Flande, Rockies stung by homers in finale
Left-hander gives up four runs; Colorado bats stifled by Hendricks
DENVER -- When it comes to left-hander Yohan Flande, the Rockies usually know what they're going to get, and on Thursday, he gave just about all he could.
But one day after the Rockies erupted for a season-high 13 runs off seven extra-base hits, the offense couldn't hold up its end up the bargain, falling short against rookie right-hander Kyle Hendricks to drop the series with a 6-2 loss at Coors Field.
Flande (0-4) and the Rockies were burned by the long ball, two of which came from another rookie, Javier Baez.
"That's kind of been their trademark this year," manager Walt Weiss said. "The Cubs score with the home run. You keep them in the park, it makes it tougher on them, but we weren't able to do that today."
All five of Flande's starts at the Major League level have been this season, and he's only reached the sixth inning in one of them. That start came last Monday when he held the Cubs to two runs and four hits while striking out eight over 6 2/3 innings.
Flande's downfall has always been seeing a lineup for a third time, and it was the same story when the Cubs' lineup turned over for a third time to start the sixth on Thursday.
Baez and Starlin Castro led off the inning with back-to-back solo shots -- adding to the Cubs' earlier tallies on singles from Arismendy Alcantara and Baez -- to give Chicago a 4-1 lead. The first came on a spinning slider, the second on a sinker that never sank.
"Looked like Flande was doing all right," Weiss said. "He's been hurt by one inning, it seems like, in most of his outings. ... There's a little bit of a pattern there."
Flande went six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and one walk.
"I try to do my best every time I go out there," Flande said in Spanish with Jorge De La Rosa interpreting. "A bad thing always happens in the last inning. I'll try to fix that."
The Rockies answered back on Corey Dickerson's fourth RBI in the past two games in the bottom of the sixth. But outside of that and Justin Morneau's RBI double in the fourth, the Rockies were mostly stifled by Hendricks.
"He carved us up," Weiss said. "He's not going to light up the gun, but it looked like there was a lot of late movement. ... He was jamming guys at 87 to 89 miles per hour, but it was because it was running so late."
Hendricks went eight innings for the longest Major League start of his five-game career, giving up just two runs on six hits.
"Every lineup I've faced so far, they all have a lot of good hitters, and this one especially," Hendricks said. "I tried to get early outs, and threw my sinker over the plate, trying to get ground balls and keep it in the yard in the beginning. Obviously, the run support is always nice."
Baez added to the Cubs' cushion in the eighth with his second homer, a two-run shot off right-hander Juan Nicasio. That was the only hit that Nicasio -- who was called up earlier in the day to serve in a relief role -- surrendered in two innings.
"[Nicasio] gave up the home run, but I liked the way he was throwing the ball," Weiss said. "It looked to me like his velocity was up. He looked aggressive. He looked comfortable sprinting for a couple innings. He gave up the home run, but I don't think it was necessarily a bad pitch."
Baez's first career hit on Tuesday -- a solo homer in the 12th inning -- handed the Rockies a defeat in the series opener. In the finale, he went 3-for-4 with four RBIs and two homers.
"He looks like the real deal," Weiss said of Baez. "He has some real thunder in his bat to all fields. ... Baez doesn't look like a typical middle infielder and he doesn't swing like a typical middle infielder."