Cron homers twice to back Senzatela as Rockies beat Cubs 9-6

Apr 16, 2022, 8:37 AM | Updated: Apr 17, 2022, 11:57 am
Colorado Rockies' C.J. Cron tosses his bat after hitting a two-run home run off Chicago Cubs starti...

Colorado Rockies' C.J. Cron tosses his bat after hitting a two-run home run off Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Mark Leiter Jr. during the third inning of a baseball game Saturday, April 16, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

              Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Mark Leiter Jr. watches a throw to a Colorado Rockies batter during the third inning of a baseball game Saturday, April 16, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
            
              Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Jhoulys Chacin works against the Chicago Cubs during the sixth inning of a baseball game Saturday, April 16, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
            
              Colorado Rockies' Kris Bryant, left, congratulates C.J. Cron after his two-run home run off Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Mark Leiter Jr. during the third inning of a baseball game Saturday, April 16, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
            
              Chicago Cubs' Jonathan Villar follows through on an RBI single off Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela during the third inning of a baseball game Saturday, April 16, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
            
              Chicago Cubs' Seiya Suzuki runs toward first on a double off Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela during the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, April 16, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
            
              Chicago Cubs' Seiya Suzuki watches his double off Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela during the second inning of a baseball game Saturday, April 16, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
            
              With temperatures hovering in the 50s combined with a light wind and high humidity, Chicago Cubs right fielder Seiya Suzuki tries to keep warm as he stretches before the team's baseball game against the Colorado Rockies on Saturday, April 16, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
            
              Chicago Cubs' Willson Contreras flies out during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Colorado Rockies on Saturday, April 16, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
            
              Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Antonio Senzatela works against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, April 16, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
            
              Colorado Rockies third baseman Ryan McMahon throws to first base to retire Chicago Cubs' Rafael Ortega during the third inning of a baseball game Saturday, April 16, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
            
              Colorado Rockies' C.J. Cron tosses his bat after hitting a two-run home run off Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Mark Leiter Jr. during the third inning of a baseball game Saturday, April 16, 2022, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER (AP) — C.J. Cron homered twice and Antonio Senzatela pitched five solid innings in his 100th career start for Colorado as the Rockies beat the Chicago Cubs 9-6 on Saturday night.

Cron hit a two-run shot in a four-run third inning and connected again leading off the seventh, driving the first pitch he saw from reliever Ethan Roberts into the left-field bleachers for his third homer in two games and fifth this season. That tied Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for most in the majors.

“I’m just trying to put a good swing on the baseball,” Cron said. “The first one was up, a little bit up for me. I usually don’t want to hit that pitch, but I got to it on time and it just went. It was just really nice to have a nice team effort tonight, scoring nine runs, and everyone 1 through 9 has been contributing. It’s been awesome to watch.”

So have Cron’s homers. His first traveled 466 feet, the third-longest in the majors this season, and the second went 423 feet.

“There’s a little awe factor there,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “That’s raw power for you. He hits them a long ways when he gets them, and those two tonight were examples of that.”

Alan Trejo had two hits and two RBIs, Connor Joe added an RBI triple and former Cubs star Kris Bryant drove in a run with a fielder’s choice before being lifted in the fifth because of tightness in a quadriceps muscle. Black said the move was precautionary and Bryant could be back in the lineup as soon as Sunday at DH.

Patrick Wisdom had three hits, including a two-run double in Chicago’s four-run seventh. Jonathan Villar had four hits and three RBIs for the Cubs.

Seiya Suzuki doubled in the second and has hit safely in each of his first seven games in which he had an at-bat to begin his major league career.

“I loved the fact that we fought here, being down that many and the guys continued to have good at-bats and gave ourselves a chance to win all the way up to the last out,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “That happened last night as we were down and it happened tonight when we were down big, still giving ourselves a chance. In this offensive park, yes, but the at-bats are consistent and they’re not chasing out of the zone.”

Colorado added to its lead with three runs in the fourth, capped by a run-scoring single from Charlie Blackmon that put the Rockies in front 7-1.

Senzatela (1-0), who became the 13th pitcher in Rockies history to start 100 games, allowed one run and seven hits. He walked none and struck out two.

Daniel Bard got three outs for his fourth save in five chances.

