Cardinals chip away at Rockies, emerge the winners, 9-6


By Derrick Goold

By Derrick Goold

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

DENVER (MCT) — The steady drumbeat of the Cardinals' offense proved enough to overcome the one, jagged inning rookie Marco Gonzales had in his major-league debut.

The Rockies tagged Gonzales for five runs in the fourth inning.

The Cardinals tagged the Rockies with runs in five different innings.

The latter proved the winning recipe as the Cardinals took a 9-6 victory Wednesday afternoon at Coors Field. The Cardinals got RBI doubles in the top of the eighth inning to take the lead, and two sacrifice flies in the ninth inning extended it for closer Trevor Rosenthal. The Cardinals' closer finished the win with a four-out save.

Rosenthal walked two batters to bring the tying run to the plate in Troy Tulowitzki. The All-Start shortstop and closer dueled for 11 pitches. Twice Rosenthal touched 100 mph with his fastball during the at-bat. Once, Tulowitzki fouled it off. The next time he swung and missed.

That effectively decided the game.

Rosenthal threw a season-high 41 pitches to get his 23rd save.

The Cardinals had four sacrifice flies in a game for the first time since 1980.

Gonzales pitched five innings and allowed five runs on seven hits. The Colorado native struck out three and walked two, and he had enough time to commute back to his hometown of Fort Collins, Colo., and return to Coors Field as the game took a sluggish turn with his departure. He worked briskly through his first three innings and retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced. All five runs off him came in the fourth inning which featured nine batters coming to the plate, 30 pitches, and three extra-base hits, including a solo homer by Drew Stubbs.

The Cardinals chipped away at the Rockies' 5-1 lead with three runs in the top of the fifth.

They scored one in the top of the seventh.

Then the tandem twos came in the final two innings.

Matt Adams, who had his first multi-homer game of the season earlier in this series, was at the nexus of several rallies. He hit his ninth home run of the season in the fifth inning to pull the Cardinals closer. He singled to open the ninth, and he stole second to draw an errant throw. Two errors by the Rockies in the inning put a runner on third base each time, and that runner scored on a sacrifice fly each time.

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