Colorado Rockies at St. Louis Cardinals: Cards Walk It Off In Ninth
After the Colorado Rockies dropped the first game of a three-game set, 8-2, to the St. Louis Cardinals on ESPN Monday night, the Rox were back in the national spotlight Tuesday night on MLB Network. The Rockies once again lost to the Cardinals, 3-2.
Tuesday night’s matchup featured a pair of elite pitchers as Jon Gray (3-1, 6.19 ERA) faced off against Lance Lynn (8-6, 3.30 ERA) at Busch Stadium. Lately, Lynn’s pitch count has been up and he hasn’t been able to work as deep into games as he would like to. Charlie Blackmon tried to set the tone early for the Rockies with a hard fought, eight-pitch at-bat that ended in a groundout to begin the game.
Nonetheless, the Rox were retired in order during their first trip to the plate and Gray took the mound to begin his outing. Matt Carpenter abruptly welcomed Gray to the game with a single on his third pitch of the game. Gray recovered and picked up a three-pitch strikeout, but Paul DeJong came to the plate next and launched a two-run blast to deep center field for a 2-0 Cardinals lead.
Despite allowing another hit in the inning, Gray escaped the first inning without further damage. Gerardo Parra got the second inning going for the Rox by lining a 2-0 changeup into the right field gap for a leadoff double. The hit also extended Parra’s hit streak to seven consecutive games. A groundout moved Parra over to third, but the Rockies weren’t able to drive him in and still trailed 2-0 after an inning and a half.
Gray gave up another hit in the bottom of the second, but was able to strand a runner in scoring position. He was able to help his own cause a little by forcing a nine-pitch at-bat in the top of the third before he popped out. Unfortunately, the Rox were once again retired in order and headed to the bottom of the third down by two runs.
The Cardinals were retired in order in the bottom of the third and Gray picked up his third strikeout of the game. DJ LeMahieu picked up a walk to get the fourth inning started for the Rox, but a strikeout and a double play ball prevented the team from advancing their cause any further. Mark Reynolds was brought in as a replacement at first base for Ian Desmond following the inning, as Desmond had reportedly reinjured his calf.
Gray allowed back-to-back singles to start the bottom of the fourth, but back-to-back-to-back strikeouts got him out of the inning and brought his strikeout total to six on the day. The Rockies were once again retired in order in the top of the fifth inning and continued to trail 2-0 at the midway point of the game.
Back-to-back singles had the Cardinals in business with one out in the bottom of the fifth, but a 6-4-3 double play induced by Gray got the Rox out of the inning. Gray’s night was done after five innings, during which he had only allowed two runs and picked up six strikeouts. The Rockies picked up a lead-off single in the top of the sixth, but it was erased on another double play ball. A diving play by Tommy Pham in left ended the inning for Rox, still trailing 2-0.
Mike Dunn came in for the Rox in the bottom of the sixth and did not allow a run despite allowing a base hit on a bunt. LeMahieu picked up a walk to start the seventh and Nolan Arenado picked up a double to put the tying run in scoring position. A sacrifice fly from Parra scored the Rox first run of the game, but they couldn’t push any more across and trailed 2-1 at stretch time.
Scott Oberg came in for the bottom of the seventh and didn’t allow a run, despite a leadoff base hit. After fighting off some good pitches, Trevor Story launched a solo shot to left field to tie the game at 2-2. The Rox left a runner in scoring position in the top of the eighth and likely would have scored if it were not for a diving play from Kolten Wong on a liner.
Jake McGee held the Rox scoreless in the bottom of the eighth and the team couldn’t capitalize on two singles in the top of the ninth. Harrison Bader led off with a double for the Cardinals in the bottom of the ninth and moved over the third on a sacrifice bunt with one out.
Next: Mike Dunn regaining early-season form in Rox bullpen
Jedd Gyorko was brought on to pinch hit and he delivered the winning hit with a sacrifice fly to right field to give the Cardinals a 3-2 walk-off win over the Rockies. The Rockies and Cardinals will finish the series on Wednesday night as the Rox try to salvage a game of the series. Jeff Hoffman (6-2, 5.10 ERA) will compete against Carlos Martinez (6-8, 3.34 ERA) at 6:15 p.m. MT.