misstep by Castro in the eighth inning and he would have been nailed at the plate. Castro tagged up at third after a long fly ball from Joe Mather and seemed like he would score with ease. Castro ran hard anyway and it was a good thing since Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez unleashed a strike to the plate. Catcher Wilin Rosario couldn’t handle the throw, though, and Castro scored with a slide.
UP NEXT: The Cubs will send right-hander Justin Germano (2-3, 5.40 ERA) to the mound Monday against Milwaukee in the opener of a four-game series. The Brewers will counter with right-hander Marco Estrada (1-5, 4.23) in the 7:05 p.m. start from Wrigley Field.