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Colorado at St. Louis

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Colorado (55-65)000100000150
St. Louis (64-55) «01000500x690

Pujols, Freese powers Cardinals past Rockies

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. LOUIS -- Kyle Lohse responded to getting bumped in the rotation with a strong outing. He wasn't about to criticize manager Tony La Russa's decision.

"I've felt fine physically," Lohse said after working into the seventh inning in a 6-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Friday night. "Tony's going to set the matchups the way he wants, and I'm ready whenever he wants me to be ready."

Albert Pujols followed up a 4-for-4 game with two hits and the go-ahead RBI, and David Freese had two hits and three RBI, two of them in a five-run sixth that chased Aaron Cook (2-7). Matt Holliday returned after missing two games with a lower back injury and had an RBI double, while Lohse contributed his first Busch Stadium RBI in nearly two seasons.

Carlos Gonzalez hit his 17th home run for the Rockies, who have lost three in a row while mustering just four runs and are a season-worst 10 games below .500 (55-65). Colorado had only five hits for the second straight game and has scored only one run for Cook in his last three starts.

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Cook made only his 12th start after being sidelined with a fractured finger, and manager Jim Tracy said he deserved better.

"He was aggressive, he was in the strike zone from the outside, he was throwing one ground ball after another," Tracy said. "It's unfortunate when you get down to it."

The Cardinals have won five straight over the Rockies at home, outscoring them 22-3.

Lohse (10-7) matched his victory total from the previous two seasons, both of them injury-plagued, and addressed doubts about his current health and durability that in part prompted the Cardinals to give him two extra days of rest. The right-hander allowed a run on four hits in 6 1/3 innings and threw 91 pitches, 17 more than any of his three previous appearances.

Lohse was sent home for tests for inflammation in the middle finger of his pitching hand after his start on July 24 at Pittsburgh and allowed eight runs in eight innings in his previous two starts. He reached double figures in victories for the first time since 2008 when he was a 15-game winner.

Ace Chris Carpenter jumped ahead of Lohse with regular rest and had a strong eight-inning outing in a 5-2 victory over NL Central-leading Milwaukee on Thursday night. The Brewers remained four games ahead of St. Louis.

Given the extra time, Lohse altered his delivery somewhat.

"I tweaked some things mechanically, dropped the arm slot a little bit just to see what happened," Lohse said. "And I came out with some good results."

Pujols singled in two of his first three at-bats and his one-hop smash that glanced off second baseman Mark Ellis' glove made it 2-1 with none out in the sixth. Holliday bounced a double over the head of third baseman Scott Nelson on the next pitch for a two-run cushion and Freese's two-run single made it 6-1.

Lohse had early success going after hitters, with first-pitch strikes to 11 of the first 12. That stretch was capped by Gonzalez's homer to straightaway center leading off the fourth to tie it at 1, and the Rockies loaded the bases on two walks and Todd Helton's double later in the inning before Cook popped out to shallow right.

Cook allowed a season-worst six runs in 5 2/3 innings and is 0-2 in August while surrendering 12 runs in 16 1/3 innings. He had no regrets about his work against the Cardinals.

"It's very frustrating, but I've got to try to just laugh this one off and realize I know I made the pitches I wanted to make," Cook said. "They were able to just find the holes to get the runs."

Gonzalez is 3 for 19 with two homers during the Rockies' trip.

Notes

  • Lohse's last RBI at home was Aug. 16, 2009, against the Padres. He has two RBI this season to go with a .143 average (7 for 49).
  • Holliday is a career .367 hitter (18 for 49) against the Rockies with three homers and seven RBI.
  • Freese is batting .390 (23 for 59) with runners in scoring position.
  • Edgmer Escalona worked 2 1-3 scoreless innings of relief for the Rockies, allowing only a walk.
  • Helton is batting .435 (10 for 23) against Lohse.
  • Jason Hammel (6-11) takes the mound for the Rockies on Saturday against the Cardinals' Jaime Garcia (10-5).
  • Lance Berkman has a seven-game hitting streak, going 11 for 25, and has hit in 18 of 20 games since the All-Star break.
  • Yadier Molina was 0-for-3 with a sacrifice to end a 14-game hitting streak one shy of his career best.
 
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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David Freese proves to be the difference maker against Rockies by going 2 for 3 with three RBI in the win. (Getty Images)
David Freese proves to be the difference maker against Rockies by going 2 for 3 with three RBI in the win. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
St. Louis

D. Freese
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
St. Louis

A. Pujols
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Colorado Rockies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Dexter Fowler, CF4010011 .270
Mark Ellis, 2B4000001 .233
Carlos Gonzalez, RF3111100 .280
Troy Tulowitzki, SS4010011 .302
Todd Helton, 1B4010011 .306
Seth Smith, LF2000100 .285
    Edgmer Escalona, P0000000 .000
   a- Eric Young Jr., PH0000100 .232
Chris Nelson, 3B3000002 .230
Chris Iannetta, C3010112 .241
Aaron Cook, P2000013 .174
    Ty Wigginton, LF2000012 .254
Totals3115146  
a-walked for Escalona in the 9th
Batting
2B - Todd Helton (23, Lohse)
HR - Carlos Gonzalez (17, Lohse)
RBI - Carlos Gonzalez (61)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Ellis-Tulowitzki-Helton, Tulowitzki-Ellis-Helton
Colorado Rockies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Aaron Cook (L,2-7) 5.2966310 5.43
Edgmer Escalona 2.1000110 1.64
IBB - Schumaker by Aaron Cook, by Berkman
Pitches-Strikes - Aaron Cook 89-49, Edgmer Escalona 33-20
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Aaron Cook 14-0, Edgmer Escalona 3-3
Batters Faced - Aaron Cook 27, Edgmer Escalona 8
St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Rafael Furcal, SS4110002 .207
Jon Jay, CF4110000 .296
Albert Pujols, 1B4121010 .286
Matt Holliday, LF4111001 .318
Lance Berkman, RF1110300 .295
    Corey Patterson, RF0000000 .247
David Freese, 3B3123000 .321
    Daniel Descalso, 3B1000011 .260
Yadier Molina, C3000003 .289
Skip Schumaker, 2B3000101 .285
Kyle Lohse, P3011002 .143
    Jason Motte, P0000000 .000
    Kyle McClellan, P0000000 .143
Totals3069642  
Batting
2B - Matt Holliday (27, Cook), Lance Berkman (17, Cook)
SH - Yadier Molina (4)
RBI - Albert Pujols (73), Matt Holliday (63), David Freese 3 (35), Kyle Lohse (2)
2-OUT RBI - Kyle Lohse (2)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Furcal-Pujols
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Kyle Lohse (W,10-7) 6.1411331 3.37
Jason Motte 0.2000010 1.93
Kyle McClellan 2100120 4.01
HBP - Nelson (by Kyle McClellan)
Pitches-Strikes - Kyle Lohse 91-60, Jason Motte 12-7, Kyle McClellan 29-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kyle Lohse 6-10, Kyle McClellan 1-2
Batters Faced - Kyle Lohse 26, Jason Motte 2, Kyle McClellan 8
Game Information
Attendance - 36181
Game Time - 2:27
Temperature - 76
Umpires - Home - Sam Holbrook, First Base - Paul Schrieber, Second Base - Chad Fairchild, Third Base - Joe West