Berkman, Cardinals shut down by Rockies, 8-2
DENVER (AP) Lance Berkman and the St. Louis Cardinals had an unusual night at the plate. The top-hitting team in the National League was shut down by baseball's worst pitching staff.
Tyler Colvin hit a tiebreaking double in the seventh inning and rookie Josh Rutledge homered in his fourth straight game, lifting the Colorado Rockies over St. Louis 8-2 on Thursday to avert a three-game sweep.
The heart of the Cardinals' batting order, Nos. 3 through 7, went 1 for 18 against the Rockies, who had a 5.40 ERA at hitter-friendly Coors Field.
"It was a rough night offensively," said Berkman, who was 0 for 4 and didn't get the ball out of the infield.
Matt Holliday went 0 for 3 with a walk, one night after he had two homers and five RBIs.
"They had been hitting very well lately," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "They had been putting up some terrific numbers and this was a night we needed others to do it, too."
Wilin Rosario hit his first pinch-hit homer, a two-run shot off Cardinals reliever Brian Fuentes in the eighth, and Jordan Pacheco went 3 for 3 with two doubles and two RBIs to help the Rockies snap a five-game losing streak. It was their first win in their last eight games at Coors Field.
"Their starter threw very well before getting into a little bit of trouble," Berkman said. "Their bullpen came in and did an excellent job."
St Louis starter Lance Lynn went six innings, giving up two runs and seven hits. He struck out four and walked four.
With the score deadlocked at 2, DJ LeMahieu singled off St. Louis reliever Fernando Salas (1-4) to start the seventh inning and was sacrificed to second. Colvin then doubled to left to put the Rockies back on top.
Rutledge followed with his fifth home run since his July 13 call-up, driving a 2-2 pitch into the left-field bleachers.
"The kid has been hot," Matheny said. "I'm sure it wasn't where (Salas) wanted it."
Rutledge became the first rookie in Rockies history to homer in four consecutive games.
"He has stunning power for the type of player he is," Colorado manager Jim Tracy said.
Ramon Hernandez added a run-scoring double in the eighth and, one out later, Rosario connected on an 0-2 pitch from Fuentes for his 17th home run.
With St. Louis trailing 1-0, Rockies starter Alex White started the sixth by striking out Lynn to retire his 10th consecutive batter. Skip Schumaker then singled and scored when Jay followed with a double to the left-center gap.
Holliday was intentionally walked and Beltran hit a run-scoring double to put the Cardinals in front. David Freese was hit by a pitch, loading the bases and finishing White. Rex Brothers (6-2) relieved and got Berkman to ground into an inning-ending double play.
The Rockies tied it at 2 in the bottom half on a sacrifice fly by Pacheco, his second RBI of the night. He singled in the fourth to drive in Carlos Gonzalez, who was aboard with a double.
White, recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs before the game, allowed two runs and five hits. He struck out three and walked one.
NOTES: The Cardinals were foiled in their bid for their first series sweep at Colorado since 2004. ... Cardinals C Yadier Molina sat out with a sprained right thumb sustained on a slide at first base the night before. He'll have X-rays when the team returns to St. Louis to begin a seven-game homestand against Milwaukee (three games) and San Francisco (four). ... Cardinals INF Rafael Furcal missed his fifth straight game with back stiffness, but Matheny said Furcal was improving and could be back in the lineup soon. ... Berkman tweaked his right knee running out a grounder in the ninth and will be evaluated when the team returns to St. Louis.
Updated August 3, 2012