DENVER – Cole Hamels was sharp – even when his fastball hit Nolan Arenado in the arm.
At least that's what Arenado thinks.
Hamels struck out nine in seven scoreless innings, singled twice and drove in two runs to lead the Chicago Cubs past the Colorado Rockies 10-1 in a testy game Wednesday.
It was the third straight start Hamels went at least seven innings and didn't allow an earned run, but his performance was overshadowed by tensions between the teams that likely contributed to four batters getting hit by pitches.
Arenado departed in the fifth inning with a left forearm contusion after Hamels (6-2) plunked him in the third, and three more batters – including Hamels – were hit by pitches later in the game.
“It kind of got out of hand but I hope Nolan's all right,” said Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, one of the four victims.
Javier Báez and Kyle Schwarber homered for Chicago, which snapped a five-game road losing streak. Colorado's 10-game home winning streak ended.
Arenado looked toward the mound after he was hit by Hamels' pitch, and he said something to the Chicago dugout before walking to first base. Ryan McMahon replaced him in the top of the fifth.
X-rays on his arm were negative.
“When I first got hit, I knew it was on the meat, where the muscle is, so I was feeling OK,” Arenado said. “But it was throbbing and it got super-tight, and sometimes when it gets super-tight quick it can be a break.”
He wasn't surprised when Hamels's pitch got him in the forearm. Chicago's Kris Bryant was hit by pitches three times in the first two games of the series, and he missed time last year after getting hit in the head by German Márquez at Coors Field.
“We hit Bryant twice yesterday, buzzed Báez's tower there on a 1-1 pitch, so I kind of had a feeling it was going to happen,” Arenado said.
Bryant was given the day off, and before the game manager Joe Maddon said it was, in part, because he had been “ball-peened the last couple of days.”
Chicago scored five times in the second off Antonio Sentenzela (5-5). Jason Heyward had a two-run single and Schwarber hit three-run homer to the second deck in right-center, his 14th. Sentenzela lasted to the fifth inning, when he gave up three more runs, two on a single by Hamels.