Chicago Cubs second baseman David Bote hails from Erie Colorado and he sure did a number to his home-state team on Wednesday night at Wrigley Field.
He mashed four hits for seven RBI, almost single-handedly delivering the Cubs a 9-8 win over the Colorado Rockies whose offense fought a valiant fight.
Marquez had faced the minimum going into the fifth, getting a pair of double plays, including a nifty and unusual 6-5-3 into the shift in the first, but the Cubs mounted a two-out rally.
It started with a Wilson Contreras flare single to shallow right field. Jason Heyward followed with a hard liner to left for another single and that’s when Marquez made his first real mistake of the game at an inopportune time.
He left a slider right over the heart of the plate to David Bote who walloped it to left, emphatically breaking the scoreless tie to give the Cubs a 3-0 lead.
Darvish had similarly kept the Rockies off rhythm until the next half-inning when Trevor Story drew a one-out walk and David Dahl followed with a double off the wall in center field, his team-leading 17th of the season.
Nolan Arenado came through with runners on as he almost always seems to do, lining a single to left to get the Rockies on the board.
Daniel Murphy made sure to get at least one more in on a groundball fielder’s choice.
After the veterans had done their part, it was 24-year-old Ryan McMahon who delivered the two-out game-tying RBI by lacing a single through the right side. But Ian Desmond struck out and Tony Wolters popped out, leaving runners at the corners.
Then Marquez lost the handle in the sixth. Kyle Schwarber opened it up with a double just inside the line in right and Kris Bryant got plunked.
Anthony Rizzo pulled a grounder inside the first-base bag for an RBI single before Marquez game back to strike out Javier Baez. But he walked Carlos Gonzalez and lost another one, hitting Contreras to bring in the second run of the inning, giving the Cubs a 5-3 lead.
Bud Black decided it was time to go to his bullpen and turned to Chris Rusin who got Heyward to line out to second but gave up a bases-clearing double to Bote, giving Chicago a big five-run advantage.
Colorado came storming back, though. Garrett Hampson, who came into the game on a double switch, got it going by drawing a lead-off walk.
Raimel Tapia and Trevor Story both singled to plate a run and Dahl made the game immediately interesting once more with a triple to center field. Arenado plated him with a sac fly to left and just like that it was a one-run game.
Jairo Diaz pitched a quick, clean seventh to keep it there.
But the Rockies couldn’t capitalize on a leadoff single by Brendan Rodgers in the eighth and the Cubs were able to mount one last two-out rally in their half, once again with Bote at the center.
After getting two quick outs, Bryan Shaw gave up a double to Contreras and walked Heyward, which was a bad omen. He actually threw a great pitch to Bote, careening out of the strike zone, but the Coloradan was in too good of a zone and he lofted it to right for an RBI single.
Dahl’s throw looked like it beat the runner to the plate but Wolters was unable to handle it, leading to a frustrating insurance run against the visitors.
As it turned out, that would decide the game.
The Rockies made one last attempt at the comeback, getting a run on a double from Story and Dahl’s third hit of the game. But Arenado popped out, and Murphy and McMahon struck out to end the game.
Peter Lambert will reportedly make his MLB debut tomorrow for the Colorado Rockies in the series finale against the Cubs. Lefty Jose Quintana brings a 3.78 ERA into the contest for Chicago. First pitch at 12:20 Mountain Time.