Arenado's 2 home runs, 6 RBIs power Rockies past Cubs
DENVER (AP) A late-night session in the batting cage and a spirited discussion helped Nolan Arenado get his swing back.
Arenado broke out of a slump in a big way, hitting two homers and driving in six runs Sunday to boost the Colorado Rockies past the Chicago Cubs, 11-4.
The All-Star third baseman was 1 of 16 during the Rockies' homestand before getting four hits. He passed Cubs slugger Kris Bryant for the NL homer lead.
''I've been grinding, I haven't really felt like myself, so to be up there, it's a good feeling,'' Arenado said.
Arenado credited Sunday's results to his work with batting practice pitcher Garrett Carson late Saturday night. He said the two stayed after the loss to the Cubs to watch video and work in the cage.
''We almost got into an argument,'' Arenado said. ''He would be like, `I feel like there's not much off' and I'd be like, `No, there is something off.'''
The two concluded Arenado was overstriding, and he went into Sunday's game with renewed confidence.
''After (Saturday) night I was able to sleep better after what I worked on,'' Arenado said. ''I applied it today and it worked out.''
Arenado hit a three-run homer during a seven-run burst in the first inning that included three Cubs errors, then added another three-run drive in the fourth.
Arenado leads the majors with 104 RBIs - he had a big league-high 130 last year - and tops the NL with 32 home runs.
Jorge De La Rosa (8-7) tossed eight innings, giving up two home runs to Addison Russell.
De La Rosa delivered a two-run single in the first as the Rockies quickly ended Jason Hammel's 22-inning scoreless streak.
De La Rosa scattered four hits and struck out six in matching his longest outing since last Sept. 16. Russell was the only batter to reach second base against the lefty, who outpitched his former teammate.
''Everything was working really good except those two pitches to Russell,'' De La Rosa said.
Hammel (13-6) had been 6-0 with an 0.95 ERA since the All-Star before getting roughed up. The Rockies scored 10 runs off him, six earned, in 3 1/3 innings.
Arenado's first homer hugged the left-field foul pole to start the early outburst. Tony Wolters had a two-run double and De La Rosa added his single.
Arenado singled in the second and drove Hammel's first-pitch fastball into the left-field seats to make it 10-0 in the fourth.
''A lot of foul balls today off my slider and two mistakes to Arenado,'' Hammel said. ''That was pretty much the story.''
DJ LeMahieu also homered for Colorado.
Russell hit solo homers in the fifth and seventh, and the Cubs scored two more off reliever Matt Carasiti in the ninth.
The Cubs' last run came when pinch-hitter Jorge Soler hit a foul popup between home and first and Anthony Rizzo ran in from third to an uncovered home plate.
Cubs: Soler didn't start after fouling a ball off his right knee in Saturday's win. Manager Joe Maddon said he didn't want to play him in the spacious Coors Field outfield.
Rockies: CF Charlie Blackmon was not in the starting lineup for the third straight game because of a bruised right toe. Manager Walt Weiss said Blackmon and would likely be back in the lineup for Monday's game in Milwaukee.
LeMahieu had three hits, including his 10th homer, to raise his average to .345, tied for the NL batting lead with Washington's Daniel Murphy. They are both 150 for 435 this season. LeMahieu finished the homestand 14 for 20 with nine runs and two homers.
Cubs: LHP Jon Lester (13-4, 2.86) opens the Cubs' three-game series in San Diego on Monday. It will be the first start of Lester's career in Petco Park.
Rockies: RHP Chad Bettis (10-6, 5.29) will start the series opener at the Brewers on Monday. He is 5-4 on the road this season with eight quality starts.