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Colorado Rockies drop series opener to the Cardinals on Axford's blown save

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Chris Rusin smokes a two-run shot -- the first of his major league career -- in the Rockies' loss to the Cardinals.

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Rockies jumped on Carlos Martinez early, plating a run in the first inning on a Nolan Arenado double that gave him the National League lead in RBI totals at 78.

The Cardinals struck back in the bottom of the first, Matt Carpenter scoring on a double off the bat of Randal Grichuk
Carpenter smacked a long three run shot to center field in the bottom of the second to give St. Louis a 4-1 lead.

In the top of the fourth, DJ LeMahieu scored on Nick Hundley’s double to center fielder, Randall Grichuk. With a man aboard, Chris Rusin had a chance to help his own cause, and he didn’t miss a beat. Rusin lifted a Carlos Martinez fastball over the right field fence for his first career homerun, tying the game 4-4. It was the first long ball by a Rockies pitcher since Jordan Lyles did it on April 30th of last year against the Diamondbacks.
Rusin followed up his offensive display with a quick 1-2-3 bottom of the fourth.

The Rockies tacked on a run in the top of the fifth, Carlos Gonzalez touching home on an RBI single from Corey Dickerson. Tension broke between the clubs when Carlos Martinez planted a pitch into DJ LeMahieu's back. Words were exchanged between a few members of both teams, though it did not escalate beyond that.

Corey Dickerson was injured in the bottom half of the fifth diving for a ball down the left field line. The RBI triple from Jason Heyward put the Cardinals up 6-5 after a solo homerun from Carpenter opened the inning. Carpenter went 4-5 with two homeruns and four RBIs. 
Brandon Barnes played the remainder of the game in place of Dickerson, who it was determined suffered a right rib contusion. He is listed as day to day.

Both starting pitchers were done after five. Martinez: 5R/10H/1HR/6SO
Rusin: 6R/10H/2HR/5SO

Nick Hundley tied things back up with a leadoff solo blast of off Seth Maness in the top of the sixth. Charlie Blackmon legged a one out double, but the Rockies were unable to drive him in.

A messy top of the eighth for the Cardinals saw two throwing errors from relief pitcher Kevin Siegrist and another two runs scored for the Rockies, leading St. Louis 8-6 into the ninth.

The Rockies bullpen held up until the bottom of the ninth. John Axford, entering the game with a runner on second, surrendered a walk and two singles to tie the game at eight. With the bases loaded, Axford walked Greg Garcia, forcing in the winning run.

DJ LeMahieu went 3-4 with a run scored. Nick Hundley notched two RBIs on two hits and two runs scored.