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Bryant's triple sparks rally in Farrell's 1st win

MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

CHICAGO -- There were times when Luke Farrell didn't think he'd ever pitch again. The right-hander had to battle tumors in his neck not once, but twice within a two-year span. On Monday night, Farrell not only got his first Major League win but impressed the Cubs with what he could possibly provide this season.

Farrell got four key outs in relief in the Cubs' 3-2 win over the Rockies at Wrigley Field. Kris Bryant, playing in his third game since he was hit in the head by a pitch, tripled to lead off the sixth inning and scored the tie-breaking run to help the Cubs win their fifth straight game.

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CHICAGO -- There were times when Luke Farrell didn't think he'd ever pitch again. The right-hander had to battle tumors in his neck not once, but twice within a two-year span. On Monday night, Farrell not only got his first Major League win but impressed the Cubs with what he could possibly provide this season.

Farrell got four key outs in relief in the Cubs' 3-2 win over the Rockies at Wrigley Field. Kris Bryant, playing in his third game since he was hit in the head by a pitch, tripled to lead off the sixth inning and scored the tie-breaking run to help the Cubs win their fifth straight game.

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Bryant, who was plunked by the Rockies' German Marquez on April 22, was 0-for-9 before his triple off the left-field wall.

"I thought he looked great at the plate the very first at-bat back," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said of Bryant. "I think he looks fine. ... I have not seen anything negative at the plate."

Video: COL@CHC: Maddon on pitching in 3-2 win over Colorado

Neither Maddon nor Bryant expected any retaliation in a rematch with the Rockies. There was no warning from home-plate umpire Jeff Nelson after Chicago starter Jon Lester hit Charlie Blackmon with a pitch in the first inning.

Lester exited after giving up two unearned runs over 5 2/3 innings. The lefty needed 37 pitches to get through the fifth when the Cubs made some uncharacteristic miscues.

"We made mistakes we normally don't make," Maddon said. "You would think giving them all those extra outs would not turn out in our favor. Give our relievers a lot of credit."

Video: COL@CHC: Lester limits Rockies to 2 unearned runs

Cue Farrell, who entered with two on and two out in the sixth and got Ian Desmond to ground out. The son of former big league manager John Farrell then struck out two of the three batters he faced in the seventh. Here's some trivia: Luke had pitched at Wrigley Field on April 20, 2013, for Northwestern, throwing a three-hit shutout.

"That guy has got as good a makeup as anybody on this team. Anybody," Maddon said. "He comes from a great pedigree, he's been around it, he's pitched in the big leagues. I am really impressed with his way, the way he is, the way he handles himself."

Promoted from Triple-A Iowa on April 20, Farrell, 26, was making his 13th appearance in the big leagues and third with the Cubs. It also was his first in a high-leverage situation.

"That could really pay us dividends down the road," Maddon said. "That was 93, 94 [mph] with carry, and he's got that other thing that he throws off the slider, and he's not afraid. Those are great qualities."

Before Farrell met with the media postgame, he checked his phone. Friends and family members had overloaded it with congratulatory messages.

"This is cool. I won't try to downplay it," Farrell said. "To get your first win in the Major Leagues is an awesome thing and an achievement that I appreciate fully."

His father was one of those who reached out.

"We've been going back and forth," Farrell said. "He was pumped. Mom, too. Family, brothers -- it's something we can all share. This is my first time pitching as a Cub at Wrigley, and the adrenaline I felt pitching in front of fans like this on a Monday night is pretty amazing."

Tweet from @Cubs: Congratulations to @Luke_T_Farrell on his first @MLB win! #EverybodyIn pic.twitter.com/XPVMlux927

As to what he has overcome, Farrell said he'll think about that later.

"I think maybe when I sit back and reflect on it later, it certainly will [hit me]," Farrell said. "I think at some point, I'll sit down and think about where I've been in the past, where I've come from, and it'll probably sink in."

