Photo is credited to Getty Images.
The Cardinals and Rockies met at Busch Stadium this week to play a three-game series, their first since August of last season.
Game One: Rockies 3, Cardinals 1 — WP: Chad Bettis (4-2) LP: Jaime Garcia (3-3) SV: Jake McGee (13)
Carrying a four-game winning streak into the first game of the series, the Rockies beat the Cardinals by a 3-1 score on Tuesday to extend their streak to five.
Backed by a strong performance from starter Chad Bettis, the Rockies held the Cardinals hitless through four innings and scoreless until Randal Grichuk recorded an RBI single as a pinch-hitter in the seventh, accounting for the only run the Cardinals could manufacture against Colorado’s pitching staff.
Jaime Garcia started for the Cardinals and got in trouble in the fourth inning after allowing a leadoff walk with the Rockies already up by one run. The Rockies plated two runs in the fourth on RBIs from DJ LeMahieu and Bettis. With an enlarged lead, the Rockies put the game back in the hands of their pitchers.
Bettis was pulled after his pitch count broke the 100-plus plateau in the seventh inning, and Colorado’s bullpen picked up right where Bettis left off. Boone Logan, Carlos Estevez, and Jake McGee recorded the final seven outs of the game, three via the strikeout.
McGee recorded his thirteenth save of the season, which (as of Tuesday night) is the second most in baseball behind Jeanmar Gomez of the Phillies, who has saved sixteen games.
–Prior to the game, the Cardinals activated outfielder Tommy Pham off the disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Memphis.
Game Two: Cardinals 2, Rockies 0 — WP: Adam Wainwright (4-3) LP: Chris Rusin (1-2) SV: Trevor Rosenthal (9)
A turnaround performance from their starting pitcher and a pair of early runs led the Cardinals to a 2-0, series-evening win over the Rockies on Wednesday night.
Adam Wainwright started for St. Louis and had his most polished outing of the season by far, shutting out the Rockies through his near-seven-inning outing.
After striking out against Colorado starter Chris Rusin to begin the game, Matt Carpenter recorded a one-out base hit off of him in the third inning. Stephen Piscotty followed with a single, and the two both scored on a double off the bat of Matt Holliday. The double snapped Holliday’s recent 0-for-15 funk with the bat.
Rusin allowed just the two aforementioned runs in his six innings of work, but his offense did not provide him with any runs of support to lean on.
Wainwright was removed from the game with two outs in the seventh with the Rockies’ batting order looping back around and a pitch count of over 102. Kevin Siegrist entered the game in place of Wainwright as part of a double switch and recorded the final out of the seventh, as well as the entire eighth inning.
Trevor Rosenthal worked a successful ninth inning to notch his ninth save of the season.
–After he caught the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game, Yadier Molina surpassed Ted Simmons as the Cardinals’ franchise leader in innings caught with 12,336.
-Adam Wainwright’s 6 2/3 innings of no-run ball was the longest the Cardinals’ starter has carried a shutout into an outing since September of 2014.
Game Three: Cardinals 13, Rockies 7 — WP: Tyler Lyons (1-0) LP: Jon Gray (1-2)
Backed by a six-RBI night from their third baseman and a key fourth inning, the Cardinals beat the Rockies on Thursday to capture a series win.
The Cardinals got to Rockies starter Jon Gray early with four runs in the first two innings, two of the runs on a sharp single to left off the bat of Matt Adams in the first.
The Rockies chipped away at the deficit over the next two innings and had a two-run lead after their half of the fourth inning, knocking Cardinals starter Michael Wacha out of the game. Trevor Story laced a double to center to plate a pair, Daniel Descalso drove in two, and Gray and Charlie Blackmon each drove in a run.
Matt Carpenter, with a double to his credit already, tied the game with a bases-loaded double in the fourth to score two. Adams drove in two in the fourth, and Aledmys Diaz and Stephen Piscotty each knocked in a run, giving St. Louis their four-run lead back.
Colorado shortstop Trevor Story hit a solo home run off of Tyler Lyons — who entered the game after the fourth inning in relief of Wacha — in the top of the seventh, accounting for Colorado’s final run of the evening. Carpenter smashed his ninth homer of the year in the eighth, a three-run shot to provide the Cardinals with three additional runs of support en route to their 13-7 victory.
-Matt Carpenter’s home run in the eighth was the twelfth three-run home run the Cardinals have hit this season. Carpenter’s six RBIs from the leadoff spot was the first time that has happened for the Cardinals in nearly fourteen years.
Rockies: The Rockies will continue their roadtrip with a stop at PNC Park in Pittsburgh to take on the Pirates, who took two of three from the Braves in their recent series.
Cardinals: The Cardinals will play host to the Arizona Diamondbacks for three games. The Diamondbacks took two of three from the Yankees over the week.