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St. Louis at Colorado

Scoreboard
St. Louis (89-65)000000100180
Colorado (87-67) «100000001260

Rockies top Cardinals in bottom ninth to stay ahead in wild-card race

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DENVER -- The Colorado Rockies put a damper on Matt Holliday's homecoming along with the hopes of all the teams chasing them for NL wild card.

Yorvit Torrealba's sacrifice fly scored Troy Tulowitzki with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth and the Rockies edged the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 on Friday night.

That prevented the Cardinals from becoming the first team in the majors to clinch their division and kept the Rockies 3½ games ahead of Atlanta in the NL wild card.

The Cardinals, whose magic number remained at one, still had a chance to celebrate in the clubhouse later Friday night if Giants could beat the Chicago Cubs in San Francisco.

While the Rockies celebrated the end of a two-game losing streak and their fans filed onto the field for a postgame fireworks show, the Cardinals retreated to their clubhouse to watch the Cubs-Giants game.

The Giants entered the night tied with Florida, four games behind Colorado in the wild card. The Marlins lost to the Mets.

After holding Holliday to a 1-for-4 performance in which he stranded five runners, the Rockies sent the meat of their lineup to the plate in the bottom of the ninth.

Todd Helton led off with a walk from Trevor Miller (4-1), who was replaced by Kyle McClellan. Tulowitzki reached on a fielder's choice, and Jason Giambi's pinch-hit single put runners at the corners.

Torrealba lofted a ball to right, and Ryan Ludwick's throw home was nowhere close.

"When I saw the right fielder kind of backing up that's when I thought, 'OK that's deep enough,"' Torrealba said after knocking in his 13th run this month after entering September with 14 RBI.

These teams could meet in the playoffs and the Rockies are 5-0 against the Cardinals this season and have outscored them 35-10.

The one, however, could have gone either way.

"It was a very good game with a fine line," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said. "They had the last hero."

Huston Street (4-1), one of the players Holliday was traded for last winter, picked up the win with a scoreless ninth.

Holliday, making his first visit to Coors Field as a member of the opposition, slipped out of the clubhouse after the game without comment.

The Rockies, who lead the majors with 59 sacrifice flies, scored both runs that way.

Carlos Gonzalez, another player who came over from Oakland in trade for Holliday, led off the bottom of the first with a double, was bunted over and scored on Helton's deep fly to center off Chris Carpenter.

Carpenter gave up one run and five hits in seven innings, but the only support he received was Ludwick's 21st homer in the seventh off Jose Contreras that tied the game at 1.

Carpenter, a leading candidate for the NL Cy Young award with a 16-4 record, complained that the mound was steeper than the one in the bullpen.

"It was a battle trying to get the ball down," he said.

The best news for the Rockies was that Aaron Cook threw five scoreless innings in his first start since Aug. 21, when shoulder soreness forced him out of a game against San Francisco. He allowed four hits, all singles, got 12 groundball outs and didn't walk a batter in an impressive 76-pitch performance.

"I was stunned as to how sharp he was," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "You never know [what to expect] when you have a layoff like that."

Cook said he didn't feel any rust and none showed.

"Cook had a great sinker and had us hitting the ball on the ground. He stayed out of big innings," Ludwick said.

Cook was replaced by Contreras, who hadn't pitched since straining his right thigh while running out a groundball on Sept. 10, in his second start in place of Cook.

Notes

  • The Cardinals had a scare in the eighth when Albert Pujols limped around the first-base bag after hitting a single. He said it was only a cramp: "I feel fine."
  • The crowd of 48,847 was the fifth sellout at Coors Field this season.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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The celebration is on for the Rockies after Troy Tulowitzki scores the winning run on a sac fly. (Getty Images)
The celebration is on for the Rockies after Troy Tulowitzki scores the winning run on a sac fly. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Colorado

T. Tulowitzki
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
St. Louis

R. Ludwick
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 
St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker, 2B-CF4020000 .305
Brendan Ryan, SS4010021 .289
Albert Pujols, 1B4020011 .331
Matt Holliday, LF4010004 .312
Colby Rasmus, CF4000021 .256
    Kyle McClellan, P0000000 .000
Ryan Ludwick, RF4111000 .271
Mark DeRosa, 3B4010000 .256
Yadier Molina, C3000001 .290
Chris Carpenter, P3000010 .150
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
    Julio Lugo, 2B0000000 .280
Totals3418106  
Batting
HR - Ryan Ludwick (21, Contreras)
RBI - Ryan Ludwick (90)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - DeRosa-Schumaker-Pujols, Schumaker-Ryan-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
Chris Carpenter 7511320 2.30
Trever Miller (L,4-1) 1011120 2.14
Kyle McClellan 0.2100000 2.76
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Carpenter 101-58, Trever Miller 16-9, Kyle McClellan 7-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Carpenter 10-6, Trever Miller 1-0, Kyle McClellan 1-1
Batters Faced - Chris Carpenter 26, Trever Miller 4, Kyle McClellan 3
Colorado Rockies
Carlos Gonzalez, LF4110010 .278
Dexter Fowler, CF3000000 .270
Todd Helton, 1B1001200 .317
    Mike McCoy, PR0000000 .000
Troy Tulowitzki, SS4120001 .291
Brad Hawpe, RF3000012 .283
   a- Jason Giambi, PH1010000 .206
Yorvit Torrealba, C2011100 .285
Ian Stewart, 3B3010012 .232
Clint Barmes, 2B3000001 .248
Aaron Cook, P1000000 .116
   b- Eric Young Jr., PH0000100 .265
    Jose Contreras, P0000000 .000
    Rafael Betancourt, P0000000 .000
   c- Seth Smith, PH0000000 .298
   d- Ryan Spilborghs, PH1000010 .245
    Huston Street, P0000000 .000
Totals2626244  
a-singled for Hawpe in the 9th
b-walked for Cook in the 5th
c-announced for Betancourt in the 8th
d-struck out for Smith in the 8th
Batting
2B - Carlos Gonzalez (13, Carpenter)
SF - Todd Helton (10), Yorvit Torrealba (3)
SH - Dexter Fowler (13)
RBI - Todd Helton (81), Yorvit Torrealba (27)
CS - Eric Young Jr. (3, 2nd base by Carpenter/Molina)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Barmes-Tulowitzki-Helton
Colorado Rockies
Aaron Cook 5400010 4.32
Jose Contreras (BS,1) 2211031 5.13
Rafael Betancourt 1200010 2.91
Huston Street (W,4-1) 1000010 2.83
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Cook 76-50, Jose Contreras 21-16, Rafael Betancourt 16-11, Huston Street 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Cook 12-2, Jose Contreras 3-0, Rafael Betancourt 1-0, Huston Street 2-0
Batters Faced - Aaron Cook 19, Jose Contreras 8, Rafael Betancourt 4, Huston Street 3
Game Information
Attendance - 48847
Game Time - 2:38
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - Mike Winters, First Base - Dan Iassogna, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Sam Holbrook