HOW IT HAPPENED: Former Cub Tyler Colvin had an RBI single in a two-run first inning and scored a run during a four-run third inning. Cubs starter Jason Berken lasted just four innings, giving up six runs on nine hits. The Cubs’ own offense was held in check by Rockies left-hander Drew Pomeranz, who entered the outing just 1-9 with a 5.30 ERA. Dave Sappelt, who is trying to make an impression for a big-league job next season, had his second consecutive multi-hit game and fifth since Sept. 10.
WHAT IT MEANS: The victory puts the Rockies just two wins away from avoiding a 100-loss season. The Cubs, on the other hand, are just four defeats away from 100 losses and need four victories over their final seven games to avoid it. It would be just the third seasons of 100 losses or more in franchise history. In an attempt to avoid the dubious distinction, manager Dale Sveum said he would continue to play regulars Alfonso Soriano, Starlin Castro, Anthony Rizzo and Darwin Barney the rest of the way.
OUTSIDE THE BOX: Reliever Lendy Castillo delivered his best outing of the season and it came with just a week remaining. The right-hander pitched two hitless innings, especially impressive because it came at Coors Field, where offense seems to be coming easier again this season. Castillo actually had a similar outing this season, when he gave up just one hit and no runs May 5 against the Dodgers.
OFF BEAT: Not all lessons are easily learned. On the last road trip, Sveum was baffled when Dave Sappelt made the final out of the inning at third base while tagging up and preventing a run from scoring on the play. It happened again Thursday, this time when Joe Mather executed the blunder. The link to both plays is that on Thursday night it ended up costing Sappelt an RBI.
UP NEXT: The Cubs will send right-hander Chris Volstad (3-10, 6.22 ERA) to the mound Thursday at Colorado in the finale of the three-game series. The Rockies will counter with right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (2-5, 4.58) in the 2:10 p.m. CST start from Coors Field.