Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday hit a massive three-run home run in the first inning off of Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa to lead St. Louis to a 5-1 victory over Colorado on Friday.
De La Rosa got himself into immediate trouble when he walked Cards leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter before bad luck struck when Randal Grichuk, who is surprisingly not a hockey player or a character in a 1990s Kevin Smith flick, reached on an infield single. Nothing about the next at-bat was lucky.
Holliday's blast, which came on a 93 mph fastball on the inner half, traveled 467 feet. That's the second-longest home run ever hit at Busch Stadium III and was reminiscent of something Giancarlo Stanton would do. The ball got out of the park in a hurry and was hit so hard that I almost feel like an idiot for asking Viva El Birdos' Aaron Finkel in the series preview if Holliday's bat is beginning to slow down.
Consider that question answered.
Holliday had two hits and scored twice against his former club, which adtually outhit the Redbirds, 8-6, but couldn't come up with the big one. Charlie Blackmon, Corey Dickerson and Rafael Ynoa led the Rockies with two hits apiece. Nolan Arenado added a double that drove in Colorado's lone run. For the most part, the Rox struggled to get anything going against Adam Wainwright, who notched eight punch-outs without walking a batter in eight innings of one-run ball.
As for De La Rosa, he settled down pretty nicely after the three-run first. He wasn't exactly efficient, though, needing 105 pitches to get through six innings. De La Rosa struck out six batters, walked three and allowed four runs (three earned) on only four hits.
Colorado pitchers allowed five walks, two of which resulted in runs. The Rockies did not draw a walk against St. Louis pitching. In case you were wondering, the Rockies are 5-11 in games in which they don't draw a walk and 7-27 when their pitchers issue five or more free passes. Regardless of how many walks it draws or allows, Colorado is 20-53 on the road this season and is on pace to set a new franchise record for futility away from Coors Field.
Back at it tomorrow.
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