Chatwood, Rockies hope for series win over Cubs

8:32 AM, Jul 21, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - Tyler Chatwood hopes to secure a series victory for the Colorado Rockies on Sunday afternoon in the finale of a three-game series versus the Chicago Cubs.

Chatwood was outstanding in his first-half finale, even if it did result in a loss as the righty dropped a 1-0 decision to the Los Angeles Dodgers and Zack Greinke last Saturday.

Chatwood gave up the lone run of the game in the first inning and yielded four hits and two walks over the eight-frame complete game.

"That was definitely a tough one," said Chatwood, who recorded 16 of his 24 outs on the ground. "My stuff was the same all game and I attacked, but you have to tip your cap to Zack. He pitched a good game."

It did mark the 10th time in 12 starts this year that the 23-year-old has given up two runs or fewer and he stands 5-3 with a 2.56 earned run average on the season.

Chatwood has never before faced the Cubs.

The Cubs turn to right-hander Edwin Jackson, who looks to extend the late momentum he seemed to create at the end of the first half.

Jackson lost eight of his first nine decisions to begin the season, but has won five of his last six starts. The includes a current three-outing winning streak and he closed the first half by holding the St. Louis Cardinals to just three hits over seven innings of a 3-0 decision. Jackson also did not walk a batter and fanned five.

"Things have been coming together for him," said Cubs manager Dale Sveum about Jackson. "He was obviously sharp against the best lineup in baseball."

The 29-year-old is 6-10 with a 5.11 ERA in 18 starts this season and today hopes to put an end to some career-long struggles versus Colorado.

In seven career starts versus the Rockies, Jackson is 1-2 with a 15.12 ERA, having been hammered for 42 earned runs over 25 innings. A good bulk of that damage has come at Coors Field, where Jackson has allowed 29 runs in 15 innings over four starts, going 0-1 with a 17.40 ERA.

The Rockies offense broke out in Saturday's 9-3 win, ending with 13 hits. Dexter Fowler had three RBI, Troy Tulowitzki drove in a pair of runs and Carlos Gonzalez launched his NL-leading 26th homer of the season.

That made for a comfortable day on the mound for Juan Nicasio, who yielded one run over five innings of work. He was lifted after 93 pitches.

"He had to work hard early ... he didn't have his best command early," said Rockies manager Walt Weiss. "But the bottom of the line is, he gave up one run."

Colorado, 3 1/2 games out of first place in the NL West, will try to win consecutive games for the first time since June 28-29. It is 6-10 since.

The Rockies placed closer Rafael Betancourt on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday following an emergency appendectomy. Rex Brothers is expected to fill the closer role in this absence.

Chicago starter Carlos Villanueva struggled in giving up seven runs over just four-plus frames of work.

"I didn't really feel like myself out there," Villanueva admitted. "I tried to do some things different to see if I could give the team a chance to win but it didn't work again."

Luis Valbuena had a home run and two RBI while Nate Schierholtz drove in one run for the Cubs. Though they have won three of five versus the Rockies this season, the Cubs are 4-15 in their past 19 in Colorado.

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