The Cardinals entered the second game of their three-game set with the Rockies in Colorado at 2-2 on their road trip, sending RHP Jake Westbrook (9-8, 3.61 ERA) to the hill to face off against Colorado’s LHP Drew Pomeranz (1-6, 4.99 ERA). Trying to keep pace with the red-hot Reds and Pirates the Cardinals came back to beat the Rockies 6-5, thanks to a mammoth 3-run home run by Matt Holliday in the top of the 7th inning. Holliday’s blast was his second of the game and his 5th RBI, erasing a 5-3 deficit.
Westbrook worked out of jams in the 1st and 2nd innings but could not bail himself out in the 6th inning. He finished with 6 innings pitched allowing 5 runs on 9 hits. Thanks to Matt Holliday’s titanic blast, Westbrook still recorded his 10th win on the year. Pomeranz lasted only 4 inning, giving up 3 ER on 5 hits.
Nearly half of the crowd at Coors Field was decked out in Cardinal red as ‘The Best Fans in Baseball’ continued to support their Redbirds away from Busch Stadium.
The Cardinals offense gave their fans something to cheer about in the early going as Holliday staked the visitors to a two-run lead in the first inning, lining a Pomeranz curveball over the right field wall. Allen Craig found himself playing first base and batting second following his 3-3 performance on Tuesday, and blooped a single into left field in his first plate appearance on Wednesday. Holliday followed with his 20th home run of the year. In the bottom of the 1st, Daniel Descalso turned in a sparkling defensive play robbing Andrew Brown of a basehit, turning a double play, and rescuing Westbrook from a 2-on nobody out jam.
The second inning offered more of the same. Doubles from Yadier Molina and Tyler Greene added to the Cards lead, making it 3-0. Greene’s double was almost a 2-run home run but a near-impossible athletic play from Carlos Gonzalez in left field batted the ball from over the wall and back into play, saving the Rockies a run.
Colorado stormed to the lead in the 6th inning with 4 straight hits off of Westbrook. Andrew Brown led off with a double, and after a Jordan Pacheco double brought him home, another Colvin triple would prove costly. His three-bagger scored Pacheco to tie the score at 3. Hernandez then doubled over the head of Jay in center field, and the Rockies grabbed a 4-3 lead. After a groundout, Eric Young scorched a double to score Hernandez but was thrown out trying to stretch it to a triple by a good deke at third by David Freese. Freese tricked Young into thinking there would be no play, and tagged him out as Young did not slide.
A Skip Schumaker walk and Descalso single set the stage for Holliday in the 7th, who crushed a Rex Brothers fastball deep into the seats in left field. It was Holliday’s 21st home run of the year and his 75th RBI, tying him with teammate Carlos Beltran for the NL lead.
The game was delayed by rain at the start of the 8th inning. 87 minutes later, the Cards padded their lead with three runs in the final two innings to the final tally of 9-6. Both Mitchell Boggs and Mark Rzepczynski threw a scoreless inning of relief, and the Rockies could only muster one run in the bottom of the 9th.
David Freese extended his hit streak to 12 games with a 4th inning double, picking up where he left off in July on the first day of August. Edward Mujica made his Cardinals debut, throwing a scoreless bottom of the 7th inning.
The Cardinals go for the series sweep in the final game of the 3 game set on Thursday. Lance Lynn takes on Alex White (2-6, 6.45 ERA) for the Rockies. Game time is scheduled for 7:40 PM CT. Lynn is 13-4 with a 3.42 ERA in 20 starts this year. St. Louis sits 7 games behind the Major League leading Reds in the NL Central.