Francis quiet Cubs’ bats, Gonzalez lead Rockies to a 9-4 victory
It may have been a much hotter night, but only weather wise and only for Colorado. Carlos Gonzalez was impressive, as were the rest of the Rockies tonight in game 2.
Gonzalez roughed up Chicago’s pitching throughout the game going 5 for 5 with 2 homeruns, a double, and raking in 3 RBI. It was the first 5-hit game of his career. He and the Rockies tallied 17 on the night, and 12 of those came off Villanueva. By the end of it, every Rocky in the starting lineup earned a base.
It began early as Gonzalez knocked in the first run with a single to right, bringing Eric Young home. At the top of the second, pitcher Jeff Francis helped his own cause with a sacrafice fly to center scoring Nolan Arenado. Young chose center as well, hitting a 2-run blast, batting in Josh Rutledge. Gonzalez hit solo shot in the 3rd and scored a run in the 5th off of a Troy Tulowitzki double. Todd Helton cashed in Tulowitzki with a single to right. By the middle of the fifth, Colorado had a 7-0 lead.
The Cubs, or rather Darwin Barney, would make efforts in the 5th and 9th innings. He would homer to left, his second on the year, and would double and then score, on a Wellington Castillo double. However, the runs scored by Chicago in the 8th, were handed to them in series of mishaps by the Rockies, earning Colorado two errors.
Following Villanueva’s exit after the 5th, Chicago’s bullpen handled the game well until late. Hector Rondon pitched a scoreless one and Michael Bowden pitched two. Shawn Camp would come in at the end and give up Gonzalez’s second homerun, Tulowitzki’s third hit, and a Rosario single for a two-run inning.
There was some great fundamental defense gunning men down at third and at home in the early innings preventing even more scoring. However, the real web gem of the game came from a diving Arenado at third who stopped a would-be double and averted the Cubs from snagging a few more in the 8th.
For Francis (2-3), this was a much-needed win coming into Chicago. He was pulled after 80 pitches over six strong innings of baseball. He allowed just one run, three hits, one walk and struck out seven. The outing lowered his ERA significantly, but it still sits up there at 6.00.
Villanueva (1-3) took the loss as his ERA bumped up to 3.93.
The Rockies at Cubs will meet tomorrow night for the rubber match with another 7:05pm start. Jon Garland (3-3) will take on Jeff Samardzija (1-5).