Cubs 5, Rockies 0(8)

Chris Volstad had to wait through a couple of rain delays while

he worked on his first victory in more than a year, and it seemed

like an eternity to the tall right-hander as he moved closer to the

end of a 24-start winless streak.

”It’s only fitting that the day took pretty long,” a relieved

Volstad said Sunday after pitching the Chicago Cubs to a 5-0 win

over the Colorado Rockies.

The start of the game was delayed 2 hours, 23 minutes by rain,

and there was another weather interruption of 30 minutes after the

eighth inning before the game was called. Then the 6-foot-8 Volstad

really did get a shower – a celebratory one from his teammates with

a clubhouse beverage.

”The tarp being pulled in the ninth inning, I was, `Come on,

just get this over with,”’ Volstad said. ”I got a pretty big

welcome, reception whatever you want to call it when they called

the game. Everyone was pretty happy. I was pretty happy, as well.

… There is a little sense of relief to get it over with.”

Volstad allowed just three hits over 6 2-3 innings in his first

win since he helped the Marlins to a 5-4 victory over Houston on

July 10, 2011. He was traded to the Cubs over the winter for Carlos

Zambrano.

He said he hadn’t been dwelling on the streak.

”Maybe a little bit of bad luck for me over the last year and a

month or whatever it was. That’s baseball. You got to keep going,”

Volstad said.

”Sometimes you throw well and don’t get that win or you get

that loss and sometimes you don’t and do get a win. Just the way it

goes. I think that’s why the streak, whatever you want to call it,

to me wasn’t a huge issue.”

The major league record for consecutive winless starts is 28,

shared by Jo-Jo Reyes, Matt Keough and Cliff Curtis.

Volstad (1-9) was taken out to an ovation in the seventh after

former Cub Tyler Colvin doubled with two outs and Chris Nelson

walked. Manny Corpas then retired Jonathan Herrera on a fielder’s

choice grounder to end the threat.

Volstad, who made 12 starts in the minors this season and was

recalled Aug. 1, struck out three and walked three in a 101-pitch

effort. Shawn Camp pitched the eighth for his second save in five

chances, completing a four-hitter.

”Since he’s been back, he hasn’t been that bad. He’s had some

good outings,” Chicago manager Dave Sveum said of Volstad. ”He’s

pitched much better with a lot more conviction.”

Starlin Castro scored three times and Darwin Barney had two RBIs

as the Cubs took two of three from the Rockies.

Colorado right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (1-4), making just his

second start since returning from the disabled list, gave up a run

and five hits in five innings.

”It was bad weather, rainy and very humid. When I was pitching

all the sweat came to my hand and it was really tough to grab the

ball, but I still didn’t make the pitch when I needed,” Chacin

said. ”I couldn’t get a grip on my sinker. I was just really using

my fastball and my slider because I couldn’t throw my changeup for

a strike.”

But the Rockies just couldn’t muster anything offensively.

”We didn’t hit today,” manager Jim Tracy said. ”You certainly

would have liked to have those baserunners and force Chris to pitch

out of the stretch a little more often than he did.”

Volstad, who was 0-14 during the winless streak, has received

little run support this season. During his previous 13 starts, the

Cubs had scored one or fewer runs eight times and he hadn’t

received more than three runs in any of those outings.

This time they gave him an early lead and he went from

there.

”The biggest thing was me giving up zeroes. That’s always

nice,” Volstad said. ”The defense backed me today and they did a

great job at the plate.”

Castro doubled in the second, went to third on a fly ball and

scored when Barney beat out a potential double-play grounder.

Castro walked in the sixth, moved up on two grounders and scored

on Barney’s flare single to right-center.

The Cubs then tacked on three more runs in the eighth.

Pinch-hitter Joe Mather had a bases-loaded sacrifice fly, Brett

Jackson raced home on Will Harris’ wild pitch and David DeJesus

tacked on an RBI single.

NOTES: Sveum said it was the right decision to call the game

after eight because the field had become unplayable. ”The dirt was

beyond kitty litter repair as I call it,” he said. … Barney

entered in a 3-for-31 slump over his previous 10 games. …

Announced attendance was 32,346, many of whom had departed by the

time the game had started. … Colorado heads home to play the

new-look Dodgers with Josh Beckett making his first start for L. A.

since the trade from Boston and Jeff Francis pitching for the

Rockies on Monday night. The Cubs stay at Wrigley to face Milwaukee

with Chicago’s Justin Germano going against Marco Estrada.