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St. Louis at Colorado

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St. Louis (31-22)0000100304111
Colorado (25-26) «61050012x15180

Rockies 15, Cardinals 4

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DENVER -- The sputtering Colorado Rockies' offense erupted against one of the top pitchers in the league.

Chris Iannetta homered twice and drove in a career-high six runs as the Rockies knocked around Jaime Garcia and the St. Louis Cardinals in a 15-4 rout on Saturday night.

The Rockies set season highs in runs and hits (18) as they ended a four-game slide in which their offense was all but neutralized, scoring a total of nine runs.

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This performance just might be the catalyst to get their offense rolling.

"It's in there, it's in that clubhouse -- the capability of doing that is in that clubhouse," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "It doesn't have to be the extent of 15 runs a day, but if the consistency, as far as the performance throughout the course of the lineup, is there, maybe it is the beginning of something special."

Possibly for Juan Nicasio, too.

The hard-throwing Nicasio shut down the best hitting team in the majors as he pitched seven solid innings in his major league debut.

Nicasio (1-0) surrendered just six hits and one unearned run after being recalled from Double-A Tulsa to make a spot start.

The 24-year-old may have just made a compelling case to stick around a while longer as the Rockies tinker with their rotation in the wake of the season-ending elbow injury to Jorge De La Rosa.

Speaking little English, Nicasio, a native of the Dominican Republic, asked his locker mate, Ubaldo Jimenez, to translate for him.

"He said he felt great," Jimenez said. "He felt comfortable out there."

Does he feel he deserves another start?

"He's grateful for the chance they gave him," Jimenez relayed. "Whatever comes next, he's going to take it. Whenever he gets the opportunity, he's going to keep doing the same thing."

The usually reliable Garcia (5-1) had a rough outing. He surrendered 12 runs -- 11 earned -- and 11 hits, all career highs. He was eventually pulled with one out in the fourth in his shortest outing of the season.

The crafty lefty entered with a minuscule 1.93 ERA, but saw it balloon to 3.28 by the time his night was finished. Garcia surrendered six runs and threw 49 pitches in the first inning alone.

"No excuses. Tough day out there," Garcia said. "They've got a good lineup. I went out there and I was battling and try to give my best. Didn't work out."

Iannetta led the offensive charge with a career night, including his first multihomer game. Both shots landed deep in the left-field seats.

Ryan Spilborghs had three hits and drove in four runs, while Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitzki and Eric Young Jr. also had RBI singles for the Rockies. Alfredo Amezaga had a sacrifice fly.

"That was fun," said Iannetta, who also had a two-run single. "I felt like what Tulo and CarGo do on a daily basis."

Nicasio's blazing fastball was on display early as he hit 95 mph on his first pitch.

His nerves were apparent as well, walking Albert Pujols on four straight pitches. Not the first pitcher to do that, though.

Nicasio settled into a groove, not allowing a run until the fifth when Tony Cruz doubled and scored on Ryan Theriot's groundout.

By that time, the Rockies were already comfortably ahead 12-0.

"He just appeared to me to be unfazed by anything. He never wavered at all," Tracy said of Nicasio.

With the game out of hand, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa slowly began pulling his players to give them some rest. Yadier Molina came out, along with Lance Berkman and Pujols.

"We had a tough day as a team," La Russa said.

This was the second time Nicasio has stymied a Cardinals squad this season. Earlier this month, he struck out 10 against the Springfield Cardinals, the Double-A affiliate for St. Louis.

While Nicasio cruised along, Garcia couldn't find his customary rhythm.

The Rockies roughed up Garcia right off the bat, scoring six times in the opening frame.

It was an unexpected start, considering Garcia had allowed just one first-inning run over his previous 10 starts.

The six runs tied for the most the Rockies have scored in an inning this season. They also had six on April 14 in the sixth inning of game No. 2 during a doubleheader against the New York Mets.

"We're capable offensively; we just haven't done it lately," Tulowitzki said. "It was nice to beat a good pitcher."

Notes

To make room for Nicasio on the roster, the Rockies optioned reliever Bruce Billings to Triple-A Colorado Springs. ... Rockies OF Seth Smith (groin) took swings in the cage before the game. ... Cardinals OF Matt Holliday was not in the lineup for a fifth straight game due to left quadriceps tightness. He entered as a pinch hitter in the eighth and flew out. ... The last Cardinals pitcher to allow 11 earned runs was Jason Marquis on July 18, 2006, against Atlanta. Marquis surrendered 12 earned runs in five innings.

