Rockies find an offense to match its pitching

David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Dexter Fowler had a two-RBI triple and two hits Saturday night as the Colorado Rockies rediscovered their offense in a 9-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Coors Field in Denver. Colorado collected 13 hits in victory.

By Michael Kelly
The Associated Press

DENVER

Carlos Gonzalez homered, and Todd Helton had three of the Colorado Rockies’ 13 hits in a 9-3 win over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday night.

Troy Tulowitzki, Dexter Fowler and Wilin Rosario had two hits each for a Colorado offense that had scored eight runs in its previous five games.

Luis Valbuena homered and had two runs batted in for the Cubs.

Juan Nicasio (6-4) allowed one run on three hits in five innings to get his second consecutive win since being recalled from Triple-A on July 12. He beat Clayton Kershaw last week.

Carlos Villanueva (2-6) allowed seven runs on nine hits in four-plus innings. He is winless in his last eight starts and his last victory came in relief against Seattle on June 29.

A warm night turned blustery as wind speeds reached 35 mph in the fourth inning.

The wind wasn’t strong enough to hold Valbuena’s drive in the third. He crushed a 92-mph fastball into the Rockies’ bullpen to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. It was his ninth homer of the season.

The Rockies’ offense woke up in the bottom of the fourth. Helton started it with a one-out single and scored on a groundout. Nicasio walked to put runners on the corners, and Fowler followed with a two-run triple to make it 3-1.

Colorado blew it open in the fifth. Gonzalez led off with his team-leading 26th home run into the second deck above the Rockies’ bullpen, and three consecutive singles made it 5-1 and chased Villanueva.

Michael Bowden came on and surrendered an RBI single to Rosario. Charlie Blackmon walked, and Fowler hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Helton to make it 7-1.

The Cubs got within 7-3 with single runs in the sixth and seventh, but Tulowitzki added to Colorado’s cushion with a two-run double in the eighth.

The rubber game of the series will start at 2:10 p.m. Sunday.

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