ST. LOUIS -- Scott Rolen is swinging the bat so well right now that all he needs is one mistake to put the St. Louis Cardinals in front.
Just ask Josh Fogg.
Rolen hit a two-run homer off Fogg, Chris Carpenter allowed one run in seven innings and the Cardinals beat the Colorado Rockies 4-1 Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.
Rolen's ninth homer in the first inning snapped a 1-for-18 drought against the Rockies this season. The hit came before a 40-minute rain delay in the second.
"The guy's hitting like .370 now," Fogg said. "You can't make a mistake with a guy that's hot. I made that mistake and it ended up being the winning run."
Rolen is 14-for-37 (.378) in his last 10 games and has been a strong force for the Cardinals since NL MVP Albert Pujols went on the 15-day disabled list on June 4 with a strained right side muscle. His return is apparently still at least a week away.
St. Louis has won four straight overall and seven of its last 10.
"No disrespect to Albert, but he can't pitch," Rolen said. "Our bench players have been great and our pitchers have been great."
Carpenter (6-3) gave up seven hits, struck out four and walked one. So Taguchi went 2-for-4, scored two runs, and has hit safely in 11 of his last 17 starts for the Cardinals. Taguchi singled and stole second in the second inning, advanced to third on catcher J.D. Closser's throwing error and scored on Juan Encarnacion's groundout.
"So, that's the way he plays," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said of Taguchi. "We feel like we have a lot of weapons."
Fogg (4-5) gave up four runs -- three earned -- and eight hits over five innings. Fogg, who threw 92 pitches, had given up one home run on the road this season before Rolen went deep.
"He didn't let the game get away from him, but (threw) a lot of pitches in not a lot of innings. It was not his finest hour," manager Clint Hurdle said. "We were hoping for better."
The Rockies have lost three straight after starting their seven-game road trip with a four-game sweep of the Washington Nationals.
"They're a good ballclub and usually you've got to beat them," Hurdle said. "It starts with their starting pitching. Everybody plays and everybody contributes. That's the direction we want to head in."
Carpenter (6-3) didn't give up a run after the third inning. He struck out a career-high 13 in his previous start against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Last season's NL Cy Young Award winner has allowed one earned run in his last 14 innings.
"Mechanically, I've felt better these last two games," Carpenter said. "It was so warm out the rain delay didn't really matter."
Jason Isringhausen pitched the ninth for his 24th save in 28 chances.
Cory Sullivan was 2-for-3 and scored the only Rockies run after going hitless in his last three games.
Aaron Miles hit an RBI triple in the fourth to put the Cardinals ahead 4-1. Miles batted leadoff in place of David Eckstein, who missed his third straight game with a mild concussion.
Trainer Barry Weinberg said Eckstein is expected to return Tuesday.
Rolen made a hard backhanded stop up the third-base line and retired Atkins at first with an off-balance throw in the third. ... Rolen has scored in eight of his last nine games. ... Fogg has won one game (May 31, 2002) in 12 career starts against the Cardinals.