By MICHAEL KELLY
DENVER (AP) — Alan Trejo hit a three-run homer in his second at-bat this season, and the Colorado Rockies overcame a tough start by Germán Márquez to beat the Chicago Cubs 6-5 on Friday night.
C.J. Cron also went deep and Kris Bryant had two hits against his former team.
Trejo didn’t play in Colorado’s first six games but came through in his 2022 debut. His home run off Marcus Stroman (0-1) in the fourth turned a 3-2 deficit into a 5-3 lead.
“It feels great to contribute finally, getting in the lineup and helping the team,” Trejo said.
Trejo said a coach told him about four hours before the game he was starting, and manager Bud Black’s hunch worked out.
“The ex-coach of the Nuggets George Karl said, ‘You can’t hesitate to use your bench players because when they come through, it’s a big lift for the whole team,‘” Black said.
Márquez allowed four runs and 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings. Ty Blach (1-0) followed with 1 2/3 scoreless innings and Daniel Bard, the Rockies’ sixth pitcher, got three outs for his second save.
Chicago went ahead with two runs in the second and another in the third.
The Rockies got to Stroman in the fourth. Sam Hilliard had a two-run double down the right-field line, Garrett Hampson walked and Trejo homered into the left-field seats.
“It started with a soft single from (Kris Bryant),” manager David Ross said of Stroman’s fourth inning. “I thought the real turning point was when he fell off the mound. I feel like he’s a rhythm pitcher that’s where he didn’t regroup after that.”
Jonathan Villar hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth, but Cron hit a solo shot in the bottom of the inning.
Patrick Wisdom hit a two-out RBI double in the ninth before Alfonso Rivas popped out.
Rockies reliever Carlos Estévez’s struggles in the eighth inning, when he walked three and gave up a double, might have stemmed from a windy night and a festive crowd. Estévez said he had a beer spill on him from the stands as he was getting loose in the seventh.
“When I was warming up they dropped a beer on me and it landed on my arm,” he said. “Then I looked up and then landed in my eye. And it was getting pretty bad out there with the wind blowing, but I’m fine. We put some more eye drops in there. It’s going be fine.
“I think it was a fan. I don’t know.”
Estevez escaped damage with a double play and an assist from Tyler Kinley, who struck out Willson Contreras looking with the bases loaded to end the inning.
SUZUKI GETS A BREATHER
Cubs rookie sensation Seiya Suzuki got a day off from the starting lineup. He pinch hit in the fifth with runners on second and third but was intentionally walked. Suzuki, the two-time Japan Central League batting champion, is hitting .364 with two homers and 10 RBIs.
THOMPSON STARTS SUSPENSION
Chicago RHP Keegan Thompson began serving his two-game suspension for throwing at Milwaukee’s Andrew McCutchen last week. Thompson, the winning pitcher Thursday night, had his suspension reduced from three games.
Cubs: INF Andrelton Simmons (right shoulder inflammation) is getting closer to returning, Ross said Friday. “Throwing’s going well. Ground balls are going well. He feels good,” Ross said. “He feels like he’s at 85 percent with the arm. So, I don’t think he’s that far away. It’s just getting back to the swings.”
Rockies: RHP Robert Stephenson and LHP Lucas Gilbreath threw a simulated game Friday. Stephenson and Gilbreath are currently on the COVID-19 injured list.
Chicago RHP Mark Leiter Jr. will make his first start since 2017 and first appearance since 2018 when he takes the mound on Saturday night. The Rockies will send RHP Antonio Senzatela (0-0, 2.70) against the Cubs in his second start of the season.
At just $20/year, your subscription not only helps us grow, it helps maintain our commitment to independent publishing.
Chicago Journal Newsletter
Join the newsletter to receive the latest updates in your inbox.