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Cardinals 9, Rockies 5: An inverse of last night’s win

Albert Pujols and Nolan Arenado lead St. Louis’ 18-hit assault in an easy victory over the Rockies

18 Cardinals hits, Quintana holding tough, a couple of visiting home runs... yeah, there wasn’t much to like about Wednesday evening’s game as the Cardinals took a quick lead and never relinquished it. They took a meekly-resisted victory over the Rockies 9-5 at Coors.

Rough start

Kyle Freeland looked a bit wild to open the game as he walked Dylan Carlson before getting a fielder’s choice ground out from Tommy Edman. What followed was a cavalcade of Cardinals hits - five in a row to be exact, which quickly put the Rockies down 4-0. The lead would become 5-0 after a Lars Nootbaar sacrifice fly before the near half-four inning mercifully ended.

Freeland was able to calm things down considerably for the next few innings, not allowing another tally until the fifth. He dealt with traffic throughout and never tossed a 1-2-3 inning, but he did manage to last longer in the game than it looked like he may have in the first frame. His final line read as 4 13 innings and six earned runs on ten hits allowed.

To end on a positive note, the Colorado native did reach a milestone during his start. His strikeout looking of Tommy Edman in the top of the second - the lone K of his start - was Freeland’s 600th of his career. The left-hander becomes just the eighth Rockie to reach that plateau.

Ever the gamer, “KFree” refused to celebrate the achievement as he preferred to get right back to work on the mound.

Rox get a couple back

“It ain’t much, but it’s honest work.” That’s probably how some Rockies fans saw the one run scored in the bottom of the third, which was completed by way of a José Iglesias sacrifice fly to score Yonathan Daza. The score was now 5-1, though it would not remain that way for long as St. Louis scored again in the top of the fifth inning to make it 6-1.

Colorado’s second run came in the form of a C.J. Cron triple. His third three-bagger of the season scored Iglesias from second base, though the Cardinals would quickly respond with more offense of their own.

St. Louis dominates

Beyond those runs, it was all Cardinals on both sides of the ball on Wednesday. José Quintana utilized his pitches to induce weak contact from Colorado’s bats throughout his six innings of work, and St. Louis’s offense was all over the Rockies pitching staff. Standouts included Nolan Arenado - 3-for-4 with a double and a home run, with two RBI and two runs scored - and Albert Pujols, who had almost the same batting line: 4-for4, with a double and a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored. Arenado’s home run in particular was special in that it was his first round-tripper at Coors as a member of the visiting team, which is only a little emotionally devastating. Rookie Lars Nootbaar also became the first player to record two triples in a game this season. Neat.

Monty’s streaking continues

Elehuris Montero continues to be a bright spot in Colorado’s offense. His two-out base hit in the fourth inning extended his hit streak to nine games, and another single in the ninth extended his multi-hit streak to five games, tying a rookie club record. It’s easy to see why Rockies fans are excited about the 23-year-old infielder, who looks likely to get starts through the end of the season.

The Rockies put up some fight in the ninth inning against Chris Stratton by scoring three runs and closing the gap to 9-5, but it wasn’t enough to climb the mountain and tie things up against the Cardinals. The visitors took the victory and completed their revenge for last night’s beatdown with one of their own.

Up Next

The Rox and Cards have one more game to play in their series at Coors before the weekend. That contest will see St. Louis starter Dakota Hudson (6-6, 4.20 ERA) toe the rubber against Colorado’s ace Germán Márquez (6-9, 5.18 ERA), who’s pitched well lately and is hoping to keep it going on Thursday.

First pitch is at 1:10pm MDT. See you then!