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Cardinals 5, Rockies 4: Rox fight back, but bullpen blows up late

The Rockies made a comeback and grabbed a late lead, but the relief corps couldn’t keep the Cardinals at bay

The Rockies faced a tough deficit and were able to triumphantly come back to take the lead, but the bullpen couldn’t contain the Cardinals as St Louis collected the walkoff victory 5-4 on Tuesday.

Redbirds flying high

Kyle Freeland was certainly more effective in his start on Tuesday than he was the last time he faced the Cardinals. After a scary first inning that saw the Redbirds load the bases with two outs, Freeland was able to force Tommy Edman into a groundout to narrowly escape and cruise through the next few innings. He mostly relied on his signature sinker/curveball combination, mixing in a changeup, slider, or four-seam fastball as needed.

The Cardinals would strike first, though. The game’s first run was knocked in via Tommy Edman’s eighth home run of the season, putting the home team ahead 1-0. The lead would triple one inning later, when potential National League MVP Paul Goldschmidt sent Freeland’s 0-1 fastball over the left field wall for a two-run shot, his 29th of the year.

Those would be the only runs Freeland allowed in his six innings, but with Colorado down 3-0 and facing Quintana pitching lights-out, the Rockies faced a tough hill to climb.

Colorado’s Counterpunch

José Quintana was absolutely untouchable through the first five innings, allowing walks to Brendan Rodgers and CJ Cron and naught else. No Rockie reached second base through those frames, but that would change in the game’s sixth inning.

Wynton Bernard got it started with Colorado’s first base knock, a single up the middle. He’d move to third base on Connor Joe’s single and score on Charlie Blackmon’s subsequent RBI knock.

With the score now 3-1, Rodgers singled to load the bases and knock Quintana from the game. Cron then took his at-bat and unfortunately struck out, but José Iglesias (the game’s best hitter on the road) was able to beat out a fielder’s choice ground ball for another run.

The scoring ended there, but the Rockies were right back in the game.

Blackmon buzzed, but bashes back

With men on first and second thanks to another Bernard single and Joe walk, Blackmon stepped into the box against newly-entered St. Louis reliever, left-hander Packy Naughton. The count was 1-1 when a sinker escaped Naughton’s hand and flew up and in towards Blackmon’s head, forcing the veteran outfielder to hit the deck. That scare would be enough to rattle anyone, but “Chuck Nazty” is no normal man, and he took the very next pitch out to right-center field for a two-run, go-ahead double.

The Rockies now led 4-3, and it would be up to their relief corps to hold the lead for nine more outs.

Cards come back

The lead was shortlived as Lucas Gilbreath’s tough outing saw him depart with the bases loaded and one out after allowing two hits and a hit-by-pitch. Carlos Estévez faced Goldschmidt in the unenviable situation, holding the first baseman to an RBI sacrifice fly before coaxing a fly out of Arenado. It could have been much, much worse if not for Estévez shutting St. Louis down, but the lead was lost and the game entered the eighth inning with both teams tied at four.

A Lamet-able loss

Dinelson Lamet has been aces since joining the Rockies, but it wasn’t so on Tuesday. Lamet walked the first two batters he faced before Dylan Carlson attempted a bunt. Instead of moving the runners over with an out, though, Carlson reached base due to Lamet’s errant throw that pulled Rodgers off the first base bag, leaving the bases loaded with no outs. Lamet then hit Tyler O’Neill with a pitch to bring an end to the game and cap off a very disappointing loss.

The Rockies have now lost ten straight games at Busch Stadium.

Up Next

The Rockies and Cardinals play the second game of their series on Wednesday, which will see Colorado’s Germán Márquez (6-9, 5.08 ERA) take on St. Louis starter Jordan Montgomery (5-3, 3.37 ERA).

First pitch is at 5:45pm MDT. See you then!