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LeMahieu (hamstring) to DL; CarGo returns

Veteran outfielder hoping to boost struggling offense
MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

CHICAGO -- Carlos Gonzalez's eyes twinkled and he gave a wry smile when asked how his return from missing nine games with a right hamstring strain helps the Rockies' offense.

"I'm a good hitter," Gonzalez said.

View Full Game Coverage

CHICAGO -- Carlos Gonzalez's eyes twinkled and he gave a wry smile when asked how his return from missing nine games with a right hamstring strain helps the Rockies' offense.

"I'm a good hitter," Gonzalez said.

View Full Game Coverage

After a 3-2 loss to Jon Lester and the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Monday night -- during which Gonzalez reached on a ninth-inning infield single -- the Rockies are hoping all their hitters, proven to be good or otherwise, actually hit.

Monday's game, which saw the Rockies score twice but leave the bases loaded in the fifth and put two on in the ninth before Nolan Arenado struck out against Steve Cishek to end the game, was a slight improvement. They managed just two runs in three games against the Marlins in Miami but managed to win one of them -- because reliever Antonio Senzatela drove in the lone run in Friday's 1-0 victory.

Video: COL@CHC: Lester K's Iannetta with the bases loaded

But Monday's game put an end to the worst offensive month, batting average-wise, in Rockies history.

Including three March games, the Rockies finished April with a Major League-low .224 team batting average. When looking into monthly splits (and grouping October regular-season games with September), the worst previous month in franchise history was May 2006, when Colorado hit .232. On the plus side, the Rockies managed to end this April at .500 (15-15).

The Rockies got back one good hitter -- Gonzalez at .246 but with a .278 average and seven RBIs with runners in scoring position -- while losing a hitter whose production matches his repute. Second baseman DJ LeMahieu (.290, .871 OPS, five homers, 12 RBIs) went to the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to Saturday, with his own right hamstring strain.

Video: LeMahieu on going on the 10-day DL, recovery time

Gonzalez didn't start on Monday because of the poor lefty-on-lefty history with Lester (2-for-14, one homer, six strikeouts), but he has eight homers and 15 RBIs in 25 games at Wrigley. He figures to start Tuesday night against Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks.

In Miami, the Rockies hit .167, going 2-for-17 with runners in scoring position, with 30 strikeouts. Senzatela's RBI double on Friday and Charlie Blackmon's solo homer on Saturday represented all the scoring.

"We're not slugging and we're not getting on base, anyway," Gonzalez said. "So we need to get better at doing that, trying to get professional at-bats, trying to create opportunities for ourselves."

Video: COL@WSH: Gonzalez belts a solo homer to center

LeMahieu learning the ways of the hamstring
LeMahieu, who sustained his injury running out a double and got picked off when he tried to keep playing, didn't expect to need the DL.

"I don't really know much about hamstrings -- I never had anything like that," LeMahieu said. "The training staff seemed to think three or four more days at least just to be playable, and that's not going to fly."

LeMahieu hit and threw Monday, but he said "quick movements are a little iffy."

Video: COL@MIA: Urena nabs LeMahieu at second, call stands

On the radar
Triple-A Albuquerque utility infielder Daniel Castro, who did not start on Monday, has a 22-game hit streak and a .407 average. Castro, 25, played in the Majors with the Braves (80 games in 2015 and '16), and he has put himself on the Major League radar, especially considering the young players holding part-time roles have struggled.

Castro had a solid spring but didn't make the Opening Day roster because right-handed-hitting Pat Valaika came back from an oblique injury. However, Valaika, who thrived as a pinch-hitter last season, entered Monday batting 5-for-50 (.100).

Switch-hitting infielder/outfielder Shawn O'Malley, 30, who played with the Angels ('14) and Mariners ('15-16), is back from the broken left hand he sustained early in Spring Training. After rehabbing in extended spring training, O'Malley is 3-for-7 in two games for Albuquerque.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies, Carlos Gonzalez, DJ LeMahieu