Fowler’s homer gives Cubs 6-5 win over Rockies
The Associated Press
DENVER — Dexter Fowler hit a two-run homer off LaTroy Hawkins with two outs in the ninth inning, helping the Chicago Cubs rally for a 6-5 win over the Colorado Rockies on a blustery Sunday.
Hawkins (1-1) hung a slider to Fowler, who drove it into the right-field seats. It was the first homer of the season for the former Rockies player.
Neil Ramirez (1-0) earned the win by getting two outs in the eighth. Hector Rondon got his second save of the season as the Cubs won for the second time in the three-game series.
With Colorado leading 5-3, Boone Logan struck out Miguel Montero leading off the ninth, and Hawkins relieved. The 42-year-old walked Arismendy Alcantara, struck out pinch-hitter Mike Olt and allowed an RBI single by pinch-hitter Wellington Castillo.
With the shadows between the mound and home plate, Fowler fell behind 0-2 on a pair of fastballs, then homered.
Rondon gave up a two-out double to Charlie Blackmon in the ninth, then retired Carlos Gonzalez hit a game-ending popout for his second save.
The usually sure-handed Rockies committed four errors, including two by fill-in shortstop Daniel Descalso. The team entered with just one.
With wind gusting up to 37 mph, everything in the air was an adventure. In one case, four Rockies fielders surrounded a pop fly in shallow right-center only to let it fall to the grass.
Lyles allowed three runs — one earned — in six effective innings.
Kyle Hendricks surrendered five runs in 4 1-3 innings, but was let off the hook for the loss by Fowler. Hendricks also had an RBI single.
Descalso stepped in at shortstop for Troy Tulowitzki. It was a rough day for Descalso, who had a throwing error and then bobbled a leadoff grounder by Alcantara in the fifth that paved the way to a two-run inning. Alcantara scored on Hendricks’ RBI single up the middle.
Later, catcher Michael McKenry dropped Anthony Rizzo’s high pop foul in the swirling wind. The Cubs first baseman then delivered a sacrifice fly for a 4-3 lead.
Even one of Colorado’s Gold Glovers wasn’t immune from mistakes in the field as DJ LeMahieu botched a routine grounder in the seventh. The Cubs couldn’t capitalize, though.
The day off for Tulowitzki was planned. The Rockies want to be careful with the All-Star, given his injury-riddled past. He played only 91 games last season before undergoing hip surgery.
Cubs: Manager Joe Maddon said INF Tommy La Stella “has a little problem with his side” and that’s why Jonathan Herrera started at third.
Rockies: Reliever John Axford was placed on the family medical emergency list so he can tend to his young son, who was bitten by a rattlesnake last month in Arizona. Axford said 2-year-old Jameson recently had surgery on his right foot to remove necrotic tissue and will be flown to Denver for more treatment.
Cubs: LHP Jon Lester (0-1, 6.23) makes his first career appearance against Cincinnati as the Cubs return to Wrigley Field for a six-game home stand.
Rockies: RHP Eddie Butler (0-0, 3.18) faces San Francisco on Monday for the first time. The team begins a six-game road swing.
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