DENVER (AP) – Seiya Suzuki stayed hot with an RBI brace in a three-run first inning, Frank Schwindel homered and drove in two, and the Chicago Cubs cooled off Kris Bryant and the Colorado Rockies, winning 5-2 on Thursday evening.
Suzuki extended his hitting streak to six games since joining the Japan majors and scored his 10th run when the Cubs had five straight hits against Kyle Freeland (0-2).
Bryant went 2-for-5 and lost a third hit due to Yonathan Daza’s onbase gaffe as the Rockies saw their four-game winning streak snapped in Game 1 of Bryant’s second series against his former team .
Bryant, the NL’s MVP when the Cubs won the 2016 World Series, was traded to San Francisco in July and signed a seven-year, $182 million contract with the Rockies after the lockout.
Schwindel had a single point in the first period and dug deep right to lead in the sixth after the Rockies cut the lead to 3-2. Ian Happ’s RBI single made it 5-2 and chased Freeland, who allowed five runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings.
CJ Cron had an RBI single against Ethan Roberts, who also walked in a run after replacing Justin Steele with one out at fifth. Keegan Thompson (1-0) took over and blasted Elias Diaz to the right with the bases loaded to end the inning.
Mychal Givens threw a scoreless ninth for his first save as the Cubs hung on despite five double plays.
Bryant singled left in the third-and-ninth and hit a one-liner that fell past Happ left in the fifth. But Daza thought the ball could be caught and was forced to third.
Bryant was the center of attention before the game.
“I want to do what I did there for another team,” Bryant said, while noting how few players he knows on the Cubs’ revamped roster. “I enjoyed my time in Chicago, but I don’t know if that warrants a press conference every time I play them.”
Suzuki cost the Cubs a point in the third. After hitting shortstop Jose Iglesias’ throwing error and with Villar down third, Suzuki was doubled first on the flyball to a Yan Gomes out right that should have been a sacrifice fly.
Suzuki also miscommunicated with second baseman Nick Madrigal on Diaz’s steal to the shallow right which fell and was ruled a single at fourth. But with two goals, Steele got Iglesias into a late-inning double play.
BRYANT & ROSS
Bryant and Cubs manager David Ross, buddies and former Chicago teammates, swapped barbs before the game.
“It’s hard to see him as a manager because I just think back to ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and ‘Saturday Night Live’ looking like a jerk,” Bryant said with a smile.
Ross recalled when Bryant created his @GrandpaRossy_3 Instagram account in 2016.
“Why did I have to be a grandfather? I was still playing,” Ross said, adding, “I got to see him go from prospect to MVP and everything he did. And he’s a great human being. .”
Cubs: Ross was back after missing most of Wednesday’s game at Pittsburgh with a stomach condition.
Rockies: RHP Peter Lambert (forearm inflammation) has started throwing again in Arizona.
Cubs RHP Marcus Stroman (0-0, 1.80 ERA) take on RHP German Marquez (0-0, 1.29) on Friday night.