The Cubs needed to rally against the Rockies, tying the game at 2 in the fifth on Albert Almora Jr.'s RBI single and taking the lead in the sixth when Bryant tripled and scored on Anthony Rizzo's groundout. Bryant made a sliding stop of Noel Cuevas' hard-hit grounder and threw to Rizzo in time to end the Rockies' eighth.

"Farrell gets the win. He should have," Maddon said. "He was the lynchpin of the whole game. ... Give Luke a lot of credit."

Video: COL@CHC: Bryant uses glove, arm to put away Story

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Lucky bounce: With one out in the second, Ben Zobrist hit a ball that deflected off perennial Gold Glove Award-winning third baseman Nolan Arenado's glove and bounced into the seats at Wrigley Field for a ground-rule double. Zobrist then scored on Addison Russell's single for a 1-0 lead. More >

Video: COL@CHC: Russell drives in Zobrist to put Cubs on top

Rare miscue: During the Rockies' two-run fifth, Kyle Freeland put down a sacrifice bunt and Willson Contreras fired to first, but Javier Baez couldn't close his glove on the ball for an error. One out later, Blackmon hit an RBI single to tie the game at 1. Arenado then lined the ball down the left-field line to score Freeland. The seated security guard tried to catch the ball, and Arenado was awarded a ground-rule double.

"Those were not difficult errors," Maddon said. "It was really uncharacteristic of us. It happens. Give our pitchers credit for going to the next pitch, the next hitter, making pitches and eventually getting through it."

Video: COL@CHC: Arenado lines an RBI double down the line

SOUND SMART
The Cubs are the first team to win five straight games despite scoring three or fewer runs in all five since the Brewers did so in August 2011. It's the first time the Cubs have done so in franchise history.

Cubs starting pitchers have not given up an earned run in 33 2/3 consecutive innings, the longest streak by the staff since 1974.

Tweet from @Cubs: #Cubs starting pitchers haven't given up an earned run in 33 2/3 IP. That is ____. pic.twitter.com/dDltVQSmIW

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Cubs center fielder Almora provided several highlight-reel catches during the series in Denver. In the Rockies' fourth, he robbed Trevor Story of a potential extra-base hit when he snared the ball one step before the warning track in left-center and stopped just before the brick outfield wall.

"They like hitting the ball to center field and I like it as well," Almora said. "It's not a dig toward them, but I want to make the plays for my pitcher out there, so there's no better feeling than catching it and looking at Jon. He doesn't show much emotion, but he gave me a little golf clap. That goes a long way."

Video: COL@CHC: Almora leaps for stellar catch on the track

In the fifth, Contreras picked off Cuevas at second with a throw to Russell. According to Statcast™, he had a 1.93-second pop time. His throw was clocked at 84.9 mph.

Video: COL@CHC: Contreras fires perfect throw to nab Cuevas

HE SAID IT
"You guys believe me now? We've played some good baseball. Our hitters are doing a good job of giving us breaks in the dugout with some of these long innings we've had. I've always felt if we keep our team in it long enough, our guys are going to strike. They did that tonight, they did it all weekend. It's been a fun last five games." -- Lester, who had said in the past the Cubs would get in a good groove if they could play on a regular basis after dealing with weather postponements

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
In the ninth, the Rockies had a runner at first when Ian Desmond hit a one-out comebacker to Steve Cishek, who threw to Russell at shortstop, but the runner was called safe. After a crew chief review, the call was overturned.

Video: COL@CHC: Cishek nabs McMahon at second after review

After walking Blackmon, Cishek would strike out Arenado with two runners on to record his first save of the season.

Video: COL@CHC: Cishek earns the save, seals Cubs' 3-2 win

UP NEXT
Kyle Hendricks will start Tuesday against the Rockies. The right-hander is coming off a solid start against the Brewers in which he threw seven shutout innings, striking out five. He beat the Rockies, who will counter with Jon Gray, on April 20 in Denver, holding them to three runs on five hits over five innings. He's looking for his third straight win. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

Chicago Cubs, Kris Bryant, Luke Farrell