- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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DENVER -- Chicago Cubs starter Casey Coleman’s 5 2/3 innings on Saturday night were good enough for his first win in 2011.
Coleman helped the Cubs return to the .500 mark for the seventh time this season with an 8-3 win over the Colorado Rockies.
“He wasn’t as sharp as last time out [in Milwaukee],” Cubs manager Mike Quade said. “You come to this place, where it’s so tough to pitch, and he worked around a few mistakes. He keeps you in the game. He battles. And then he picks up a base hit for you. He’s really fun to watch.”
Quade removed Coleman after he was hit on the right foot by a line drive off the bat of Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta in the sixth inning.
“He was done anyway,” Quade said. “I just had to wait to see if a pinch hitter had been announced.”
Coleman allowed just one run and four hits against the Rockies, who had won seven straight entering Saturday’s contest.
“I got lucky with a few pitches,” Coleman said. “The one to [Troy] Tulowitzki, I got away with that one.”
Coleman was referring to Tulowitzki’s fifth-inning at-bat when he popped out to first base on a 3-0 count with two men on base and the Cubs clinging to a 2-1 lead.
“I had it in my mind that he was swinging,” Coleman said. “When I looked at the video, the pitch was right down the middle. It was a good pitch to hit. I got away with it.”
Coleman had a large ice pack wrapped around his right foot after the game, but both he and Quade felt he was going to be fine for his next start.
“It’s just swollen a bit,” Coleman said. “But I’m able to throw.”
Once again, shortstop Starlin Castro was the star of the game, adding four hits to the Cubs’ 17-hit attack, including his first home run of the season, a three-run shot in the Cubs seventh.
“His ability is amazing,” Coleman said. “But his baseball smarts are even better. He knows what pitchers are trying to do with him. His hands are so quick. The home run he hit was down and in, 95 mph. You just don’t see that, especially from such a young guy.”
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