- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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How it happened: Cubs starter Jeff Samardzija finally picked up his second win of the season, going eight strong innings. Samardzija allowed two runs on five hits and struck out seven on 105 pitches. Samardzija also helped himself by hitting his second career homer in the second inning with Darwin Barney on base. He had to sweat out the win in the ninth, when the Cubs gave up one run and let the tying run reach the plate. Kevin Gregg's two-out error allowed Nolan Arenado to reach and then Josh Rutledge drove home Troy Tulowitzki with a single. Gregg got pinch hitter Wilin Rosario to fly out to center, where David DeJesus made the catch on his knees to end the threat. Rockies starter Jon Garland, a former No. 1 draft pick of the Cubs in 1997, surrendered a leadoff home run in the first inning to DeJesus. It was the second leadoff home run for DeJesus this season and the 14th of his career. Rutledge got the Rockies on the board when he singled home Todd Helton in the second. Samardzjia retired eleven straight before pinch hitter Reid Brignac hit a home run to lead off the sixth. Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo gave the Cubs a cushion in the seventh with RBI singles.
What it means: Samardzjia had not won a game since opening day. He was 0-5 with two no-decisions since April 7. The Cubs have won 6 of their last 9 contests.
Outside the box: Third baseman Luis Valbuena returned to the lineup after missing three games due to a sprained finger. … Matt Garza will throw what may be his last rehab start on Thursday. The pitcher and the Cubs front office will consult to determine where he pitches next in a Friday meeting. … Former Cubs All-Star Carlos Zambrano signed a minor league contract with Philadelphia Tuesday. Zambrano was not offered a professional contract over the winter after completing his contract with Florida in 2012.
Up next: The Cubs enjoy an off day before the New York Mets come to town. On Friday Cubs right-hander Edwin Jackson (1-5, 6.02 ERA) will face Mets right-hander Matt Harvey (4-0, 1.44) in the first of a three-game set.
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