St. Louis at Colorado

Scoreboard
St. Louis (88-63) «11602000111181
Colorado (69-83)000000400490

Cardinals rout Rockies, open one-game lead in NL Central

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

DENVER -- Matt Holliday almost felt bad robbing his good friend of an extra-base hit with a leaping catch at the wall.

After all, Todd Helton is retiring at the end of the season. Not exactly the going away present Holliday wanted to give his former teammate.

"Todd wasn't thrilled about that," said Holliday, who played five seasons in Colorado. "He's like, 'I don't mind you getting hits ... ' "

Holliday did his share of hitting Tuesday night, collecting four, including a two-run homer, to help the St. Louis Cardinals take over sole possession of the NL Central with an 11-4 victory against the Rockies.

The Cardinals entered the night tied with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who lost 5-2 at home to San Diego. St. Louis reduced its magic number for clinching a playoff spot to five with 11 games remaining.

"You like gaining a game on them," Holliday said. "But there are still a lot of games left. We have to keep winning games, make it hard on them."

Joe Kelly (9-4) baffled the Rockies as he allowed three hits over five sharp innings before turning a 10-0 lead over to the bullpen. The hard-throwing right-hander could've possibly stayed in longer, but he was dealing with tightness in his upper right calf.

No sense taking a risk, Kelly explained, especially this late in the season. Kelly has been one of the team's most consistent pitchers since becoming a permanent member of the rotation in July.

"It's not bad," Kelly said. "I still had my stuff tonight, still throwing pretty decently hard. Just covering first base, felt a little more tight than usual. I thought it was a good idea to get me some rest, get me out of there."

Juan Nicasio (8-8) struggled with his command, lasting only 2 2/3 innings and allowing eight runs, which tied a career high. He constantly fell behind in counts, leading to more fastballs.

"You see what happens when you get behind in the count," Nicasio said.

Indeed.

Holliday led an 18-hit night by the Cardinals, who had seven players with at least two hits. Holliday finished 4 for 4 with a walk, double and two-run homer. He also drove in three runs and scored twice.

"When we get it going like that, it's hard to stop us," Holliday said.

The Cardinals ran away with the game in the third when they sent 11 batters to the plate and scored six times. Daniel Descalso had a two-run triple in the decisive inning, while Holliday added a double and an RBI single.

Colorado's Michael Cuddyer finished 2 for 3 with a walk and an RBI to raise his average to.331, which is tops in the NL.

Kelly hardly seemed intimidated in his first start at Coors Field. He didn't allow a base runner to reach as far as third base until the fourth inning. He wiggled out of that jam when first baseman Matt Adams corralled Josh Rutledge's liner.

Once Kelly was out of the game, the Rockies went to work as they scored four runs off reliever Carlos Martinez in the seventh. But the bullpen shut down the Rockies from there, with Kevin Siegrist striking out pinch-hitter Jordan Pacheco to end the game.

Leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter was frequently on base for the Cardinals, with two singles and a hit by pitch. He leads the league hits (187), doubles (51) and multi-hit games (60).

Yadier Molina gave the Cardinals a lead in the first inning with a two-out single to center. Molina is one of the top hitters in the league with runners in scoring position.

Helton nearly tied the game in the bottom half of the first, but Holliday made a leaping catch against the fence in left field.

The 40-year-old Helton announced last weekend his decision to retire after his 17th season with the Rockies. He leaves as the franchise's leader in virtually every offensive category.

Since announcing his decision, Helton has received warm receptions each time he's stepped up to the plate.

"He deserves it," Holliday said.

Notes

Kelly is 9-2 with a 2.14 ERA in 14 starts this season. ... The only Cardinals starter without a hit was OF Carlos Beltran. ... St. Louis will send RHP Adam Wainwright (16-9) to the mound on Wednesday, while the Rockies counter with RHP Tyler Chatwood (7-4). ... Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado missed the game after aggravating his right thumb on Monday. "His thumb is real tender," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. ... Rockies C Yorvit Torrealba replaced Wilin Rosario (right calf soreness) in the third inning. "I see him being down for a couple of days," Weiss said.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Matt Holliday gets another dugout welcome after his home run in the fifth inning pushes St. Louis' lead to 10-0.  (USATSI)
Matt Holliday gets another dugout welcome after his home run in the fifth inning pushes St. Louis' lead to 10-0. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Colorado

M. Cuddyer
AB 3
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
St. Louis

M. Holliday
AB 4
R 2
H 4
HR 1
RBI 3
 

Related Video

December 1, 2014
Boomer & Carton: Football coming to LA? (2:58)
December 17, 2014
Eagles at Redskins Preview
(2:26)
December 17, 2014
Chargers at 49ers Preview
(2:48)
December 17, 2014
Lions at Bears Preview
(2:48)

