• My Scores
  • MLB
  • Golf

St. Louis at Colorado

Scoreboard
St. Louis (90-66)003000000361
Colorado (88-68) «20002000x482

Rockies edge Cards, maintain 2 1/2-game wild-card lead

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

DENVER -- Clint Barmes had the wind knocked out of him and a big welt on his forehead.

A small price to pay for a game-saving catch in the middle of a tight playoff race.

 Playoff Race

Colorado's second baseman made a diving grab in shallow right field to start a game-ending double play, preserving a 4-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday that kept the Rockies 2½ games ahead of the surging Atlanta Braves in the NL wild-card race.

"There's been pitches of the year, innings of the year -- that's the defensive play of the year," Colorado manager Jim Tracy said.

With runners on first and third and one out, Barmes sprinted into the outfield on Ryan Ludwick's flair. He dove headfirst for the ball, snaring it and firing to first base to double up Albert Pujols, who ran on contact.

Given the circumstances, Barmes doesn't think he's ever made a more important catch.

The welt on his head? He didn't even know it was there.

His wound could become as memorable as Matt Holliday scraping up his chin sliding into home plate during a win over San Diego in the NL wild-card tiebreaker in 2007.

But Colorado has to make it to the postseason first.

The Braves are charging hard, applying the pressure. Colorado's victory also kept the Los Angeles Dodgers' magic number at two for clinching the NL West title.

The Rockies are going all out to get in.

That's why Huston Street was called on for his first six-out save since Aug. 2, 2006, with Oakland. He allowed leadoff hits in both the eighth and ninth, but worked his way out of it.

Barmes provided help in the ninth.

Street was surprised that Ludwick even made contact on the pitch, thinking he'd put it in the perfect spot.

Nervous? No time for that.

"You're waiting to see what happens," said Street, who earned his first save in more than a month after sitting out with soreness in his biceps tendon. "You're just watching. You become a fan."

And the fan in him let loose when Barmes hauled in the catch and fired to first to get Pujols.

"I sprinted out to right field," Street said. "It was such a special moment, a special play."

Barmes was mobbed in the outfield, a moment he'll treasure.

"Unbelievable feeling," he said. "That was my contribution today. I didn't do much offensively."

Tracy doesn't expect him to -- as long as he keeps making plays in the field.

"I kept playing him through times when there were some offensive shortcomings," Tracy said. "I will never ever give up on Clint Barmes."

It was Street's 34th save in 35 chances this season.

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa had no qualms with how the game ended. He thought Pujols did the right thing by digging hard for third, assuming the ball would drop.

"It was just a great play," La Russa said. "He's a great athlete and he got a jump and he made a great play."

St. Louis went with a patchwork lineup a day after clinching the NL Central title. Yadier Molina (sore knee) and Holliday (sickness) were held out for precautionary reasons.

The Cardinals still have plenty left to play for as they eye home-field advantage in the NL playoffs. They trail the Dodgers by three games for the best mark in the league.

Jorge De La Rosa (16-9) became just the second lefty in Rockies history to reach 16 wins. He gave up three runs and four hits in five innings.

He wiggled out of a bases-loaded predicament in the fourth, striking out Pujols and Ludwick.

De La Rosa couldn't escape a jam in the third, though. Pujols drilled a one-out double into the right-center gap, clearing the bases.

Kyle Lohse (6-9) gave up four runs (three earned) and six hits in five innings. The righty is trying to make a case to be in the rotation come playoff time.

"I felt like my pitches were good, sharp. I just got bad results," he said.

Colorado trailed 3-2 heading into the fifth, but an RBI double by Carlos Gonzalez tied the game and Todd Helton's bloop single put the Rockies up for good.

"You kind of walk away shaking your head wondering how they got four runs out of that because I feel like I was hitting my spots," Lohse said. "The ball was moving. ... You can't beat yourself up for guys getting little hits that were finding holes."

Or when a potential hit gets turned into a game-ending double play.

"[Barmes] just made a great play and that was it," Pujols said. "That's how you win big games."

Notes

  • Molina is still hobbled after being struck on the left knee by a foul ball Saturday. He will be re-evaluated in Cincinnati.
  • Cardinals INF Brendan Ryan left the game in the sixth with a bruised right index finger after he was struck on the hand while bunting.
 
