CHICAGO – On a rainy day at Wrigley Field, the Colorado Rockies struggled at the plate against Chris Volstad and the Chicago Cubs.
Colorado managed just four hits in a 5-0 loss as Volstad ended a 24-start winless streak by pitching 6 2/3 sparkling innings. The game was called after eight innings.
“We didn’t hit (Sunday),” manager Jim Tracy said after his team dropped two of three in a weekend series against the Cubs.
“Let’s face it, we got four hits (Sunday), three of them came with two outs and nobody on. You’re not going to be able to do a whole lot when you get three of your four hits with two outs and nobody on.”
Colorado wasn’t able to put much pressure on Volstad (1-9), who picked up his first win since July 10, 2011, for the Marlins against Houston.
“You certainly would have liked to have those baserunners and force Chris to pitch out of the stretch a little bit more often than he did,” Tracy said.
Rockies right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (1-4), making just his second start since returning from the disabled list, gave up a run and five hits in five innings.
“It was bad weather, rainy and very humid. When I was pitching all the sweat came to my hand, and it was really tough to grab the ball, but I still didn’t make the pitch when I needed,” Chacin said. “I couldn’t get a grip on my sinker. I was just really using my fastball and my slider because I couldn’t throw my changeup for a strike.”
Chicago was leading 2-0 when Volstad was taken out to an ovation after former Cub Tyler Colvin doubled with two outs and Chris Nelson walked. Manny Corpas then retired Jonathan Herrera on a fielder’s-choice grounder to end the threat.
Despite the rough weekend at Wrigley, the Rockies won five times on their seven-game road trip and are 13-7 since Aug. 6.
“You’re certainly not disappointed in the effort with these young kids, having won 13 of our last 20 games,” Tracy said.
The start of Sunday’s game was delayed 2 hours, 23 minutes by rain, and there was another weather interruption of 30 minutes after the eighth inning before the game was called.
Volstad, who was acquired from the Marlins for Carlos Zambrano, allowed three hits, struck out three and walked three in a 101-pitch effort. He said he hadn’t been dwelling on the streak.
“Maybe a little bit of bad luck for me over the last year and a month or whatever it was. That’s baseball. You got to keep going,” Volstad said.
“Sometimes you throw well and don’t get that win or you get that loss and sometimes you don’t and do get a win. Just the way it goes. I think that’s why the streak, whatever you want to call it, to me wasn’t a huge issue.”
The major league record for consecutive winless starts is 28, shared by Jo-Jo Reyes, Matt Keough and Cliff Curtis.
Shawn Camp pitched the eighth for his second save in five chances.
Starlin Castro scored three times, and Darwin Barney had two RBIs for Chicago.