Missed opportunities at Coors Field help sink Cubs vs. Rockies

The Cubs dropped the series finale 7-3.

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The Cubs’ Christopher Morel reacts after flying out with the bases loaded against Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Tyler Kinley to end the top of the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game.

The Cubs’ Christopher Morel reacts after flying out with the bases loaded against Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Tyler Kinley to end the top of the eighth inning of Wednesday’s game.

David Zalubowski/AP

DENVER — Coors Field is notorious for being a hitter-friendly ballpark. The altitude helps the ball fly over the fence, and an expansive outfield leaves extra space for balls in the air to fall.

But in the course of their three-game series against the Rockies, including their 7-3 loss Wednesday, the Cubs scored 12 runs and dropped the series 2-1.

‘‘The importance of adding on to leads here in this ballpark is obviously a big deal with the run-scoring environment,’’ said second baseman Nico Hoerner, who went 4-for-5 in his third career four-hit game. ‘‘Not a lack of quality at-bats. Just felt like we never really had the game-changing swing the last couple of days — as well as some outs on the bases, myself included. Those are never great, but especially here, where you want to let your hitters work as much as possible.’’

The Cubs twice loaded the bases with one out — in the second and eighth innings — and stranded all six runners.

‘‘We’ve got a nice off day [Thursday] and got Arizona ahead of us,’’ manager David Ross said. ‘‘So looking forward to that series.’’

Hoerner milestone

Hoerner logged his 40th stolen base of the season, making him the first Cubs player with 40 since Juan Pierre had 58 in 2006.

Hoerner (62 RBI) is only the third Cubs player in the last century with at least 40 steals and 60 RBI in a season, joining Ryne Sandberg (1985) and Kiki Cuyler (1929).

‘‘If you had told me I’d steal 40 bases in the big leagues a couple of years ago, I’d be pretty fired up,’’ Hoerner said. ‘‘Not something that I’ve always done at a super-high level. I’ve always played the game hard and run decently, but you look back at my career, whether it’s college or the minor leagues, I never was stealing bases in huge numbers.’’

The most bases he had stolen before reaching the majors was 15 in his last year at Stanford, according to Baseball-Reference. com.

‘‘So just a lot of credit to [first-base coach] Mike Napoli and Rossy for giving me a lot of information and opportunities,’’ Hoerner said. ‘‘It’s a real skill, and it’s a lot more than just how fast you can run.’’

Stroman update

Right-hander Marcus Stroman (fractured rib cartilage) was set to throw a bullpen session Wednesday at the Cubs’ complex in Arizona. He threw a live batting-practice session Monday, the second of his throwing progression, and is getting on a starter-like five-day schedule.

‘‘I think a healthy version of him is a good thing for us, however we use that,’’ Ross said in recent weeks.

Iowa rehab

The Cubs said relievers Brandon Hughes (knee surgery) and Nick Burdi (appendectomy) came out of their most recent rehab outings for Triple-A Iowa healthy.

Hughes had his best results yet Tuesday, throwing a clean inning in his fourth appearance of this rehab assignment. Burdi didn’t allow a run, but he walked a batter and hit another.

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