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.
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Clint Barmes (middle) is congratulated by teammates after his game-saving diving catch.  (AP)
Clint Barmes (middle) is congratulated by teammates after his game-saving diving catch. (AP)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

A. Pujols
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 3
Colorado

J. De La Rosa
IP 5.0
H 4
ER 3
BB 3
K 8
 
St. Louis Cardinals
Julio Lugo, 2B-SS5120000 .283
Brendan Ryan, SS2110000 .290
   a- Joe Thurston, PH-2B1000011 .229
   b- Skip Schumaker, PH1000000 .303
Albert Pujols, 1B4013113 .328
Ryan Ludwick, LF4000135 .270
Mark DeRosa, RF2000120 .254
David Freese, 3B4010024 .174
Jason LaRue, C3000024 .237
Tyler Greene, CF2000000 .215
    Colby Rasmus, CF2000011 .254
Kyle Lohse, P1110100 .229
   c- Khalil Greene, PH1000000 .204
    Blake Hawksworth, P0000000 .000
    Dennys Reyes, P0000000 .000
   d- Rick Ankiel, PH1000001 .232
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
Totals33363412  
a-struck out for Ryan in the 6th
b-grounded out for Thurston in the 9th
c-flied out for Lohse in the 6th
d-flied out for Reyes in the 8th
Batting
2B - Albert Pujols (43, De La Rosa)
SH - Jason LaRue (1)
RBI - Albert Pujols 3 (132)
SB - Julio Lugo (8, 3rd base off Street/Torrealba), Albert Pujols (15, 3rd base off De La Rosa/Torrealba)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
E - Albert Pujols (12, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
Kyle Lohse (L,6-9) 5643140 4.84
Blake Hawksworth 1100020 2.19
Dennys Reyes 1100110 3.20
Jason Motte 1000010 4.75
IBB - Tulowitzki by Dennys Reyes
WP - Dennys Reyes (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Lohse 96-60, Blake Hawksworth 20-13, Dennys Reyes 18-8, Jason Motte 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Lohse 6-6, Dennys Reyes 2-0, Jason Motte 1-1
Batters Faced - Kyle Lohse 23, Blake Hawksworth 4, Dennys Reyes 5, Jason Motte 3
Colorado Rockies
Carlos Gonzalez, CF-LF4121000 .284
Seth Smith, LF3000001 .294
   a- Dexter Fowler, PH-CF0000000 .267
Todd Helton, 1B4121011 .322
Troy Tulowitzki, SS3121101 .290
Brad Hawpe, RF4011014 .285
    Huston Street, P0000000 .000
Yorvit Torrealba, C4010032 .289
Ian Stewart, 3B3000121 .228
Clint Barmes, 2B4000013 .248
Jorge De La Rosa, P1000000 .125
   b- Eric Young Jr., PH1100000 .260
    Randy Flores, P0000000 .000
    Matt Belisle, P0000000 .000
   c- Garrett Atkins, PH1000001 .222
    Matt Daley, P0000000 .000
    Ryan Spilborghs, RF0000000 .245
Totals3248428  
a-hit a sacrifice bunt for Smith in the 7th
b-grounded out for De La Rosa in the 5th
c-popped out for Belisle in the 6th
Batting
2B - Carlos Gonzalez (14, Lohse)
3B - Troy Tulowitzki (9, Lohse), Yorvit Torrealba (1, Hawksworth)
SH - Dexter Fowler (14)
RBI - Carlos Gonzalez (27), Todd Helton (82), Troy Tulowitzki (87), Brad Hawpe (82)
2-OUT RBI - Troy Tulowitzki (23), Brad Hawpe (41)
SB - Troy Tulowitzki (19, 2nd base off Lohse/LaRue)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Barmes-Helton
E - Troy Tulowitzki 2 (9, Misplayed grounder)
Colorado Rockies
Jorge De La Rosa (W,16-9) 5433380 4.45
Randy Flores (H,10) 0.1000000 5.40
Matt Belisle (H,1) 0.2000010 5.72
Matt Daley (H,9) 1000020 3.86
Huston Street (S,34) 2200110 2.73
IBB - Pujols by Huston Street
HBP - DeRosa (by Jorge De La Rosa), Ryan (by Jorge De La Rosa)
Pitches-Strikes - Jorge De La Rosa 96-56, Randy Flores 4-2, Matt Belisle 8-5, Matt Daley 13-7, Huston Street 22-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jorge De La Rosa 3-5, Matt Belisle 1-1, Huston Street 2-2
Batters Faced - Jorge De La Rosa 25, Randy Flores 1, Matt Belisle 3, Matt Daley 3, Huston Street 8
Game Information
Attendance - 42032
Game Time - 3:12
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Sam Holbrook, Second Base - Mike Winters, Third Base - Dan Iassogna