The Colorado Rockies came to the North Side, and the Cubs' bats vanished.
For the third straight game against the visitors from the Mile High City, the Cubs did almost nothing offensively, getting just four hits off Rockies starter Jeff Hoffman in a 9-1 loss Saturday afternoon.
After scoring one run on five hits in the series-opener Thursday night and three runs on three hits in Friday's loss, the Cubs scored just once and mustered five hits in Saturday's defeat, their fourth straight dating back to the series-finale with the Marlins on Wednesday night.
The Cubs couldn't do much of anything against Hoffman, who entered with a thin 2.61 ERA in his first four appearances of the season. Saturday, Hoffman allowed just one hit in his first six innings of work before the Cubs finally strung a few knocks together to stop the shutout in the seventh.
The North Siders missed out on an early scoring chance, when Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo got to second and third with one out in the first inning. But Ben Zobrist struck out swinging and Jason Heyward grounded out to end the threat.
Hoffman kept the Cubs quiet from there, finishing with just one run and four hits allowed in 6.1 innings, striking out eight.
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The Cubs staged a minor uprising in the seventh, Heyward, Albert Almora Jr. and Willson Contreras stitched three consecutive one-out singles together to finally get the Cubs on the board and chase Hoffman. But two outs against two different Rockies relievers followed to end that rally.
The Rockies, meanwhile, had little trouble getting on the board, scoring a pair of first-inning runs off Cubs starting pitcher — and former Rockies hurler — Eddie Butler on RBI doubles off the bats off DJ LeMahieu and Mark Reynolds.
Reynolds launched a solo home run onto Waveland Avenue to make it 3-0 in the fourth, and Charlie Blackmon crushed a pitch onto Sheffield Avenue in the seventh to make it 4-0.
Butler exited after five innings, surrendering three runs on six hits. While Butler still has just one start that's lasted six innings, he's allowed three runs or fewer in all but one of his six starts.
The Rockies tacked on three more runs in the ninth, Nolan Arenado clearing the bases with a two-out double that jumped the scored up to 7-1. An eighth run scored on a wild pitch later in the inning, and the Rockies got their ninth run on an Ian Desmond base hit on the next pitch.
The Cubs will try to prevent a five-game skid when they send Jake Arrieta to the mound in the finale of this four-game set Sunday.