The Colorado Rockies ' plan for their starting staff has shown dividends lately, but they still haven't figured out a way to improve their fielding.
After having their season high-tying five-game win streak snapped, the Rockies will try to have an error-free game while beginning another run Saturday against the Chicago Cubs .
Manager Jim Tracy put his starters on a 75-pitch limit when Colorado went to a four-man rotation in the middle of June, and he plans to stay with it even though his team is back to a five-man rotation following Jhoulys Chacin 's return from the disabled list.
"You have to have a group of pitchers who go out there and understand what quality major league pitching is all about. That's the message we're trying to instill here," Tracy told the team's official website. "If they go out there and do it right, they can pitch deep. I can promise you that."
Rockies starters have thrived lately, posting a 2.00 ERA over the last six games, but the bullpen couldn't protect a one-run lead in Friday's series opener at Wrigley Field.
After Brett Jackson hit Chicago's third solo homer of the day, Joe Mather singled in the go-ahead run during the eighth inning of a 5-3 win. Colorado's two subsequent errors in the frame led to an insurance run for the Cubs.
The Rockies' 95 errors are among the most in the majors.
Alex White (2-6, 5.55 ERA) will try to help Colorado (50-74), which has won nine of 12, bounce back while being more efficient with his limited pitches. The right-hander has a 3.38 ERA in five starts since being recalled from the minors Aug. 2 after posting a 6.45 ERA in 10 starts before being sent down June 25.
White is winless in his last nine starts and hasn't pitched past the fourth inning in each of his last four outings. He had a 29-pitch opening frame Monday against New York and threw 83 over four innings of a 3-1 victory.
"Eighty-three pitches in four innings, we want better than that," Tracy said.
White will make his first start against the Cubs (48-76), whose .219 average in August is their worst of any month in 2012. Chicago also has its highest ERA (4.97) of any month this season.
Brooks Raley (1-2, 7.63) will try to help his club lower that mark while building on his first major league victory. In his third career start, the left-hander gave up four runs and five hits over 5 1-3 innings to beat Cincinnati 9-7 last Saturday.
"You always hear the first (win) isn't easy. The first one is definitely a tough one to get out of the way," Raley told the team's official website.
That victory was one of the Cubs' five over the past 23 games, but they have won three of four at Wrigley Field.
Chicago is 3-7 in its last 10 against Colorado but has taken 13 of the past 16 meetings at home.
|August 22, 2012||Dexter Fowler||Day-to-Day||Left game - right ankle injury|
|August 20, 2012||Eric Young||15-Day DL||Left intercostal strain|
|August 19, 2012||Michael Cuddyer||15-Day DL||Right oblique strain|
|August 19, 2012||Josh Rutledge||Day-to-Day||Left game - left quad tightness|
|August 14, 2012||Drew Pomeranz||Day-to-Day||Chest soreness|
|August 06, 2012||Todd Helton||60-Day DL||Torn labrum, right hip|
|July 28, 2012||Matt Garza||60-Day DL||Stress reaction, right elbow|
|July 21, 2012||Matt Garza||Day-to-Day||Left game - right triceps cramp|
|June 16, 2012||Ryan Dempster||15-Day DL||Right lat tightness|
|June 13, 2012||Ian Stewart||60-Day DL||Left wrist surgery|
|June 02, 2012||Blake Parker||60-Day DL||Stress reaction in right elbow|
|May 19, 2012||Welington Castillo||15-Day DL||Sprained right knee|
CHICAGO (AP) -- The Colorado Rockies are building for the future, and their prospects are taking advantage of the opportunity.
Andrew Brown hit his first career homer, pinch-hitter Josh Rutledge had a two-run shot and the Rockies rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday.
Colorado grabbed the lead for good when Carlos Gonzalez used his speed to beat out a potential double-play ball in the seventh inning, allowing DJ LeMahieu to come home for a 4-3 lead.
Carlos Torres (3-1) threw 2 1-3 scoreless innings as four relievers combined for five innings of one-hit ball, leading the Rockies to their sixth win in seven games.
"It's good for our kids, as young as we are," manager Jim Tracy said. "To be involved in games like this, and the realization we are playing in this type of game, there is no room for error."
Brett Jackson hit a two-run homer for Chicago, which has lost five of six and seven of nine.
"He had some good swings," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "That should be helping him out confidence-wise."
Jackson connected in the Cubs' three-run fourth inning against Alex White , belting a drive to center for his second homer in two days and No. 3 for his career - all in the last week.
Rutledge hit for White in the fifth and drove the first pitch he saw from Brooks Raley over the wall in left, trimming the Cubs' lead to 3-2. Rutledge has been out of the starting lineup since Aug. 19 with a sore quadriceps.
"Everything he's done is impressive. We're trying to nurse him along," Tracy said.
Raley, recalled from Triple-A Iowa before the game, allowed five hits, struck out four and walked three in his fourth career start.
Brown hit a tying solo shot off Manuel Corpas in the sixth. Brown hit 24 home runs in 100 games with Triple-A Colorado Springs before the Rockies promoted him on July 17. His first home run in the majors arrived in his 26th game.
"It was a nice milestone. Hopefully it's not the last," Brown said. "It was a great feeling to come through at the time.
"I'm trying not to do too much. You always press when you try to do too much to prove you can do what you've been doing. I'm finally starting to get back to trying to meet the ball square."
Corpas (0-1) was charged with two runs in 1 1-3 innings against his former team as the Cubs dropped to 5-18 in August.
Rafael Betancourt worked the ninth for his 26th save in 31 chances. He has converted nine of 10 opportunities in August.
"What we did today that we didn't do yesterday was execute late in the game to win a one-run game," Tracy said. "We took a terrific job from Carlos Torres through all the guys to (Betancourt), their aggressiveness throwing strikes."
NOTES: Reliever Alex Hinshaw made his Cubs debut when he pitched to Gonzalez in the seventh. The Cubs claimed Hinshaw off waivers from the Padres on Aug. 19. ... Chicago optioned LHP Chris Rusin (0-1, 1.80 ERA) to Triple-A Iowa before the game. Rusin is expected to return to the majors when rosters expand in September. . Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki (groin) and 1B Jason Giambi (viral syndrome) began rehab assignments with Double-A Tulsa on Friday. Tulowitzki went 1 for 3 with a double in five innings. Giambi went 1 for 3 with an RBI. ... Sveum said he doesn't expect the team to call up many players in September. "I don't think it'll be an overwhelming amount, but just enough to help us out in September where we can do some things roster-wise during the game and pinch hit, three to four pitchers to help out," he said.