(Photo credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports)
Nico Hoerner had two hits, two walks and two RBIs to help the Chicago Cubs to a 6-3 win against the visiting Colorado Rockies in the second game of their three-game series on Saturday afternoon.
Christopher Morel homered and Miles Mastrobuoni had two hits and scored two runs for the Cubs (81-74), who have won two straight after losing seven of eight.
Chicago entered the game with a one-game lead over the Miami Marlins for the final wild-card spot in the National League.
Cubs right-hander Marcus Stroman returned to the starting rotation for the first time since July 31 and allowed three runs and five hits in three innings. He struck out two and walked one.
Stroman was relieved by Javier Assad (5-3) -- who was listed to start Sunday's series finale. Assad threw four scoreless innings, allowing two hits with six strikeouts and no walks.
Rockies starter Chris Flexen allowed two runs and five hits in five innings. He struck out one and walked two.
Ezequiel Tovar had three hits and a run scored and Brenton Doyle had two hits and an RBI for the Rockies (56-98), who have lost six in a row.
Nick Mears (0-1) started the seventh for Colorado and walked Mike Tauchman, Hoerner and Ian Happ to start the inning, throwing just one of 13 pitches for a strike.
Justin Lawrence entered and gave up a sacrifice fly to Cody Bellinger for a 4-3 lead but prevented further damage.
Chicago reliever Julian Merryweather escaped a bases-loaded one-out jam in the eighth before Morel's 25th homer of the season made it 5-3 in the bottom half of the frame. Hoerner added an RBI single later in the inning for a 6-3 lead.
After Happ delivered an RBI double in the first, Stroman surrendered three runs in the Colorado second to put Chicago behind 3-1.
An RBI single by Elias Diaz tied the score 1-1 before a wild pitch brought home another run to give the Rockies a 2-1 lead.
Stroman got the second out of the inning, but Doyle dropped an RBI double into left-center field to make it 3-1.
The Cubs cut it to 3-2 on Hoerner's sacrifice fly in the fifth inning.
Jake Bird started the sixth for the Rockies and gave up an RBI double to Yan Gomes to tie the score 3-3.
--Field Level Media