Cubs Stumble To End Road Trip

Ryan Dempster continued to struggle and the bullpen couldn’t stop the surging Colorado Rockies, who beat the Cubs 9-5 Sunday afternoon.

The Cubs got an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning but it didn’t last long as Dempster got off to a bad start right away in the bottom half of the frame. Carlos Gonzalez and Todd Helton both had RBIs in the inning and Seth Smith blasted a two run shot to center, giving the Rockies a 4-1 advantage.

Dempster allowed only one more run for the afternoon before exiting after five innings pitched but was clearly agitated after the game about what transpired in the first inning.

“I’m sick and tired of this.” he said. “I’m better than that. I’ve got to do a better job of giving the team a better chance to win than that. I’ve got to do a better job of pitching than that.”

On the positive side, Starlin Castro had another fantastic day going 3-for-4 with one RBI bringing his batting average up to .418.

The Cubs sent Rockies pitcher Alan Johnson to an early shower after four innings. The offense rallied while being down 4-2 in the third, Aramis Ramirez had an RBI single and Darwin Barney scored on an error by Rockies second baseman Jonathan Herrera that tied the game.

After Dempster pitched a perfect third inning, his only flawless performance of the game, the Cubs took a 5-4 lead on an RBI double by Castro in the top of the fourth.

Reliever Jeff Samardzija replaced Dempster in the sixth and maintained the lead for the Cubs by pitching two scoreless innings. Things took a turn for the worse though in the bottom of the eighth when Marcos Mateo came into the game.

Mateo gave up four runs and five hits. Dexter Fowler, Herrera and Gonzalez all knocked in RBIs and the Rockies took a 9-5 lead into the ninth inning.

There would be no second rally as Rockies closer Huston Street finished the Cubs off in a non-save situation. The Cubs finished their nine game road trip with a 4-5 record.

The Cubs return to Wrigley Field this week, continuing their National League West heavy April schedule with a series against the San Diego Padres Monday night.

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