After taking three games out of four from the Los Angeles Dodgers, the St. Louis Cardinals traveled east to Coors Field to face the Colorado Rockies as they played in the first of a three game series against yet another National League West rival.
And the first game didn’t go well.
The Rockies dominated the Cardinals all game long, culminating in a 11-3 victory Monday night.
On the mound, the Cardinals had veteran John Lackey pitching, and for the Rockies, David Hale got the start.
Hale began the game by pitching a 1-2-3 inning, making quick work of the top of the Cardinals order. For Colorado, lead off hitter Charlie Blackmon reached on base due to a fielding error by second baseman Kolten Wong, and DJ LeMahieu followed with a single. Then, Troy Tulowitzki launched a three-run home run to left field, giving the Rockies an early 3-0 lead.
But the Rockies weren’t done.
After a single by Carlos Gonzalez, and following the first out of the inning, Ben Paulsen singled as well. Nick Hundley hit a single next, that scored Gonzalez to make it 4-0 Rockies. Brandon Barnes followed suit by singling, and scoring Paulsen.
By the end of the first inning, the Rockies already had themselves a 5-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Hale in the top of the second, got Jhonny Peralta, Mark Reynolds, and Randal Grichuk all to strike out swinging in his second straight 1-2-3 inning of the game. Despite a double from Gonzalez in the bottom of the second inning, Lackey was able to keep the Rockies scoreless in the inning.
Both Hale and Lackey threw a scoreless third inning, and in the top of the fourth inning, Wong was able to get the Cardinals on the board with his seventh home run of the season, this one being a solo shot.
But in the bottom of the fourth, the Rockies busted the game wide open.
Hale led off with a strikeout by Lackey, but Blackmon hit a single afterwards. LeMahieu followed with a double, scoring Blackmon and making it 6-1 Rockies. Tulowitzki stepped up to bat and hit a single, and LeMahieu scored on a sacrifice fly by Gonzalez. Nolan Arenado, with two outs, blasted a two-run home run that made it a 9-1 game.
Paulsen then tripled to right field, and scored on a fielding error by Matt Carpenter when Hundley came up to the plate.
It was 10-1 Rockies heading into the top of the fifth inning.
In the top of the fifth, with Hale still pitching, Grichuk started off with a line-out. Catcher Yadier Molina was able to hit a double to left field, and Jason Heyward hit a single. Lackey was taken out of the game and Ed Easley pinch hit for him. Easley hit a sacrifice fly, that scored Molina to make it a 10-2 game, but that was all the Cardinals got in the inning.
Carlos Villanueva entered the game in relief for Lackey, and held the Rockies scoreless in the bottom half of the fifth.
Both teams were able to get one run each for the remainder of the game, and they both occurred during the sixth inning. For the Cardinals, it was the first home run of the season for Jon Jay, and for the Rockies, it was a single by Hundley scoring Paulsen.
In the end, however, it was the Colorado Rockies who emerged victorious in a 11-3 victory, and handed the Cardinals their 20th loss of the season (they were the last team prior to Monday not to have lost 20 game during the season).
Lackey’s record drops to 4-4 on the year, while Hale is now 2-0.
Tomorrow, Michael Wacha gets the nod on the mound.
Injury news: Matt Holliday strained his right quad during the game and will be evaluated on Tuesday for the possible severity of the injury. No word yet on his condition.
(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)