(BaseballStL) -- The St. Louis Cardinals threw a right hook in the first inning, a jab in the second inning, and delivered a devastating uppercut in the third inning to knock Colorado Rockies starter Juan Nicasio out of Tuesday’s game.
The Cardinals were aided by two-out RBI singles from Yadier Molina in the first inning and Matt Carpenter in the second for an early 2-0 lead before the slugfest at Coors Field took place.
Matt Holliday kickstarted the third inning with his 30th double of the season. Carlos Beltran lined out to shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who also almost doubled-off Holliday at second base, for the first out. Molina missed a home run by a few feet as his 40th double capped an eight-pitch at-bat to score Holliday, the team’s third run of the game.
After a mound visit, Matt Adams drove Molina in from second with a single which was followed by a walk to David Freese on six pitches. Daniel Descalso drove both runners in with a triple that hit the right field chalk line on his first pitch of the at-bat, a 90-mph fastball. Cardinals starter Joe Kelly flew out to right field for the second out of the inning. Carpenter followed with his second two-out RBI single of the game to score Descalso and knock Nicasio out of the game after 2 2/3 innings pitched.
Reliever Rob Scahill allowed back-to-back singles to Jon Jay and Holliday, who scored Carpenter from third base, to cap a six-run third inning and give St. Louis an 8-0 lead.
All runs scored were earned runs charged to Nicasio, who threw 71 total pitches. His final stat line read: 2 2/3 IP / 8 H / 8 R / 8 ER / 3 BB / 2 K
Nicasio had been on somewhat of a roll in his two previous starts this month (both no-decisions). He allowed one earned run on five hits and four walks over five innings in his last start, a 4-3 loss to San Francisco on September 11, and allowed one earned run on four hits and two walks while striking out seven over six innings in a 4-3 loss to the San Diego Padres on September 6.
His earned-run average started at 4.58, but finished at 4.98 on Tuesday.
Scott Bierman covers the Cardinals, Blues and Rams for KMOV.com and its associated mobile applications (BaseballStL, HockeyStL, and FootballStL). You can follow him on Twitter @Scott_Bierman for more information.