Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Flande, Rockies lose to Hendricks, Cubs

photo - Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Juan Nicasio works against the Chicago Cubs in the seventh inning of the Cubs' 6-2 victory in a baseball game in Denver on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) + caption
Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Juan Nicasio works against the Chicago Cubs in the seventh inning of the Cubs' 6-2 victory in a baseball game in Denver on Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
The Associated Press Updated: August 7, 2014 at 9:08 pm

DENVER — Colorado Rockies rookie Yohan Flande made his third consecutive appearance against the Chicago Cubs on Thursday. He is still looking for his major league win.

Flande pitched six innings in Colorado's 6-2 loss. The left-hander had a career-high eight strikeouts in a 4-1 loss at Wrigley Field on July 28, and then pitched 1 2-3 scoreless innings in relief in a 3-1 loss to Chicago three days later.

Those were his last two outings before he gave up four runs and seven hits in the finale of the three-game set between last-place teams.

"I pitched was well as I could. Something always happens to me in the late innings," Flande said. "I'm disappointed."

Justin Morneau and Wilin Rosario had two hits apiece for the Rockies (45-69), who have lost six of seven.

Javier Baez hit two more homers and drove in four runs for the Cubs. Fellow rookie Kyle Hendricks pitched a career-high eight innings after the start of the game was delayed 39 minutes because of rain.

Baez homered in his major league debut Tuesday, hitting a game-deciding shot in the 12th inning on the day he was promoted from the minors. He gave Flande (0-4) a tough time Thursday.

The touted prospect had an RBI single in the third and then led off the sixth inning with a shot down the left-field line.

Castro followed Baez's shot in the sixth with his 12th home run. It was the fourth time this season Chicago has hit back-to-back homers.

"The first one was off a slider that just spun. The second one came on a sinker," Flande said of the homers. "The pitch didn't sink. Two mistakes."

Baez hit a two-run shot off Juan Nicasio into the Colorado bullpen in right in the eighth.

Hendricks (3-1) allowed two runs and six hits. The right-hander has pitched into the seventh inning in four of his five career starts.

"We couldn't get the clutch hit. We couldn't get the big inning," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "We had a couple of opportunities. Just couldn't get it done."

After Baez and Castro gave Hendricks a three-run cushion in the sixth, the Rockies scored on Corey Dickerson's RBI single in the bottom half. Hendricks retired the last seven batters he faced.

The Cubs took a 2-0 lead against Flande with RBI singles by Arsmendy Alcantara in the second and Baez in the third. Colorado cut the lead in half on Morneau's RBI single in the fourth.

NEW ROLE

Nicasio was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs before the game and made the first relief appearance of his major league career. The righty was optioned to Colorado Springs on June 16 after going 5-5 with a 5.92 ERA in 14 starts.

"I'm not saying he's never going to be a starter again. I don't think that's been determined," Weiss said. "He seems to have settled into this (relief) niche pretty well."

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rockies: Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (left hip flexor strain) has begun baseball activities and will travel to Arizona and San Diego with the team. Tulowitzki is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list but hasn't been running at full speed. Weiss said that will be the final hurdle for the major league batting leader.

ON DECK

Cubs: Left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada (1-1, 3.32 ERA), like Hendricks on Thursday, is making his fifth career big league start when he faces Tampa Bay on Friday. He has held opponents to a .259 average in his first four starts.

Rockies: Lefty Tyler Matzek (2-6, 5.31 ERA) will try to rebound from a rough outing in Detroit last weekend when he faces Arizona on Friday. Matzek is one of four Colorado starters to make his major league debut this year, and he has been impressive at times. His outing against the Tigers was the only start in which he failed to go at least five innings.

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