Samardzija pitches Cubs past Rockies, 3-1

DENVER — A couple of bullpen sessions over the All-Star break helped Jeff Samardzija resolve the mechanical problems in his pitching delivery that had been bothering him much of the season.

The refinements were evident Friday night when Samardzija pitched effectively into the eighth inning, and Anthony Rizzo doubled home the go-ahead run in the seventh in Chicago Cubs’ 3-1 win over the Colorado Rockies.

“We changed a couple things with my mechanics, kept me on line a little more,” Samardzija said. “But if you had asked me all year how I felt about my mechanics, I would say they were off, to tell you the truth, until today. So, I’m really excited to stop making adjustments and really just working on pitch selection and pitch location. As a pitcher, sometimes those things happen. It clicks for you and you go from there.”

Alfonso Soriano added a home run, his 17th, and Junior Lake, recalled by Chicago from Triple-A Iowa before the game, had three hits in his major league debut, including a double in his first career at-bat. Darwin Barney drove in an insurance run with a ninth-inning double.

Samardzija (6-9) kept the Rockies in check by limiting them to one run on four hits in 7 1-3 innings, bouncing back after tying a career high by allowing nine runs in a 13-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on July 10.

“Tonight, the guy was nasty and dominated,” Michael Cuddyer said. “You’ve got to tip your hat every once in a while. He pitched really well.”

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