Rockies back stingy De La Rosa with four homers
Parker, Arenado, Matthes, Wheeler go deep; starter allows two hits over three
MESA, Ariz. -- Kyle Parker hit a two-run homer as the Rockies hit for the cycle in a four-run third inning, while Nolan Arenado, Kent Matthes and Ryan Wheeler each added blasts to beat the Cubs, 13-0, on Tuesday in front of a Cactus League record crowd of 14,840 at Cubs Park.
The previous attendance high was 14,770, set Sunday at Cubs Park, where Chicago played host to Milwaukee.
The Cubs loaded the lineup with left-handed hitters against Rockies southpaw Jorge De La Rosa because they wanted the at-bats.
"They need to see them, and they'd like to see them," Chicago manager Rick Renteria said. "It's been asked many times, 'Is it conducive for a left-handed hitter to face left-handed pitching, to see if it helps?' And this is one of those instances where we'll have the opportunity to do that and will take advantage of it."
Nate Schierholtz, Anthony Rizzo, Ryan Sweeney and Luis Valbuena were hitless against De La Rosa, although Valbuena did draw a walk in the third. The Rockies starter gave up two hits and struck out one over three innings.
"I'm still working on my fastball command, working both sides of the plate," said De La Rosa, who will likely be the Rockies' Opening Day starter. "My changeup was much better today than the last two games. ... I'm just trying to work on some things now, but when I'm in trouble, I pitch like it's a game."
Corey Dickerson singled with one out in the first against Chicago's Travis Wood and scored two batters later on Drew Stubbs' single.
With two outs in the Rockies' third, Arenado was credited with a triple on a ball that center fielder Junior Lake lost in the sun. Parker followed with his first home run for a 3-0 lead, and Stubbs singled and scored on Michael McKenry's double. Josh Rutledge smacked an RBI single to open a 5-0 lead, and Wood gave up a single to Jordan Pacheco before he was lifted. Wood was charged with five runs on nine hits and one walk over 2 2/3 innings.
Jordan Lyles, who is competing for a spot in the Rockies' rotation, gave up two hits and struck out four over three innings in relief.
Colorado had runners at second and third with two outs in the sixth against Hector Rondon and added another run on a passed ball by catcher Welington Castillo. Arenado then belted his first spring home run off a 2-2 pitch to left. Matthes added a three-run homer in the Rockies' seventh off Rondon, and Wheeler clubbed a massive two-run blast in the eighth off reliever Chang-Yong Lim.
Up next: The Rockies have the first of two day-night, split-squad dates in the next three days. They'll play at Goodyear, Ariz., against the Reds at 2:10 p.m. MT, with lefty Brett Anderson starting. And in an 8:10 p.m. game against the D-backs, Colorado will get an extended look at lefty Pedro Hernandez, who made 14 appearances (12 starts) for the Twins last season. Both games are available live on Gameday Audio.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.