DENVER -- Ryan Raburn was so happy that he'd made solid contact -- got a hit, even -- that he didn't realize at first that he had given the Rockies a 7-6, 11-inning victory over the National League Central-leading Cubs on Friday night.
Raburn, who had come away empty in his first two-at bats off the bench, swatted a 2-2 slider from Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman into the right-center-field gap for a double that drove in Nick Hundley, who had singled. Raburn was awarded home plate -- and the Rockies won their third straight -- because the relay throw from Cubs second baseman Javier Baez sailed into the Cubs' dugout.
"I was so excited I got a hit," Raburn said, smiling. "The first two at-bats were rough."
The loss -- in a game delayed two hours and 10 minutes by rain at the outset -- was just the fourth in 22 games for the Cubs, and the win was the fifth in 15 for the Rockies.
Raburn epitomizes the Rockies' fate of late. He has battled injuries to his left knee and right quad and, as was the case on Friday, has been playing the unfamiliar position of first base just to help the team in a tight spot.
"It's been a grind every day, but days like this make all the work worth it," Raburn said.
The Cubs' heartbreak came on a night when starter Kyle Hendricks gave up one run in six innings and lowered his ERA to 2.16, the lowest among qualified starters. In addition, Anthony Rizzo went 2-for-5 with his 87th RBI, which moved him into a tie with the Nationals' Daniel Murphy for second in the NL.
"We did a lot of good things again tonight," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "Aroldis isn't perfect either. Hundley's hit was really a big play right there. I've known and I've seen Raburn for a long time. He does hit lefties. He's a really good hitter against left-handed pitching regardless of who that guy is, and he came through for them."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Hendricks finds home: Entering Friday, Hendricks had not scored a run all season, and it showed in the way he ran the bases. After singling in his first at-bat, he scored from second on Rizzo's single up the middle, but he did so in a bizarre way. He beat the throw home by a few steps but forgot to touch the plate, so he casually walked back and touched it after Hundley walked the ball back toward the mound. Pitcher Tyler Anderson backed up the play but missed Hendricks' gaffe.
"I was pretty sure I didn't touch the plate," Hendricks said. "But I turned around and saw that Hundley and the pitcher were walking back to the mound, so I didn't think I needed to be too hasty about it."
Logan comes up big again: On the heels of fanning Murphy and Bryce Harper during Wednesday afternoon's 12-10 victory over the Nationals, lefty Boone Logan was a key figure on Friday. He entered with one on and one out in the 10th, fanned Rizzo, gave up a broken-bat single to David Ross and fanned Addison Russell.
What a debut: Two rookies making their Major League debuts nearly saved the day for the Cubs. Right-hander Felix Pena pitched a clean ninth with two strikeouts, and left-hander Rob Zastryzny worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam against the heart of the Rockies' order.
"They really held their own well," Maddon said. "I thought their composure was really good. I thought they made pitches when they had to, and they absolutely gave us a chance to win the game tonight." More >
Finally, some good luck: DJ LeMahieu was a second-round pick of the Cubs, and he enjoys tormenting his former club. He entered Friday hitting .311 against Chicago, with nine of his 28 hits going for extra bases. His first three at-bats were hard-hit balls, but all for outs; his line drive in the third inning started a rally-killing double play. But he delivered an RBI double in the eighth off Carl Edwards Jr. and tied the score at 5 with a daring tag-up on Arenado's sacrifice fly to left field.
"I consider that a great start. He executed pitches all night. I felt like he very easily could have gone seven innings and given up one run tonight, but they hit some good pitches, and it's a tough lineup. The fact he went seven and bent but didn't break was huge. He kept us in position to win that game." -- Rockies manager Walt Weiss on Anderson, whose work preserved the bullpen
"I definitely didn't think I'd be sitting here when I was at this point last year. I didn't see this a year later. You've got to take it in stride, because if you focus on results, things can change in a hurry. In order to keep having success, you need to stay grounded, stay consistent, [have] simple thoughts, trust the process." -- Hendricks
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
When David Dahl homered, it was the first time the Rockies had a leadoff homer from someone other than Charlie Blackmon since Fowler -- who began his career with the Rockies -- hit one against the Dodgers on June 2, 2013.
Fowler and Dahl provided two of the five leadoff homers in MLB on Friday. The Astros' George Springer and Orioles' Adam Jones went deep in their game, and the Yankees' Jacoby Ellsbury opened the game against the Angels with a homer. The last time there were five leadoff homers in a day, with two games seeing both teams accomplish the feat, was Aug. 17, 2006, when Brian Roberts (Orioles), Johnny Damon (Yankees), Corey Hart (Brewers), David DeJesus (Royals) and Pablo Ozuna (White Sox) went deep.
LeMahieu had no doubt that the "out" call when he slid into the plate after Arenado's fly ball would be overturned. It was, after a review that lasted one minute and 43 seconds, and the score was tied at 5.
The Cubs challenged the winning run, but replay confirmed that Raburn had rounded second base when the Baez throw bounced into the Cubs' dugout. By rule, the runner is awarded third and home.
WHAT'S NEXT Cubs: Left-hander Mike Montgomery will make his first start for the Cubs at 5:10 p.m. CT on Saturday against the Rockies. He has made seven relief appearances after being acquired from the Mariners but started his final two games in Seattle. He limited opponents to five runs (four earned) over 11 1/3 innings, with 10 strikeouts and two walks.
Rockies: Saturday will bring the debut of right-handed prospect Jeff Hoffman, the key figure in the trade that sent star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to the Blue Jays. Hoffman will come up from Triple-A Albuquerque to take the rotation spot vacated by righty Tyler Chatwood, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a back strain. First pitch is at 6:10 p.m. MT.