DENVER (AP) — Rookie Antonio Senzatela praised his defense. Manager Bud Black applauded his pitcher.
Charlie Blackmon went ahead and lauded everything.
Senzatela threw eight sharp innings to grab a share of the major league lead in wins, Blackmon had a homer and run-scoring single as part of an eight-run eighth and the Colorado Rockies beat the St. Louis Cardinals 10-0 on Friday night.
"We're doing a little bit of everything and it's adding up to some competitive baseball," said Blackmon, whose team has the best record in the NL (32-18).
Fresh off a 7-3 road swing, the Rockies kept right on rolling behind Senzatela, who joins Clayton Kershaw, Dallas Keuchel and Ervin Santana with seven victories this season.
Senzatela (7-1) scattered five hits and showed plenty of poise as the 22-year-old escaped trouble courtesy of four double plays .
"He threw strikes with the fastball where I think in the previous couple (starts), the fastball was just a little bit off the plate," Black said. "Today, he dialed it in."
Carlos Martinez (3-4) took the loss despite a quality start in which he allowed three runs in 7 1/3 innings while striking out nine.
"I felt extremely good. I tried to stay positive and keep the game low on runs," Martinez said through a translator.
The Rockies turned a 2-0 game into a rout with eight runs on nine hits in the eighth. Blackmon had a chance to finish off the cycle in his second at-bat of the inning, needing only a double. He hit a sharp single to center, with the crowd urging him to stretch it. He took a wide turn and retreated back to first.
"You have to have some respect for the game," Blackmon explained. "That to me is not a situation where you try to stretch something into a double, just for the sake of getting a double."
Mark Reynolds had a big game against his former team with an RBI single and a two-run homer.
The defense came up big behind Senzatela with left fielder Ian Desmond making a diving catch in the seventh. Nolan Arenado made a quick-reacting play at third in the eighth to rob Yadier Molina of a hit.
Senzatela was certainly impressed with the leather.
"That's really big, because they make good plays and I feel like, 'OK, they got me. I need to throw a good game for them,'" Senzatela said.
Senzatela finished with 15 groundball outs. None was bigger than in the sixth with a runner on third and two outs. Dexter Fowler hit a roller to Reynolds, who flipped the ball to Senzatela covering first to get the speedy Fowler.
"They made plays when they had to," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
Cardinals: OF Stephen Piscotty was sent home to "take care of things on a personal level," Matheny said. ... INF Jose Martinez (groin) was sent to Single-A Palm Beach for a rehab assignment.
Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (stress fracture in left foot) is out of his boot and will throw about 50 pitches in a bullpen session Sunday. He's hopeful he will be allowed to throw the session without stepping back into the boot.
There were 40,312 fans in attendance with the Rockies playing well and the Cardinals in town.
"It's always fun to play in front of a packed house," Reynolds said. "It gives us energy, brings excitement to the daily grind of playing."
THIS & THAT
The Rockies are 13-3 in the first game of a series this season. ... Arenado had two doubles. ... The only position player in the lineup without a hit was OF Carlos Gonzalez. ... Pinch-hitter Gerardo Parra batted twice in the eighth, including a two-run double. ... Molina extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a single in the second.
Cardinals: RHP Adam Wainwright (4-3, 4.81 ERA) makes his 330th career appearance for the Cardinals on Saturday. That will tie him with Larry Jackson (1955-62) for 10th on the team's all-time list. Wainwright is 9-1 with a 1.70 ERA in 14 career appearances against Colorado.
Rockies: Another rookie takes the mound for Colorado. This time, it's LHP Kyle Freeland (5-2, 3.31 ERA), who is 2-2 with a 3.80 ERA at Coors Field.