Baseball / Sports

Colorado Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario (20) is unable to come up with the ball as Chicago Cubs second baseman Arismendy Alcantara (7) scores on a Justin Ruggiano sacrifice fly in the fourth inning on Monday, July 28, 2014, at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Ill. (E. Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

Tsuyoshi Wada sharp as Cubs top Rockies, 4-1

CHICAGO -- With Thursday's 3 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline approaching, the audition continues for Cubs players strengthening their case to stay with the team and those showcasing their skills Monday night in front of teams such as the Mariners, Giants, Blue Jays and Brewers.

Tsuyoshi Wada might have secured a spot in the rotation for a few more starts, as he pitched seven innings of one-run ball as the Cubs beat the Rockies 4-1. Wada, 33, struck out six and walked one.

With the Cubs starting a stretch of at least four consecutive games against left-handed starters, Junior Lake will get a chance to salvage part of what has been a disappointing season. Lake, whose playing time has diminished because of his 96 strikeouts in 269 at-bats and the lack of left-handed opponents, went 0-for-2 before he was lifted for a pinch hitter.

The Mariners, who had two scouts at Monday's game, were interested in Lake during spring training. But a scouting source indicated the Mariners are casting a wider net in their hopes to fortify their chances of reaching the postseason.

Much of the pregame talk surrounded the Dodgers' trade for second baseman Darwin Barney, whom the Cubs designated for assignment on July 22. The Cubs will receive a player to be named later for Barney and cash considerations.

"Once we heard that we designated him, we knew he'd land on his feet in no time," left-handed reliever James Russell said. "He's a heck of a defensive player."

Last week, team President Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer said in separate interviews that the Cubs didn't have to make another trade by Thursday just for the sake of doing so.

But the Cubs still have players who are being scrutinized closely, with Russell and infielder Emilio Bonifacio among them.

The Dodgers are believed to be looking at Russell, as J.P. Howell is their lone experienced left-handed reliever with help from former starter Paul Maholm.

Bonifacio made only his second start at third base but has attracted interested from the Giants, who also are looking at Gordon Beckham, according to a scouting source.

The switch-hitting Bonifacio, who has played center field and second base for most of this season, fueled the Cubs' two-run fourth with a single and hit a single in the eighth.

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