St. Louis Cardinals' Colby Rasmus (28) is tagged out at home plate by Colorado Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta (20) during the second inning of an MLB baseball game, Friday, May 27, 2011, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey) By Jack Dempsey
Colorado Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta (20) tags out St. Louis Cardinals' Daniel Descalso (33) at home plate during the sixth inning of an MLB baseball game, Friday, May 27, 2011, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey) By Jack Dempsey
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jake Westbrook throws to the plate against the Colorado Rockies during the first inning of an MLB baseball game, Friday, May 27, 2011, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey) By Jack Dempsey
DENVER (AP) -- Colby Rasmus went 4 for 5 and drove in three runs with two triples and the St. Louis Cardinals kept Ubaldo Jimenez winless this season with a 10-3 win over the sinking Colorado Rockies on Friday night.
Rasmus, mired in an 0-for-20 funk coming in, matched his career high with four hits. He singled his first two times up, then broke a 3-3 tie in the sixth with an RBI triple off Jimenez. He added a two-run triple in the seventh off Matt Daley.
Jake Westbrook (5-3) wasn't particularly sharp but still improved to 3-0 all-time against Colorado, giving up three earned runs on five hits over five innings in his first appearance at Coors Field since 2003.
Jimenez, last year's NL All-Star starter, fell to 0-5 and watched his ERA jump to 5.86.
With their fourth straight loss at home, the Rockies fell two games below .500 for the first time in more than a year. They have lost 18 of 25 games this month and Jimenez, last year's NL All-Star starter, fell to 0-5 and watched his ERA jump to 5.86.
A year ago at this time, Jimenez was 9-1 with an ERA of 0.88.
Rasmus' first triple sailed over the head of center fielder Eric Young Jr., a former second baseman who was called up from the minors before the game to give the Rockies' struggling offense a spark. Young was subbing for Dexter Fowler, who very well might have chased down Rasmus' drive that sparked a three-run rally.
Nobody could have caught up to Rasmus' second triple, though, which went into the right-field corner and scored two more runs. Rasmus tagged up and scored on Yadier Molina's sacrifice fly to make it 9-3.
Jimenez has struggled with his fastball command all season, but the one thing he was doing just like last year was holding hitters in check. Opponents were batting just .212 off him coming in, but he surrendered career-high 12 hits and six earned runs over six up-and-down innings.
Jimenez, who acknowledged recently that it wasn't just the cracked cuticle in his pitching thumb that bothered him this season but also a hip flexor and strained groin in spring training, was coming off his best performance of the year, a two-hitter in a 3-1 loss at Milwaukee.
He regressed almost from the start.
After striking out the first hitter he faced, Jimenez gave up a double to Jon Jay and the first of Albert Pujols' two RBI singles.
The Rockies took a 2-1 lead in the second when Ty Wigginton hit a run-scoring single and scored on Chris Iannetta's double, but Jimenez gave up five hits in the third, when Pujols and Allen Craig had RBI singles. Jimenez escaped further trouble by picking off one runner and stranding two more.
The Rockies tied it at 3 in the bottom half when Young sped home from second base on Carlos Gonzalez's rather routine single to left. Colorado loaded the bases, but Wigginton struck out and Ryan Spilborghs hit into a fielder's choice, and the Rockies wouldn't get another hit.
The Cardinals matched a season high with 19 hits.
After Rasmus broke the tie with his triple in the sixth, he scored on Molina's groundout and pinch-runner Kyle Lohse made it 6-3 when he scored from third on a wild pitch by Jimenez.
In the fourth, Westbrook had an 11-pitch at-bat before drawing a walk from Jimenez. In the bottom half of the inning, Westbrook struck out Jimenez on three straight sinkers.
It was that kind of night for the Rockies, who have followed a 17-8 start with a 7-18 nosedive.
Notes: Cardinals LHP Brian Tallet left the game with a 3-2 count on the only batter he faced in the eighth. The Cardinals said he had left elbow tightness. ... Rockies RHP Aaron Cook (broken right pointer finger) is making his final rehab start in Colorado Springs on Saturday and if all goes well will come off the DL next week, and RHP Esmil Rogers (side muscle) will throw 45-50 pitches Monday at extended spring training. ... Cardinals slugger Matt Holliday missed his fourth straight start with a strained left quadriceps. He pinch-hit in the sixth, but was intentionally walked. ... RHP Bruce Billings made his major league debut for Colorado with a scoreless eighth inning.
Arnie Stapleton can be reached at http://twitter.com/arniestapleton
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)