Not many people expected the Cubs to compete this year, so their 17-23 record 40 games into the season is no surprise.

Even fewer thought they would go into the middle of May with only two combined victories from Jeff Samardzija and Edwin Jackson, the Nos. 1-2 pitchers in the rotation.

The return of Matt Garza, combined with Samardzija and Jackson, was supposed to give the Cubs a solid threesome that would matchup well with almost any other staff in the National League.

Wednesday, Samardzija snapped a personal five-game losing streak in a 6-3 victory over the Rockies, adding his first home run in nearly four years.

Time for an extension?

"Nope," he said. "I'm having fun. This is a great team. We're really coming around right now, playing great baseball. We're not shooting ourselves in the foot. Just really looking to keep this momentum going that we've built up here in the last couple of weeks. It's exciting in the locker room to play with these guys. Every day is a new day."

It was the first series triumph for the Cubs since Aug. 25-26, when they also beat the Rockies two out of three. They moved into a fourth-place tie with Brewers, taking baby steps in their search for respectability.

David DeJesus also homered and Anthony Rizzo went 2-for-4 with an RBI, leaving him at .392 since April 26.

What has been the difference?

"Maybe the contract, I don't know," Rizzo said with a grin of his new deal.

Samardzija was his own worst enemy in his last start against the Nationals, and despite some good outings has lacked the consistency the Cubs expected out of him after a solid 2012.

But he stayed out of the big inning Wednesday and turned in a strong performance, allowing two runs on five hits over eight innings, his longest start since winning the opener in Pittsburgh on April 1.