Cubs 9, Rockies 3
DENVER (AP) _ Sammy Sosa, Henry Rodriguez and Jose Hernandez each drove in two runs, and Steve Trachsel pitched eight strong innings as the Chicago Cubs routed Colorado 9-3 on Wednesday night.
Trachsel (4-1) limited the Rockies to five hits and two runs in his eight-inning stint, with one walk and six strikeouts.
Chicago, winning for the sixth time in eight games, got a season-high 19 hits, including three each by Rodriguez and Scott Servais and Brant Brown.
The Cubs broke open a 4-2 game with five runs in the seventh. Sosa, Rodriguez and Hernandez had RBIs in the inning.
Vinny Castilla and Todd Helton hit back-to-back homers for Colorado in the fifth. It was the 15th for Castilla, tying him with Atlanta’s Andres Galarraga for the NL lead.
Dante Bichette added a homer in the ninth for the Rockies.
Punchless Colorado, which has scored only nine runs in the last five games, fell to 4-12 at Coors Field this season compared to 13-11 on the road.
With one out in the seventh, the Cubs strung together five straight hits, three of them doubles. Mickey Morandini doubled and scored on Sosa’s single, chasing starter Pedro Astacio (3-5).
Mark Grace greeted reliever Chuck McElroy with an RBI double down the left-field line. Rodriguez doubled in another run, Hernandez tripled into the right-field corner and Kevin Orie hit a sacrifice fly.
Hernandez’s solo homer, his fourth, put the Cubs up 1-0 in the second. Brown singled in the third and scored on Sosa’s double.
Chicago took a 4-0 lead with a pair of runs in the fifth. Brown singled, Morandini hit an RBI double into the gap in right-center and Rodriguez had a run-scoring single.
The Rockies, hitless against Trachsel until Larry Walker legged out an infield single with two outs in the fourth, made it 4-2 in the fifth on the homers by Castilla and Helton. The runs ended Colorado’s scoreless streak at 14 innings.
Notes: The Cubs were 0-6 at Coors Field last season. ... Brown extended his hitting streak to a career-high 10 games. ... Walker, who had surgery on his right elbow in the off-season, aggravated the elbow in his first at-bat and left the game in the sixth inning. ... Colorado has lost six of its last eight games. ... Trachsel did not get a decision in his previous three starts, all of which went into extra innings. ... Astacio is 1-7 in his career against the Cubs.