CBSSports.com Shop

Mens Chicago Cubs Nike Royal Blue Classic Pullover Hoodie

Free Shipping over $50 order!
Use code SHIPNOW
Get their favorite team gear
Shop Now

St. Louis Cardinals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Matt Carpenter, 2B5332020 .323
Jon Jay, CF5130112 .268
Matt Holliday, LF4243100 .290
   Shane Robinson, PR-RF1000002 .258
Carlos Beltran, RF4000114 .297
   Adron Chambers, PR-LF1000002 .118
Yadier Molina, C6122004 .317
Matt Adams, 1B5121012 .275
David Freese, 3B3120210 .265
Daniel Descalso, SS5222013 .240
Joe Kelly, P2000001 .138
   Carlos Martinez, P1000000 .000
   Seth Maness, P0000000 .200
   a-Kolten Wong, PH1000001 .157
   John Axford, P0000000 .000
   Kevin Siegrist, P0000000 .000
Totals4311181057  
a-grounded out for Maness in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jon Jay (26, Corpas), Matt Holliday (30, Nicasio), Yadier Molina (40, Nicasio), David Freese (25, Scahill)
3B - Daniel Descalso (1, Nicasio)
HR - Matt Holliday (20, Scahill)
SH - Joe Kelly (5)
RBI - Matt Carpenter 2 (75), Matt Holliday 3 (87), Yadier Molina 2 (68), Matt Adams (45), Daniel Descalso 2 (40)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Carpenter 2 (35), Matt Holliday 3 (36), Yadier Molina (16)
SB - Jon Jay (8, 2nd base off Nicasio/Rosario)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
E - Shane Robinson (3, Misplayed grounder)
St. Louis Cardinals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Joe Kelly (W,9-4) 5300200 2.74
Carlos Martinez 1.2544120 6.00
Seth Maness 0.1000000 2.33
John Axford 0.2100120 4.26
Kevin Siegrist 1.1000020 0.50
WP - Joe Kelly (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Kelly 78-45, Carlos Martinez 40-26, Seth Maness 5-3, John Axford 22-12, Kevin Siegrist 22-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Kelly 7-8, Carlos Martinez 2-1, Seth Maness 1-0, Kevin Siegrist 1-1
Batters Faced - Joe Kelly 20, Carlos Martinez 11, Seth Maness 1, John Axford 4, Kevin Siegrist 4
Colorado Rockies
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Corey Dickerson, LF-CF5010013 .284
DJ LeMahieu, 3B5111000 .285
Troy Tulowitzki, SS2000101 .313
   Jonathan Herrera, SS2010010 .285
Michael Cuddyer, RF3021110 .331
   Mitchell Boggs, P0000000 .000
   Manny Corpas, P0000000 .000
   a-Jordan Pacheco, PH1000010 .236
Todd Helton, 1B3000003 .242
   Ryan Wheeler, 1B1000002 .176
Wilin Rosario, C1000000 .292
   Yorvit Torrealba, C3010010 .230
Charlie Blackmon, CF-RF4110012 .284
Josh Rutledge, 2B3110102 .232
Juan Nicasio, P0000000 .147
   Rob Scahill, P1000000 .000
   b-Dexter Fowler, PH1000000 .263
   Jeff Francis, P0000000 .000
   c-Charlie Culberson, PH-LF1111100 .265
Totals3649346  
a-struck out for Corpas in the 9th
b-lined out for Scahill in the 5th
c-singled for Francis in the 7th
Batting
2B - Charlie Blackmon (14, Martinez)
RBI - DJ LeMahieu (26), Michael Cuddyer (81), Charlie Culberson (11)
2-OUT RBI - DJ LeMahieu (8), Michael Cuddyer (31)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Rutledge-Herrera-Wheeler
Colorado Rockies
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Juan Nicasio (L,8-8) 2.2888320 4.98
Rob Scahill 2.1422021 4.60
Jeff Francis 2300130 6.79
Mitchell Boggs 1100100 8.85
Manny Corpas 1211000 4.78
WP - Manny Corpas (3)
HBP - M. Carpenter (by Rob Scahill)
Pitches-Strikes - Juan Nicasio 71-43, Rob Scahill 29-18, Jeff Francis 36-26, Mitchell Boggs 16-8, Manny Corpas 12-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Juan Nicasio 3-3, Rob Scahill 3-2, Jeff Francis 3-0, Mitchell Boggs 2-0, Manny Corpas 1-2
Batters Faced - Juan Nicasio 19, Rob Scahill 12, Jeff Francis 10, Mitchell Boggs 4, Manny Corpas 5
Game Information
Attendance - 27107
Game Time - 3:23
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Lance Barksdale, First Base - Kerwin Danley, Second Base - Victor Carapazza, Third Base - Bill Miller