 
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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Players of the Game
Colorado

C. Iannetta
AB 5
R 2
H 4
HR 2
RBI 6
Colorado

R. Spilborghs
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 4
 
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ryan Theriot, SS3021000 .303
    Pete Kozma, SS1100111 .143
Jon Jay, LF5130001 .350
Albert Pujols, 1B2000101 .262
    Tyler Greene, RF2111002 .230
Lance Berkman, RF2010001 .356
    Allen Craig, RF-1B2012000 .321
Colby Rasmus, CF3000102 .283
Skip Schumaker, 2B4000002 .221
Yadier Molina, C2000000 .312
    Ryan Franklin, P1000000 .000
    Trever Miller, P0000000 .000
   a- Matt Holliday, PH1000001 .347
    Brian Tallet, P0000000 .000
Daniel Descalso, 3B4010010 .240
Jaime Garcia, P1000011 .087
    Tony Cruz, C3120000 .625
Totals36411433  
a-flied out for Miller in the 8th
Batting
2B - Tyler Greene (4, Reynolds), Tony Cruz (2, Nicasio)
RBI - Ryan Theriot (19), Tyler Greene (8), Allen Craig 2 (17)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Jaime Garcia (2, Interference)
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jaime Garcia (L,5-1) 3.1111211461 3.28
Ryan Franklin 2.2200030 7.79
Trever Miller 1111100 2.79
Brian Tallet 1422021 5.68
Pitches-Strikes - Jaime Garcia 106-63, Ryan Franklin 36-26, Trever Miller 16-9, Brian Tallet 25-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jaime Garcia 5-0, Ryan Franklin 4-1, Trever Miller 1-2, Brian Tallet 1-0
Batters Faced - Jaime Garcia 26, Ryan Franklin 10, Trever Miller 5, Brian Tallet 7
Colorado Rockies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Eric Young Jr., 2B-LF6131000 .400
Dexter Fowler, CF5220122 .243
Carlos Gonzalez, LF4221010 .258
   a- Jose Morales, PH-2B1000102 .225
Troy Tulowitzki, SS4221001 .251
    Alfredo Amezaga, 3B0001000 .242
Todd Helton, 1B3210110 .303
    Jonathan Herrera, SS1000001 .271
Ty Wigginton, 3B-1B4210125 .238
Ryan Spilborghs, RF4234111 .258
Chris Iannetta, C5246002 .242
Juan Nicasio, P4000034 .000
    Greg Reynolds, P1000010 .250
    Huston Street, P0000000 .000
Totals42151814511  
a-walked for C. Gonzalez in the 7th
Batting
2B - Dexter Fowler (13, Tallet), Carlos Gonzalez (8, Garcia)
3B - Dexter Fowler (5, Miller), Ryan Spilborghs (1, Garcia)
HR - Chris Iannetta 2 (7, Garcia, Tallet)
SF - Alfredo Amezaga (1)
RBI - Eric Young Jr. (1), Carlos Gonzalez (33), Troy Tulowitzki (31), Alfredo Amezaga (2), Ryan Spilborghs 4 (13), Chris Iannetta 6 (22)
2-OUT RBI - Eric Young Jr. (1), Ryan Spilborghs (6)
SB - Eric Young Jr. (1, 2nd base off Garcia/Molina)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Nicasio-Tulowitzki-Helton, Tulowitzki-Young-Helton
PB - Chris Iannetta (2)
Colorado Rockies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Juan Nicasio (W,1-0) 7610220 0.00
Greg Reynolds 1333100 4.60
Huston Street 1200010 3.86
Pitches-Strikes - Juan Nicasio 88-57, Greg Reynolds 19-11, Huston Street 18-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Juan Nicasio 9-8, Greg Reynolds 2-1, Huston Street 2-0
Batters Faced - Juan Nicasio 27, Greg Reynolds 7, Huston Street 5
Game Information
Attendance - 38149
Game Time - 3:02
Temperature - 59
Umpires - Home - Kerwin Danley, First Base - Victor Carapazza, Second Base - Paul Nauert, Third Base - Doug Eddings