ST. LOUIS — Trevor Rosenthal would come on for a flawless ninth, striking out the side for the save. It would be his 44th, and leave him three away from tying the franchise record.
Adding to the lead
The Cardinals added to their lead in the eighth, when A.J. Pierzynski began the inning with a pinch hit single. Matheny opted to have Greg Garcia run for him, and three pitches later he was standing on third.
Yadier Molina’s ground rule double put two in coring position and brought up Mark Ellis. The veteran was hitting in place of Kolten Wong, and ended up hitting a grounder to reliever Rex Brothers.
Garcia was running on the contact and was caught at home for the first out, but Molina moved to leave men at the corners for Daniel Descalso.
A passed ball followed, and this time Molina would have enough time to score. With a three-run lead, Descalso beat out a grounder to second base. The utility man beat Brothers to the bag, and upon review was ruled safe.
Peter Bourjos would try to drag bunt, but he popped the ball up to the catcher for the second out. Matt Carpenter would end the inning with a grounder to short.
St. Louis surges
St. Louis plated the tying runner on a double in the third, and it came off the bat of Matt Holliday once again.
After Jon Jay beat out a double play throw, he was moved to second when a pick off attempt sailed to the dugout railing.
Holliday turned on a ball to send it to the left field corner, allowing Jay to trot casually home. The Cardinal left fielder moved to third on a passed ball, putting the go-head run 90 feet away.
Distance wouldn’t matter, as Jhonny Peralta crushed his 21st homer a couple pitches later. The ball sailed out to center and the Cardinals had a 3-1 lead.
Taveras made himself 2-for-2 with a single into left, but an ill-fated hit and run on a pop up to right turned into a double play to close the inning.
A missed chance for the Birds
The Cardinals had a shot to even the game but came away empty. With one out in the second, Oscar Taveras got things started. After the rookie lined a single into right, Yadier Molina followed suit with shot past the diving third baseman into left. Kolten Wong tried unsuccessfully to bunt and ended up going down on strikes for the second out.
Daniel Descalso, getting a start at first base, drew a walk to load the bases.
Marco Gonzales came up, working a full count before shooting a ball up the middle. Josh Rutledge made an impressively rangy play, grabbing the ball just behind second base. His throw beat Gonzales and the threat was over.
Rockies strike first
A leadoff walk came back to bite Marco Gonzales in the second.
After giving Matt McBride first base on six pitches, the rookie left hander left a change up in the zone to Brandon Barnes.
The left fielder ripped a double into right field, scoring McBride all the way from first to give the Rockies and early lead.
The lefty would get a grounder next, then come back from 3-1 to strike out pitcher Jordan Lyles for the second out. He punctuated the inning with another whiff, closing the frame with only one run of damage.