Mark Leiter Jr. (0-1), recalled from Triple-A Iowa, made his Cubs debut and struck out the side in the first inning before running into trouble in the third. The son of former major league pitcher Mark Leiter went 3 1/3 innings and allowed seven runs on seven hits in his first major league appearance since Sept. 25, 2018, with Toronto against Houston. He missed the 2019 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery and was in the minors working his way back the past two years.

“Guys scored a lot of runs tonight and we should win that game,” Leiter said. “That’s on me 100%, to put us in that kind of hole. Wish it would have went a little bit better, to be honest with you. But there was a lot of emotion for the last couple years, a lot of adrenaline. I’m proud to be back and get in a game like that, but I want to be better than that.”

POWER SURGE

Cron had his 14th career multi-homer game and first since Aug. 8, 2021, against Miami. He led the Rockies last season with 28 home runs.

TAKING A LEAD

The Cubs got on the board first thanks to Villar’s third-inning RBI single. They have held a lead in each of their first eight games, though they dropped to 4-4. The 1938 Cubs hold the team record for most consecutive games with a lead to start the season with 19.

PICKOFF PLAY

Senzatela got his first career pickoff in the first inning, catching Villar off first base. “We worked on that in spring training,” Senzatela said. “It was the first time I got the guy. It was nice.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rockies: OF Randal Grichuk went through a full range of baseball activities before the game and could return to the lineup as soon as Sunday after missing the previous three games due to back soreness. … SS José Iglesias was rested for a second consecutive game with a hamstring problem and remains day-to-day. Black said Iglesias is nearing full strength and could resume playing any day.

UP NEXT

Cubs LHP Drew Smyly (1-0, 0.00 ERA) is set to start Sunday’s series finale against LHP Austin Gomber (0-0, 5.79).

___

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, right, drives to the basket toward Portland Trail Bl...
Associated Press

Bucks beat Trail Blazers 127-108 for 8th straight win

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Brook Lopez scored 27 points and the Milwaukee Bucks stretched their winning streak to eight games with a 127-108 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points and 13 rebounds as the Bucks led the whole way, pushing their advantage to 26 in the second […]
24 hours ago
Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole (3) passes the ball past Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jal...
Associated Press

Thompson scores 42 points with 12 3s, Warriors beat Thunder

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — With star teammate Stephen Curry sidelined, Klay Thompson kept shooting and took care of the offensive load the Golden State Warriors were missing without their reigning NBA Finals MVP. Thompson scored 42 points with a season-high 12 3-pointers, Jordan Poole added 21 points and career-best 12 assists starting in Curry’s place, […]
24 hours ago
Donna Kelce greets her sons, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce, left, and Kansas City Chiefs t...
Associated Press

Donna Kelce brings cookies for sons at Super Bowl opener

PHOENIX (AP) — Donna Kelce brought cookies to Super Bowl opening night. The mother of All-Pros Travis and Jason Kelce surprised her sons during an interview with NFL Network’s Michael Irvin with two batches of cookies — one for each. “It’s just been amazing that they’ve both been able to get to this point in […]
24 hours ago
Arizona Coyotes defenseman J.J. Moser (90) and Minnesota Wild center Sam Steel collide in the secon...
Associated Press

Chrychrun scores twice as Coyotes beat Wild 3-2

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Jakob Chychrun had two goals, Jack McBain scored the tie-breaking goal on a breakaway with seven minutes remaining and the Arizona Coyotes beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2 on Monday night. McBain put a back-hander past Marc-Andre Fleury moments after the Coyotes killed off an abbreviated 55-second power play. Karel Vejmelka had […]
24 hours ago
Dallas Mavericks Josh Green (8) goes to the basket as Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen, left, defe...
Associated Press

Green, Hardy help Mavs surprise Jazz 124-111 without Doncic

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Kyrie Irving hadn’t arrived yet and Luka Doncic was out, so it was time for the Dallas youngsters to shine. Josh Green and Jaden Hardy each scored career highs of 29 points and the short-handed Mavericks stunned the Utah Jazz 124-111 on Monday night after completing a trade for Irving. […]
24 hours ago
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, right, and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hu...
Associated Press

Mahomes, Hurts aware of significance of this Super Bowl duel

PHOENIX (AP) — Philadelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni is thrilled young aspiring football players all over the world will get to watch two Black quarterbacks face each other for the first time in the Super Bowl. He’s also pleased they get to watch two really, really good quarterbacks. “I’m really excited for both quarterbacks, what […]
24 hours ago
Cron homers twice to back Senzatela as Rockies beat Cubs 9-6