Two pitchers who made their Major League debuts in the last six weeks will face each other in the series finale between the Cubs and Rockies at Coors Field.
One of them has been more successful than the other: Kyle Hendricks, who is 2-1 with a 2.05 ERA in four starts for the Cubs.
After Hendricks notched the second victory of his career Friday -- which was actually his first W at Dodger Stadium -- his family wanted to celebrate, but the only place open late near the Cubs' team hotel was a 24-hour taco stand.
"It was perfect," said the rookie Cubs pitcher. "We sat outside, I had some Mexican food with my family. It was a good end to the night."
Pitching at Dodger Stadium was special for Hendricks, who grew up about an hour from the ballpark. He had gone to games there as a kid, and even pitched one inning in a high school showcase event. In his last start, the right-hander held the National League West leaders to two runs (one earned) on four hits over seven innings.
And the other pitcher, taking the ball for the Rockies, is Yohan Flande, a 28-year-old rookie with a 5.72 ERA in six games (five starts) who has yet to get a W of his own.
His numbers don't say much, but his last start, which actually came against the Cubs on July 28, was the best one he'd turned in at the Major League level. In 6 2/3 innings, he held Chicago to two earned runs on just four hits and an intentional walk. He even struck out eight of the 24 batters he faced.
Flande faced the minimum nine batters over the first three innings, surrendered two runs in the fourth, and eventually retired 10 of his final 11 batters.
"I held a little bit more against those hitters that had a leg kick, like Junior Lake and Starlin Castro, and I did pretty well throwing my fastball inside," Flande said through an intepretor after the game.
He'll be looking for his first big league win Thursday.
Cubs: Changes in lineup felt
Chris Coghlan was back in the lineup Wednesday after nearly ripping the nail off the big toe on his left foot on Monday. He did pinch-hit Tuesday, but had to be lifted for a pinch-runner.
In his return, he was a homer shy of the cycle.
Elsewhere in the lineup, Arismendy Alcantara was moved to the sixth spot after batting .205 in leadoff. He was 4-for-21 in four August games before Wednesday night, when he hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning to give the Cubs a shortlived three-run lead.
"We want to try to take away a little bit of the pressure," manager Rick Renteria said before Wednesday's loss. "He still looks calm but the results haven't been what he wants. Seeing how guys work ahead of him might give him a different perspective, a different view."
Rockies: CarGo's return proves fruitful
After injuring his ankle on a highlight-worthy sliding catch in foul territory Friday in Detroit, Carlos Gonzalez missed three straight games. Manager Walt Weiss had thought Gonzalez might need a stint on the disabled list.
But the progress the right fielder made since sustaining the injury allowed Weiss use him as a pinch-hitter on Tuesday and then to put him in the lineup Wednesday.
Gonzalez went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and scored three runs as his team routed the Cubs 13-4. He ended up being a triple shy of the cycle and, ironically, lined out to Coghlan in his last at-bat.
Gonzalez has historically crushed the Cubs. He's now hitting .364 (39-for-107) with eight doubles, two triples, nine homers and 20 RBIs in 27 games against them.
• If the Cubs win on Thursday, they would secure their first series victory in Denver in 10 years since sweeping a three-game set from Aug. 3-4, 2004.
• Coghlan has reached safely in 29 of his last 31 games dating to June 30, hitting safely in 26 of those contests. He is hitting .396 (42-for-106) with 13 doubles, four homers, 17 RBIs and 15 walks in that span.
Maria Torres is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.