Cubs

Kyle Hendricks strong, but Cubs can't hit German Marquez in loss to Rockies

Kyle Hendricks strong, but Cubs can't hit German Marquez in loss to Rockies

DENVER — German Marquez allowed three hits over eight innings and got his first major league hit with a two-run single in the seventh to lead the Rockies over the Cubs 3-0 on Wednesday.

Marquez had a no-hit bid going until Kris Bryant's double leading off the seventh inning. He walked Kyle Schwarber in the first and retired 16 straight before Bryant's hit to left.

The 22-year-old Marquez struck out eight by mixing in a mid-90s fastball with an assortment of breaking pitches. With two on and two outs in the seventh, Marquez broke open the game with his liner to left. The Rockies bench gave him an ovation.

Greg Holland threw a perfect ninth for his 14th save in as many chances to help the Rockies take two of three from the Cubs.

Kyle Hendricks gave up three runs — two earned — in 6 1/3 innings.

[CUBS TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

Ian Desmond hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the fourth that was set up by an error. After Nolan Arenado's one-out single, Carlos Gonzalez sent a grounder to shortstop Javier Baez, who mishandled it. Mark Reynolds drew a walk, and Desmond lifted a ball to center.

Marquez was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque on April 25 to fill in for injured Jon Gray. He struggled in his first two starts at Coors Field this season, posting an 11.70 ERA.

He found his electric stuff Wednesday after a rain delay of 50 minutes at the start. It's the sixth time a Rockies pitcher has thrown at least six innings of no-hit baseball at Coors Field and first since Jorge De La Rosa on May 16, 2014, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

Marquez found himself in a tight spot in the eighth with two on and one out. Manager Bud Black showed faith in him to escape and he did, too, by getting two groundouts to end the threat.

Podcast: Wild week at Wrigley wraps up with Cubs showing what they’re made of

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AP

Podcast: Wild week at Wrigley wraps up with Cubs showing what they’re made of

The Cubs have been a different team the last six weeks, looking a lot more like the resilient bunch from 2016 than the sluggish 2017 squad that lacked energy. After some wacky circumstances Monday and a tough loss in Game 1 of Tuesday’s doubleheader, the Cubs came out and showed what they’re made of in the last two games of the series against the Dodgers, a team that knocked them out of postseason play last fall.

Kelly Crull and Tony Andracki sum up the longest short homestand (or shortest long homestand?), updating the status of Yu Darvish, Brandon Morrow, the Cubs pitching staff and how the team is rounding into form as the season’s halfway mark approaches.

Check out the entire podcast here:

Brandon Morrow lands on DL after hurting back while taking his pants off

Brandon Morrow lands on DL after hurting back while taking his pants off

Remember that one time Sammy Sosa threw out his back while sneezing? Well, Brandon Morrow may have topped that on the Cubs all-time list of wacky injuries.

The 33-year-old closer was placed on the 10-day disabled list prior to Wednesday's game after hurting his back while taking his pants off upon returning from the team's road trip to St. Louis. It's being labeled as "lower back tightness."

"It's frustrating any time you can't get out there, and especially when you can't go because of something stupid like taking your pants off," Morrow told reporters on Tuesday.

And that's put the Cubs pitching staff in a tough spot for the rest of the week, given Wednesday's series finale against the Dodgers is the third game in a little more than 24 hours for the Cubs.

"I don't want to downplay anything," Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said. "Obviously he had back spams, he had the same thing in spring training. We'll start treating it the same way we did in spring training; I think he was out about a week to 10 days. If things go as we hope, I think it'd be the kind of thing where he'd probably be able to be throwing before the 10 days is up.

"But we felt like it wasn't going to be something where he was ready this weekend and if he's not going to be ready all weekend, we can already backdate it three days so it made sense to put him on the DL."

Morrow is tied for fifth in the National League with 16 saves and owns a 1.59 ERA is 26 relief appearances this season. Justin Hancock, who served as the 26th man during Tuesday's doubleheader, stayed with the team as a result.