Red Hot Cubs
The Chicago Cubs have had little trouble coming from behind to win games on their current homestand.
Coming off their most dramatic comeback victory of the season, the Cubs look for a sixth consecutive win as they continue a four-game series with the lowly Colorado Rockies on Saturday afternoon.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Chicago -250 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 8.5 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 64% of bets for this game have been placed on Chicago -250 (View MLB Bet Percentages).
Chicago (34-21) rallied to overcome two eight-run deficits for a 10-9 win over Colorado on Friday to improve to 5-0 on a seven-game homestand, while sending the Rockies to a franchise-tying 10th straight road loss.
Trailing 8-0 after 3 1/2 innings and 9-1 after five, the Cubs scored nine runs in the sixth and seventh innings - with starters Derrek Lee and Geovany Soto already taken out of the game - for their fourth straight come-from-behind victory to run their record to 24-8 at Wrigley Field. Chicago trailed by a run in each of its previous three contests prior to Friday.
"It speaks volumes for the character of the team," said Chicago's Mark DeRosa, whose two-run homer in the seventh gave the Cubs the lead. "It's pretty special."
Jim Edmonds went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and homered for the first time as a Cub. Kosuke Fukudome and Henry Blanco took advantage of the wind blowing out to homer for NL Central-leader Chicago, which has scored 18 runs in the first two games of the set. Fukudome is 7-for-13 with two doubles and a home run in his last four contests.
"These guys keep battling," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "It was a great team win."
After starter Ted Lilly lasted just three innings Friday, the Cubs hope for a better effort when Ryan Dempster (6-2, 2.56 ERA) takes the ball. The team's closer the last three seasons, Dempster looks to improve on his 6-0 mark at Wrigley after allowing a run and seven hits in seven innings of a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday.
"Nothing's easy about it,'' Dempster said of transitioning back to the starting rotation. "It's been hard work.''
The right-hander is 3-3 with an 8.42 ERA in seven starts versus the Rockies, but hasn't opened against them since 2003 while with Cincinnati.
Colorado (20-35), owner of the NL's worst record, dropped to 0-5 on a 10-game road trip where it's been outscored 51-23. The Rockies, who have a team ERA 10.58 on the trip, turn to Glendon Rusch, who is expected to make his first start since 2006 on Friday.
Signed to a minor league contract by Colorado on May 17, Rusch (1-2, 6.41) missed 2007 due to a blood clot on his lung. Rusch, who went 18-18 for the Cubs from 2004-2006, made 12 appearances - all in relief - with San Diego this season before being released on May 12.
The left-hander is 6-3 with a 4.30 ERA as a starter against Chicago but hasn't faced the Cubs since 2003 while with Milwaukee.
Jeff Baker set a club record with four doubles, and Todd Helton hit a three-run homer Friday for the Rockies, who are 8-21 on the road.
"We had another bad loss," Baker said. "We can't continue to let that happen if we want to get to where we want to be."
Helton, who has hit safely in his last six contests, is 6-for-17 with two homers and four RBIs against Dempster.
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