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Pacheco, LeMahieu homer as Rockies beat Cubs

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Associated Press
9/27/2012 8:43:15 PM
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DENVER -- Jim Tracy is excited about the future of the Colorado Rockies, and the veteran manager is hoping to be a part of it.

Rookies Jordan Pacheco and DJ LeMahieu each homered, leading the Rockies to a 7-5 win over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday for a three-game series sweep.

Pacheco, Wilin Rosario and Chris Nelson had two hits apiece for the Rockies, who had 12 hits in their final home game of 2012.

"Hitting's contagious," LeMahieu said. "We had a couple of bad weeks where we weren't swinging it great so I think we were just due."

The Rockies have collected 10 or more hits in eight consecutive games. They hit .305 at Coors Field this season to become the first team to hit more than .300 at home since the Yankees and Angels did it in 2007.

Matt Belisle allowed Anthony Rizzo's RBI single in the Cubs ninth before Rafael Betancourt entered with two on and no outs. He gave up a run-scoring double to Alfonso Soriano before finishing for his 31st save.

Rizzo also homered and Luis Valbuena had two hits for the Cubs, who have lost five straight and nine of 10.

The Cubs (59-97) are on pace to surpass 100 losses for the first time since 1966.

The Rockies (62-94) were headed in that direction before putting together a four-game winning streak. The down season will likely mean changes in the winter but Tracy said he wants to be part of the future.

"I have a contract to manage here in 2013 and I'm very hopeful of the fact, that as we go along over the course of the next week, that the conversation will take place and we will go from there," he said before the game.

Tracy might face some tough decisions next year after a handful of prospects took advantage of their chance to play the last six weeks. Thursday's starting lineup featured six rookies and only one player -- Nelson -- who was in the opening-day lineup.

"We've had enough guys that are out here for a long enough period of time, the way they're playing the game they have a real belief in themselves that they belong here as major leaguers," Tracy said. "With the guys we don't have available, the surplus of quality position players is really, really special."

Colorado jumped on Chris Volstad right away. Pacheco hit a three-run homer in the first, LeMahieu had a two-run shot in the second and Nelson had an RBI single in the third as the Rockies built a 7-3 lead.

The Cubs had a chance to tie the game in the ninth. With runners on second and third, Starlin Castro and Josh Vitters struck out before Anthony Recker hit a grounder to shortstop Josh Rutledge, who threw a one-hopper to Pacheco at first to end the game.

"Rutledge gets to a lot of balls, especially up the middle, so I knew he had a chance at that ball," Pacheco said. "He threw it over there and I kind of closed my eyes and hoped I got it."

The Cubs were disappointed they didn't take advantage of their chances.

"We were one hit away from tying that game after a tough day, where balls were hit really hard and had nothing to show for it," manager Dale Sveum said. "It was nice to be one ball from hitting the outfield grass to tying it up."

Volstad (3-11) allowed seven runs and 10 hits in three innings.

"Home runs got me again. The first one was a curveball. The second was a fastball," Volstad said. "There is no reason to leave that fastball up. I have to make quality pitches in those situations."

Jhoulys Chacin earned his first win since Sept. 1. Chacin (3-5) allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings.

Brett Jackson's RBI single in the second was Chicago's first run in a span of 13 innings.

NOTES: Cubs 2B Darwin Barney extended his errorless streak to 141 games to tie for the major league record. Placido Polanco of the Detroit Tigers did it in 2007. ... Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki (left groin surgery) will play in an instructional league game Sunday and has not ruled out returning this season. Tulowitzki has been out since the end of May. ... Rockies OF Dexter Fowler was scheduled to undergo an MRI on his strained left wrist Thursday. He came in as a defensive replacement in the top of the ninth. ... Colorado drew more than 2.6 million fans for the fifth straight season despite posting its fewest home wins (35) in a full season. ... The Cubs are 0-16 at NL West ballparks this year. They play three more at Arizona starting Friday.

DJ LeMahieu Matt McBride (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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