Updated: July 31, 2014 at 6:34 pm
CHICAGO — As expected, the Colorado Rockies were inactive before the non-waiver trade deadline Thursday.
During the game, the Rockies were quiet again, too.
Pedro Hernandez pitched admirably in his first start in the major leagues this season, but Cubs counterpart Jake Arrieta was a bit better and Colorado lost 3-1 to the Chicago Cubs on Thursday. The Rockies have lost 11 of their last 15.
Hernandez (0-1) allowed three runs on six hits and two walks in 5 2-3 innings and took some of the burden off an overworked bullpen.
"I tried to keep a good tempo, throw every pitch down in the (strike) zone and get an out," said Hernandez, who became the 14th Colorado pitcher to start this season, a team record. "I thank the team for the opportunity."
"Petey did a nice job," manager Walt Weiss said. "He got us into the sixth (inning) and put us in position to win the game. That's all we ask for."
In seven innings, Arrieta (6-2) allowed one run and three hits in his first victory since June 30 at Boston. The 6-foot-4 right-hander has a 1.73 ERA in his last 11 starts, holding opponents to a .162 batting average.
"Arrieta was really good," Weiss said. "But toward the end of his rope there, we had an opportunity but could never get to him."
Chicago scored three times in the sixth despite getting one ball out of the infield.
Rookie Arismendy Alcantara sparked the rally with a leadoff smash down the third-base line that Nolan Arenado was unable to handle cleanly. Chris Coghlan then singled off the glove of first baseman Justin Morneau, putting runners on first and second.
Hernandez then walked Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro to force in a run. Justin Ruggiano added a sacrifice fly and Luis Valbuena drove in Rizzo with a grounder to shortstop.
After Arenado's RBI double cut Chicago's lead to 3-1 in the seventh, ex-Cub DJ LeMahieu grounded out to kill the bases-loaded threat.
Hector Rondon got three outs for his 14th save in 17 opportunities. He retired three straight after Arenado and Morneau singled to start the ninth.
STILL IN PLAY
The names of Rockies pitchers Jorge De La Rosa and Latrell Hawkins were mentioned most often in trade rumors, but none materialized before the deadline.
"You never know what to expect," Weiss said. "But I'm not surprised."
Hawkins remains a candidate to be moved before the Aug. 31 deadline, when a player can be dealt after he clears waivers.
Weiss believed there was nothing wrong with his team that better health couldn't cure next spring. The Rockies entered the game with 568 man-games lost on the disabled list this season.
"If we could start next season exactly the way we started this season (health-wise), I'd feel comfortable with that," Weiss said. "I felt very good about our club (at the start of the season)."
Cubs: With Chicago headed out on the road, rookie reliever Neil Ramirez (sore triceps) will travel to the team's spring training complex in Mesa, Arizona, to continue his rehab. The hope is that the right-hander will be ready to go when he is eligible to be activated from the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 10.
"He feels good," manager Rick Renteria said. "Hopefully, that's the case."
Rockies: Outfielder Michael Cuddyer (fractured shoulder) is scheduled to take part in light batting practice drills on Friday. If he progresses as expected in the next seven to 10 days, a minor league rehab stint will be the next step in his recovery.
The Cubs begin a six-game road trip Friday night in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. Rookie right-hander Kyle Hendricks (1-1, 2.33 ERA) faces Dodgers right-hander Dan Haren (8-8, 4.49 ERA) in the series opener.
The Rockies open a three-game series Friday at Detroit, with left-hander Franklin Morales (5-5, 5.18 ERA) taking on Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander (9-9, 4.59 ERA).