By Pat Graham, Associated Press
John Lackey struck out 10 over seven scoreless innings and added an RBI single, helping the Chicago Cubs stop a four-game skid by beating the Colorado Rockies 8-1 on Tuesday for a day-night doubleheader split.
Chicago gave Lackey plenty of cushion with a five-run second inning. Javier Baez added a two-run homer in the eighth and Kris Bryant a solo shot in the ninth.
Lackey (3-3) allowed just four singles, a sharp contrast to his previous start at Coors Field, when he surrendered 10 runs on June 8, 2015.
In the first game, the Rockies cruised past Jake Arrieta in a 10-4 win.
Kyle Freeland (3-2) had one bad stretch in the nightcap. He allowed five runs, three earned, and four hits — all in a second inning that was compounded by two errors. The rookie left-hander finished with four walks and six strikeouts over six innings.
The Cubs figure to sleep well after another exhausting night. They arrived in Denver early Monday after an 18-inning loss to the New York Yankees that lasted 6 hours, 5 minutes. A rainout Monday gave them a brief break, but meant playing two on Tuesday.
Jeimer Candelario was called up from Triple-A Iowa to serve as the 26th player for the second game. He ignited the second by starting the inning off with a sharp single. In all, the Cubs sent 11 batters to the plate and took advantage of errors by shortstop Trevor Story and second baseman DJ LeMahieu. Freeland didn’t help his cause by walking three, including Candelario with two outs and the bases loaded.
Candelario also made a nifty backhanded play at third in the fourth to prevent a run. He’s definitely caught the attention of manager Joe Maddon, especially his .340 average with Iowa.
“He’s tearing up Triple-A. That’s what you have to do to be a big leaguer,” Maddon said. “He just needs to keep doing what he’s doing.”