Morneau sits out, leading batting title race by one
LOS ANGELES -- The Rockies rested first baseman Justin Morneau on Saturday night to protect his one-point lead over the Pirates' Josh Harrison in the National League batting race.
Harrison went 1-for-4 in the Pirates' game with the Reds Saturday afternoon, which left him one point behind Morneau's .319 average. The NL West champion Dodgers and the fourth-place Rockies have already determined where they'll fall in the standings.
Manager Walt Weiss said he doesn't mind protecting Morneau's lead. The Pirates' final regular-season game on Sunday starts before the Rockies' game, so Weiss can monitor Harrison's progress before making a lineup decision.
"He's worked very hard to put himself in this position," Weiss said. "People talk about backing into a batting title and all that stuff. I don't think there is such a thing. It takes six months to win it. I don't know how you back into something that takes six months to win.
"He's had a great, great year, and it's icing on the cake."
Weiss started Kyle Parker, a No. 1 Draft choice who has not played much, in right field and placed Michael Cuddyer at first base in Morneau's stead.
• It'll take a stunning feat during Saturday night's game to surpass what happened during the Rockies' batting practice.
Michael Cuddyer knocked a home run that hit the roofing at the top of the left-field bleachers and bounced out of Dodger Stadium. No records are kept on balls exiting the stadium during BP, but it's a rare feat at best. Players on the field and the few fans in the stands gasped when the ball bounced off the steel rooftop.
That would be 470-480 feet from home plate, according to press box personnel familiar with the park.
• The Rockies claimed left-handed pitcher Chris Rusin off waivers from the Cubs.
In 24 big league games over three seasons, Rusin was 4-9 with a 4.97 ERA. A fourth-round pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, Rusin was 8-13 with a 4.31 ERA in 23 starts for Iowa this year, including a no-hitter in May against New Orleans. He has a 38-41 record and 3.84 ERA in six Minor League seasons.