They're not particularly glamorous.
In a matchup featuring two teams trying to avoid 100-loss seasons, the Cubs and Rockies open a three-game set Tuesday night at Coors Field.
Chicago and Colorado enter play with identical 59-94 records, needing to win four of their final nine games to avoid reaching triple digits in defeats.
The Cubs appeared to be in good shape of fulfilling this goal just over a week ago, but they arrive in Denver losers of six of seven.
"We're having a losing season, but it can be worse if we get over 100 losses," Alfonso Soriano told the Cubs' official website after Sunday's 6-3 defeat to St. Louis. "We want to just keep fighting and not get to 100 losses because 100 losses is too much."
Chicago also needs to win just once more to avoid matching the franchise record of 103 losses, set most recently in 1966.
Things aren't looking as promising for Colorado, which will match its club record of losses, set most recently in 2005, with one more defeat.
The Rockies avoided the inevitable Monday, defeating Arizona 4-2, snapping a season-high nine-game losing streak. They've still lost 16 of 19, and haven't won two in a row since Sept. 1 and 2.
Former Cub Tyler Colvin had two hits and an RBI Monday, and is batting .400 with 19 RBIs in his last 15 home games."We can hit, and we've done it all year," manager Jim Tracy said. "Now, we get the other parts squared away the way we want, we can build on it."
That means getting scheduled starter Jorge De La Rosa (0-1, 12.27 ERA) pitching like he did in 2009, when he won 16 games.
In making his first start since May 24, 2011, when he left an outing with elbow soreness and later underwent Tommy John surgery, De La Rosa had a rough season debut against San Francisco on Thursday, allowing six runs and seven hits in 3 2-3 innings of a 9-2 loss.
Despite the brutal stat line, his manager was encouraged by the outing."After 16 months I'm very pleased with what I saw from our starting pitcher," Tracy said. "The left-handed pitcher who showed he's getting himself back to the guy he can be, and then some."
De La Rosa regularly gave the Cubs problems before his injury, posting a 2.11 ERA in winning his three career starts.
Soriano is 2 for 13 with a homer against De La Rosa.
Despite Chicago's troubles, Soriano is enjoying an impressive season, hitting 31 homers and driving in a career-best 105 runs. In 17 games at Coors, he is batting .355 - his highest average at any ballpark he has played more than three games."He's done one heck of a job - left field, at the plate and everything about this season has been one of his best," manager Dale Sveum said.
In the opener, Sveum will give the ball to Chris Rusin (1-2, 6.00), who has been hit-or-miss in his first five major league starts. The rookie lefty has a 2.40 ERA in three of his starts, but a 15.00 ERA with a .545 opponent batting average in the other two.
He's coming off one of those subpar outings, yielding five runs and 10 hits over five innings in Wednesday's 6-5, 11-inning loss to Cincinnati.
|September 11, 2012||Anthony Rizzo||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right shoulder|
|September 07, 2012||Blake Parker||60-Day DL||Bone contusion in right elbow|
|September 07, 2012||Brett Jackson||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised right knee|
|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|
|September 10, 2012||Ramon Hernandez||Day-to-Day||Left game - Left hamstring strain|
|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|
DENVER (AP) -- DJ LeMahieu was ready to swing for the fences in his next at-bat. The weather spoiled his plans.
LeMahieu had three hits and finished a home run short of the cycle, Wilin Rosario went deep and the Colorado Rockies beat the Chicago Cubs 10-5 in a rain-shortened game Tuesday night.
The teams played in a constant drizzle throughout the game with temperatures hovering in the low 50s. The game was delayed in the middle of the seventh and called 48 minutes later.
Had the rain held off, LeMahieu was ready to try for the cycle.
"If it's still a 10-5 lead I'm definitely going to try to go for it," he said.
Matt McBride homered and Chris Nelson had three hits for the Rockies, who won a matchup of 94-loss teams. Carlos Torres (5-3) got the win after allowing one run in two innings of relief.
Colorado won its second straight after dropping nine in a row. The Rockies' bats stayed hot, pounding out 15 hits. It's the sixth consecutive game they've had double-digit hits.
"The job that our young kids are doing offensively is beyond impressive," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "Ten runs and 15 hits in six innings of offense is a pretty good night's work."
LeMahieu stood out among the hitters. He led off the third with a triple, doubled in the fourth and singled in the fifth.
"(Anthony) Rizzo, when I got that base hit, says `cycle alert,"' LeMahieu said.
He never got the chance to complete the cycle. The rain became heavier and after Alfonso Soriano flew out to end the top of the seventh the tarp came on.
"The outfield's going to be wet and you're not going to be able to make any throws, but the main thing was that infield," Rockies center fielder Tyler Colvin said. "It's muddy."
Dave Sappelt and Starlin Castro homered for the Cubs, who have lost seven of eight. Chicago is five losses shy of its first 100-loss season since 1966.
Colorado left-hander Jorge De La Rosa made his second start after missing nearly 16 months following Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament. He struggled through three innings, allowing four runs - two earned - and five hits.
"You don't expect him to be pinpoint sharp," Tracy said. "You want to see him throw pain-free, which he is doing."
Colorado's offense took him off the hook.
Trailing 5-3, the Rockies rallied to take the lead in the fourth. LeMahieu drove in a run with a double and Josh Rutledge 's two-run double down the left field line made it 6-5.
Chicago starter Chris Rusin (1-3) allowed six runs on seven hits in 3 2-3 innings.
"When I fell behind, they capitalized on my mistakes," Rusin said. "And that's pretty much what happened on all my extra-base hits. I left the ball up an when I did, they capitalized on it."
McBride hit a three-run homer off Rafael Dolis in the fifth to make it 9-5.
Sappelt led off the game with his first major league home run. The Cubs scored two more runs in the first on shortstop Rutledge's throwing error and Wellington Castillo's double.
Rosario's 27th homer of the year leading off the second made it 3-1. Castro hit a solo shot to center in the fourth to give the Cubs a 4-1 lead.
Colorado cut the lead to 4-3 in their half of the fourth on Colvin's two-run triple to right.
"To score that many runs early and then just give it right back, you're not going to win many road games giving up that many hard hit balls and balls out of the ballpark," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
NOTES: Sappelt's home was his first in 153 major league at-bats. ... An MRI on Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez 's left hamstring was negative. Gonzalez didn't start for the eighth straight game while he nurses the tight ligament. ... Colorado OF Dexter Fowler (left wrist tendinitis) was out of the lineup for the third straight game.