ST. LOUIS – Mother’s Day was not very favorable to the St. Louis Cardinals Sunday afternoon.
One day after almost no hitting Colorado, the Rockies returned the favor, holding St. Louis hitless through the first six and two-thirds innings on the way to beating the Cardinals 8-2.
“I think we just ran into someone who is throwing the ball really well,” Cardinals’ skipper Mike Matheny said. “He (Jorge De La Rosa) mixed it up well and kept us off balance and we couldn’t get a lot going.”
Cardinals’ third baseman David Freese broke up the no-hit bid with a two-out single to right field in the bottom of the seventh while pinch hitter Matt Adams ruined the shutout with a one-out single to right in the bottom of the ninth.
“About the sixth inning I started thinking about what we had did and if the opposing team had ever come back with a no hitter,” Freese said. “It was just nice to capitalize in the ninth and get some runs and get on the board.”
When Freese reached base, the crowd again erupted in cheers. Not like yesterday’s performance from Adam Wainwright, but instead because the home team would not be held hitless for the game.
“It has been an unusual weekend I guess with pitching on both sides,” Freese said. “With us the first couple of days and (Jorge) De La Rosa today, it was exceptional. You never want to lose a game, but you never want to get no hit either. I remember last year that was pretty frustrating against Santana, but it was creeping up on us, so it was nice to get it out of the way.”
Once the Cardinals had their first hit, the second one came quickly when Jon Jay followed Freese’s single with a double that bounced off the wall down the left field line and moved Freese to third, but Kozma lined out to first to end the inning.
“I think that is just how baseball works,” Freese said. “We just got on the board with that hit and Jay put a good piece of wood on the double down the line.”
Colorado hitters tagged St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia early with hits in each of the first three innings. But it was a three-run homer from Troy Tulowitzki that gave Colorado its first lead – and runs – of the series.
The 394-foot blast by Tulowitzki ended the Cardinals’ string of 25 scoreless innings pitched. It was St. Louis’ second such stretch this year. Last month the Cardinals had a string of 39 scoreless.
Page 2 of 3 - “It was a changeup that I was trying to go down and away,” Garcia said. “It said up and he put a good swing on it.”
Colorado (20-17) added another homer in the sixth when recently recalled Charlie Blackmon hit his fourth career home run, a 407-foot shot, to extend the Rockies’ lead to 5-0.
“That was just execution,” Garcia said. “I threw a curveball 0-2. I struck him out with a curveball in his first at bat and it just stayed up in the zone. It is just one of those things. You can say whatever you want, I tried to do too much or I just didn’t execute the pitch. But the guy had a pretty good swing on the ball.”
The Rockies final three runs came in the eighth off rookie reliever Carlos Martinez.
While St. Louis (23-13) was being held hitless, the Cardinals did manage three walks. Leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter had two of the free passes while Pete Kozma drew the other one.
The Cardinals’ hitters finished with six hits, adding one hit in the eighth and three more (all pinch hits) ninth-inning base knocks.
“It was nice to get a few guys at the end of the game to get a little confidence booster,” Matheny said. “Three pinch hits off the bench with some guys who needed it. There are some positives, but it is a hard way to end a good series that we played.”
With one out in the bottom of the eight, Carpenter received credit for a single when Rockies second basemen Josh Rutledge mishandled a ground ball, but he was left stranded.
“(De La Rosa) really had his changeup working good today and he kept us off balance,” Carpenter said. “The times where we did square him up, it seemed like he went right after our guys. You have to tip your cap, he really pitched well.”
Pinch hitter Daniel Descalso hit a broken pink bat double to left to lead off the ninth and then moved to third on a one-out single from pinch hitter Ty Wiggington. Adams then pinch hit for the pitcher and drove in Descalso to get the Cardinals on the scoreboard.
“The guys battled,” Freese said. “We are going to battle all nine innings. Against (Matt) Belisle in the ninth, it was cool to see everybody get things going and put some runs on the board.”
After a wild pitch moved Wiggington and Adams up 90 feet, Kozma drilled a sacfly to center to score Wiggington.
Garcia (4-2) was unable to match what St. Louis’ previous two pitchers did. Garcia allowed eight hits and five runs while walking one. Garcia threw 96 pitches and struck out seven over six innings of work.
Page 3 of 3 - “Obviously these guys have been doing an unbelievable job,” Garcia said. “You want to be able to continue a good thing. The main thing you want every time you go out there is to give your team a chance to win and I feel like what I do every single time.”
“Jaime had a couple of pretty tough acts to follow,” Matheny said. “He came out pretty good at the beginning and just had a couple of things happen that didn’t go his way.”
St. Louis will now open a four-game series with the New York Mets tonight. Because of the TV schedule, first pitch will be at 6:05 p.m.