DENVER — Dave Sappelt had his first shot at the leadoff spot Tuesday night when the Cubs began a three-game series against the Rockies on their final trip of the season.
Sappelt cranked his first major league home run in his first at-bat and doubled in his second.
“Since he’s been here he’s given us really good at-bats, shown the ability to hit a fastball and getting his walks as well,” manager Dale Sveum said before the game. “Thought I’d just stick him in that leadoff spot and see what happens.”
Sappelt was 4-for-25 (.160) on the recent homestand and was hitting .244 since being called up from Triple-A Iowa on Sept. 1.
Starlin Castro also homered for the Cubs, who lost, 10-5, when the game was called because of rain after 6 ½ innings.
The game was played in a steady downpour from the outset, and the field is soaked.
Rookie Chris Rusin started for the Cubs, seeking his second major league victory, but allowed six runs on seven hits over 3 1/3 innings.
Staked to a 3-0 first-inning lead, Rusin gave up a solo homer to Wilin Rosario in the second. After Castro homered off Jorge De La Rosa in the third, the Rockies answered with a two-run triple by Tyler Colvin in the bottom of the inning.
De La Rosa was yanked after three innings, and Darwin Barney’s run-scoring single in the fourth off Carlos Torres gave the Cubs their fifth run. But the Rockies came back with three in the fourth, taking the lead on Josh Rutledge’s two-run double off Rafael Dolis. Matt McBride added a three-run homer in the fifth to make it 9-5.
The Cubs are 22-53 on the road and are two losses shy of tying the franchise record for road losses, set in 1953 (22-55) and tied in 1997 (26-55).