Bats were out straight from the start as the St Louis Cardinals sent the Rockies to their fourth straight loss 11-6, the sixth at home, scoring 4 against Colorado starter Jeff Francis before he was able to record an out. Francis hit Cards lead-off man Daniel Descalso with his fourth pitch of the game on a 1-2 count, inviting trouble. Allen Craig followed with a single, Descalso to third, then former Rockie Matt Holiday doubled-off the center-field wall, driving the two home for a 2-0 St Louis lead. Left-fielder Carlos Beltran stepped-up next and drove Francis’ first pitch half-way up the bench-seats in left-field. The left-hander finally got an out when David Freese grounded to third, then after a Yadier Molina single, Jon Jay grounded to Colorado second-baseman DJ LeMahieu, who started a 4-6-3 double play.
The Rockies come right-back against St Louis starter Kyle Lohse, Eric Young Jr doubling to open things-up for Colorado, moving to third on a Josh Rutledge ground-out, then scoring when Carlos Gonzalez blooped one-in in front of left-fielder Holliday. Michael Cuddyer doubled to drive in Gonzalez, but was stranded at third on ground-outs by Todd Helton and Wilin Rosario.
The Cards answered with a run in the second on a Skip Schumaker lead-off triple. Schumaker remained at third as Lohse struck-out and Descalso grounded to Le Mahieu, but Craig salvaged the run with a single to right. 3 1/2 innings of scoreless play followed; Francis was removed after the fourth following six consecutive outs with Descalso approaching the plate for the third time. Right-hander Adam Ottavino replaced him. After dispensing with St Louis on a fly-ball and a double-play in the fifth, Ottavino allowed the Cards 6th run in the sixth when Beltran doubled leading off and scored with two outs on a ground-single by Jay.
Josh Rutledge continued his hot career start, bringing the Rockies back to within a run on a two-out, three run home-run into the left-field stands in the bottom of the sixth, but St Louis countered immediately with Holliday logging his 19th homer, scoring Descalso, who had walked. After Beltran flew-out to center, David Freese hit a solo-shot the same direction, the Cardinals pushing the lead back to 4. St Louis scored runs 10 and 11 in the eighth on singles by Schumaker and pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter, a Descalso sacrifice and a single by Craig. Holliday had 4 RBI for St Louis, Craig drove-in 3, and Beltran plated 2.
Colorado got a run-back off Jason Motte in the ninth on a walk to Gonzalez and double by Helton, but with two out Jordan Pacheco battled Motte for nine pitches before striking-out swinging.
Game 2 of the three-game set will occur tomorrow evening, same time, same place. The Cardinals will send one-time Rockie Jake Westbrook (9-8, 3.61) up against Colorado’s Drew Pomeranz (1-6, 4.99).