Holliday looks to continue to feast on Colorado pitching as the Cardinals go for a three-game sweep at Coors Field on Thursday night.
After dropping two of three to the lowly Chicago Cubs over the weekend, St. Louis (56-48) has been re-energized by a visit to Colorado while pulling within three games of Atlanta for the NL's second wild-card spot. The Cardinals won Tuesday's opener 11-6 and followed with a 9-6 win the next night to improve to 5-1 in the season series. Holliday has led the way, which shouldn't come as a surprise.
After homering and driving in two runs Tuesday, the former Rockie belted two home runs and finished with five RBIs on Wednesday. Against Colorado this year, he is batting .542 with five homers and 16 RBIs - a big reason why he is tied with teammate Carlos Beltran for the NL lead with 75 RBIs.
Holliday's hitting exploits against the Rockies - and especially at Coors Field - are nothing new. Since leaving Colorado following the 2009 season, the six-time All-Star is batting .433 with six home runs and 15 RBIs in nine games in Denver.
"I like to play here," he said. "I see the ball well here and seem to have fairly good success."
His latest tear isn't reserved to Coors, though. He is batting .391 with seven home runs and 16 RBIs in his last 12 games with the Cardinals winning nine times.
While Holliday is treating Coors like his home, the Rockies' aren't enjoying the same success there.
Colorado (37-65) has lost 19 of 24 in Denver, including seven consecutive defeats. The Rockies haven't lost eight straight home games in a single season since a franchise-worst nine-game skid during their inaugural 1993 season, when they played at Mile High Stadium.
Shoddy pitching has been a major factor during the current skid, as Colorado has allowed an average of 7.7 runs. It could be more of the same in the finale, with Alex White (2-6, 6.45 ERA) expected to be recalled from the minors.
White, who has never faced St. Louis, was sent to Triple-A Colorado Springs on June 25 following a four-start stretch in which he went 0-3 with an 8.27 ERA. The rookie right-hander did pitch well in winning his last two starts for the Sky Sox, though, yielding one total run and eight hits over 15 innings.
White will obviously have to be careful pitching to Holliday, but he isn't the only Cardinal to worry about.
Lance Lynn (13-4, 3.42) takes the ball hoping to bounce back from a shaky outing even though he won for the third time in four starts.
Against the Cubs on Friday, Lynn was tagged for six runs and eight hits in five innings of a 9-6 victory. He had gone 2-0 with a 0.47 ERA in his previous three starts.
That stretch started with an outing against the Rockies on July 5, when he permitted four hits while striking out seven in six scoreless innings of a 6-2 victory.
|St. Louis Cardinals|
|July 28, 2012||Rafael Furcal||Day-to-Day||Stiff back|
|July 26, 2012||David Freese||Day-to-Day||Left game - right calf cramp|
|July 24, 2012||Lance Berkman||Day-to-Day||Left game - HBP right knee|
|July 17, 2012||Matt Holliday||Day-to-Day||Left game - Left thigh|
|July 08, 2012||David Freese||Day-to-Day||Bruised left leg|
|June 06, 2012||Jaime Garcia||15-Day DL||Strained left shoulder|
|August 01, 2012||Todd Helton||Day-to-Day||Flu|
|August 01, 2012||Michael Cuddyer||Day-to-Day||Sore oblique|
|August 01, 2012||Dexter Fowler||Day-to-Day||Flu-like symptoms|
|July 31, 2012||Christian Friedrich||Day-to-Day||Back spasms|
|July 21, 2012||Drew Pomeranz||Day-to-Day||Left arm soreness|
|July 21, 2012||Jason Giambi||15-Day DL||Viral syndrome|
DENVER (AP) -- Josh Rutledge isn't quite sure what to make of his eye-catching home run streak.
The rookie homered in his fourth straight game and Tyler Colvin hit a tiebreaking double as part of a three-run seventh inning that lifted the Colorado Rockies over the St. Louis Cardinals 8-2 Thursday night to avert a three-game sweep.
"I can't think of any time where I've hit a home run in four straight games before," Rutledge said. "That's a first.
"I'm just getting some good pitches to hit, and trying not to overswing and just let my hands work. It's getting some extra carry on the ball."
Wilin Rosario hit his first pinch-hit homer, a two-run shot off reliever Brian Fuentes in the eighth, and Jordan Pacheco went 3 for 3 with two doubles and two RBIs to help the Rockies snap a five-game losing streak. It was their first win in their last eight games at Coors Field.
With the score deadlocked at 2, DJ LeMahieu singled off reliever Fernando Salas (1-4) to start the seventh inning and was sacrificed to second. Colvin then doubled to left to put the Rockies back on top.
Rutledge followed with his fifth home run since his July 13 call-up, driving a 2-2 pitch into the left-field bleachers.
"He has stunning power for the type of player he is," Colorado manager Jim Tracy said.
Rutledge became the first rookie in Rockies history to homer in four consecutive games.
"The kid has been hot. I'm sure it wasn't where Salas wanted it," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.
Ramon Hernandez added a run-scoring double in the eighth and, one out later, Rosario connected on an 0-2 pitch from Fuentes for his 17th home run.
Rutledge said a solid start by Alex White , who held the Cardinals to two runs over 5 1-3 innings, set the stage for the Rockies.
"It was huge," Rutledge said. "We all know how close we are to being a great team, and having Whitey go out there and give us the start that he did gives us so much confidence. We knew from the beginning, the way he was throwing, that we had a good shot of winning the game."
With St. Louis trailing 1-0, White started the sixth by striking out his counterpart, Lance Lynn , to retire his 10th consecutive Cardinals batter. Skip Schumaker then singled and scored when Jon Jay followed with a double to the left-center gap.
Matt Holliday was intentionally walked and Carlos Beltran hit a run-scoring double to put the Cardinals in front. David Freese was hit by a pitch, loading the bases and finishing White. Rex Brothers (6-2) relieved and got Lance Berkman to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Berkman tweaked his right knee running out a grounder in the ninth.
"I had problems with it before," Berkman said. "Had a surgery on it before. I have been scanned, zapped, more than most players probably. I'll have the doc take a look at it and see what he thinks. Life of a ballplayer. Some days it feels OK. Some days it doesn't."
The Rockies tied it at 2 in the bottom half on a sacrifice fly by Pacheco, his second RBI of the night. He singled in the fourth to drive in Carlos Gonzalez , who was aboard with a double.
White, recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs before the game, allowed five hits. He struck out three and walked one.
Lynn went six innings and gave up two runs on seven hits. He struck out four and walked four.
NOTES: The Cardinals were foiled in their bid for their first series sweep at Colorado since 2004. ... Cardinals C Yadier Molina sat out with a sprained right thumb sustained on a slide at first base the night before. He'll have X-rays when the team returns to St. Louis to begin a seven-game homestand against Milwaukee (three games) and San Francisco (four). ... Cardinals INF Rafael Furcal missed his fifth straight game with back stiffness, but manager Mike Matheny said Furcal was improving and could be back in the lineup soon. ... Rockies RHP Jhoulys Chacin , who hasn't taken the mound since May 1 because of a nerve issue in the right side of his chest, was scheduled to take another step in his rehab by pitching for Double-A Tulsa. ... Colorado OF Michael Cuddyer , bothered by a sore right oblique muscle, played catch and will be re-evaluated by the team's training staff Friday. ... Pacheco had his fifth three-hit game of the season.