The Friendly Confines have never seemed friendlier, and that's a big reason why the Cubs are the best team in baseball entering June for the first time in 100 years.
Alfonso Soriano homered, Jim Edmonds drove in two runs, and the Chicago Cubs beat the reeling Colorado Rockies 5-3 on Sunday to complete a perfect seven-game homestand.
The Cubs entered June with the best record in baseball for the first time since 1908, when they last won a World Series. They started the new month by finishing a four-game sweep of the defending National League champions and sending them to their seventh straight loss.
Chicago is 26-8 at Wrigley Field after wrapping up its first perfect homestand of at least seven games since April 14-26, 1970. Now, they'll try to establish some momentum away from home.
The road has been far less friendly, and one concern is that they've played 11 more games at home than they have on the road.
"At the end of the day, you should play better at home," second baseman Mark DeRosa said. "I just think the splits and the numbers get skewed. We've only been on the road two or three times. You run into one bad road trip, it looks worse than it is."
The Cubs play 23 of their next 32 games on the road, where they're 10-13 heading into a seven-game trip to San Diego and Los Angeles.
"We'll get a pretty good gauge of where we're at," Piniella said.
Meanwhile, the injury-plagued Rockies are on their worst slide since they dropped eight in a row over that same span, and they're showing no signs of a turnaround. They're 20-37 after their 16th loss in 21 games and are 17 games below .500 for the first time since they finished the 2005 season at 67-95.
"We're playing hard," manager Clint Hurdle said. "We continue to get dinged now and then with some execution issues and that elusive big hit is still out there."
Chicago rookie Sean Gallagher (3-1) dominated them at times, allowing three runs and six hits while striking out a career-high eight batters in 5 2/3 innings. He did not allow a walk but hit two while winning his second straight start, and left with a 4-2 lead following a double by Omar Quintanilla in the sixth.
Michael Wuertz came on and promptly gave up an RBI double to Yorvit Torrealba and walked Ryan Spilborghs before Scott Eyre caught Willy Taveras looking at a 3-2 fastball. Bob Howry pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings for Chicago, before Kerry Wood worked the ninth for his 14th save in 18 chances.
Edmonds appears to be in a good place at the moment. He homered and had three hits on Friday and followed that with another big day at the plate on Sunday.
He tripled off the center-field wall in the second, drove an RBI double off the ivy in left in the fourth and walked with the bases loaded in the fifth to make it 4-2. Soriano made it 5-3 with a solo shot in the sixth -- his 13th homer of the season and his second in as many games.
Aramis Ramirez added two singles, a double and an RBI as the Cubs (36-21) matched their longest win streak since they won seven straight from June 22-29.
"It's getting there," said Edmonds, who began the season on the disabled list and got cut by San Diego before joining the Cubs. "It doesn't mean much unless you do it tomorrow."
Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez (1-6) remained winless since April 8, allowing four runs, three earned, and seven hits in five innings. He's 0-5 in his last 10 starts, and the Rockies are 1-11 in games he's pitched.
Jimenez got dinged in the first when Ryan Theriot drove a single off his left knee before scoring on Ramirez's base hit, but he stayed in there and expects to make his next start.
"I didn't want to come out of the game," Jimenez said. "I wanted to be there and do everything possible to stay deep in the game."