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Rockies 9, Cubs 6: Mark Leiter Jr. gets lit up

Well, that didn’t work. What do the Cubs do when his turn comes up again?

Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Cubs are going to need a fifth starter again this coming Thursday, when the Pirates visit Wrigley Field.

Will it be Mark Leiter Jr.? If you’re judging this solely on the results Leiter put forth in the Cubs’ 9-6 loss to the Rockies Saturday, you’d probably say no.

The thing is... they probably don’t have too many other choices:

Those would be the other choices and... no way is either Wade Miley or Alec Mills ready for Thursday. So it’s probably going to be Leiter again.

Leiter threw well for two innings. The Cubs took a 1-0 lead on this RBI single by Jonathan Villar in the top of the third [VIDEO].

Then Leiter, as the headline states, got lit up in the bottom of the inning, for four runs. What happened?

Well, sure, I can buy that. Coors Field isn’t an easy place for anyone to pitch. Perhaps it will be better against the Pirates at Wrigley, if that’s the way the Cubs go.

The Rockies put up three more runs off Leiter in the fourth, the last one scoring after Leiter had been lifted in favor of Jesse Chavez. Colorado made it 8-1 off Chavez in the fifth.

But as you likely know, a seven-run lead in the middle innings at Coors Field isn’t necessarily safe. The Cubs tried to mount a comeback in the seventh. Seiya Suzuki and Jason Heyward singled and Patrick Wisdom doubled them both in [VIDEO].

After Nico Hoerner reached on an error, Rafael Ortega grounded out, with Wisdom and Hoerner advancing a base. Then Jonathan Villar singled in two runs [VIDEO].

At 8-5, the Cubs still had a chance for more in this inning, but Willson Contreras hit into an inning-ending double play.

Ethan Roberts relieved Chavez and C.J. Cron smashed his second home run of the night leading off the last of the seventh. The Cubs matched that run in the eighth. Suzuki walked with two out and Heyward drove him in with this triple [VIDEO].

But that’s all the Cubs could get and despite their second-highest run output of the young season, this one went into the books as a loss.

There were some good offensive performances from Cubs in this game:

  • Jonathan Villar had four hits and is now hitting .474/.500/.579 (9-for-19)
  • Seiya Suzuki had his second two-hit game of the season and is batting .409/.533/.909 (9-for-22) with three home runs
  • Patrick Wisdom went 3-for-4 and has had five hits in his last six at-bats
  • Jason Heyward had his second two-hit game of the season

More Cubs offensive numbers:

So, at least Cubs batters are taking advantage of Coors Field. It’s going to be sunny, mild and breezy there Sunday with temps near 70, likely a hitters’ afternoon. The Cubs will send Drew Smyly to the mound looking for the series split, something that’s not easy to do in Denver. The Rockies are going with lefthander Austin Gomber. Game time is 2:10 p.m. CT and TV coverage will be via Marquee Sports Network.