A day after the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright had held the Colorado Rockies hitless for 7 1/3 innings and two days after Shelby Miller held them to one hit for the entire game, Colorado lefthander Jorge De La Rosa practiced his own form of no-hit magic.
De La Rosa, who has had one complete game in his major-league career, held the Cardinals hitless for the first six innings today at Busch Stadium before David Freese singled past the sprawling attempt of Colorado first baseman Jordan Pacheco with two out in the seventh.
Jon Jay then doubled to left before Pacheco made a diving stab of Pete Kozma's liner to end the inning.
By that time, the Rockies, who were blanked for the first 20 full innings of the series, were ahead, 5-0 en route to an 8-2 win in the series finale.
Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia (4-2) struck out seven in six innings but gave up a three-run homer to Troy Tulowitzki in the third and a two-run shot to Charlie Blackmon in he sixth.
De La Rosa (4-3) left for a pinch hitter in the eighth and that pinch hitter, Reid Brignac, lined a two-run double to highlight a three-run inning against rookie Carlos Martinez, making his Busch Stadium debut as a major leaguer.
Martinez, who had pitched only two innings since being brought up more than a week ago, fanned the first two hitters he faced in the eighth before encountering trouble and having to be relieved.
De La Rosa, meanwhile, enjoyed his fourth start of at least six innings this season without allowing a run. The Cardinals scored twice off righthander Matt Belisle in the ninth when pinch hitter Daniel Descalso got a broken-bat double, pinch hitter Ty Wigginton singled and pinch hitter Matt Adams singled home Descalso.
Pete Kozma's sacrifice fly accounted for the final run.
ROCKIES HIKE LEAD
Charlie Blackmon's two-run homer off Jaime Garcia in the sixth inning hiked the Colorado Rockies' lead to 5-0 over the Cardinals today at Busch Stadium. Blackmon had been recalled from Class AAA the day before.
The Cardinals, meanwhile, had nary a hit off Colorado lefthander Jorge De La Rosa through five innings.
NIGHTMARE OVER FOR ROCKIES
The long nightmare is over for the Colorado Rockies. After being blanked in the first 20 innings of their three-game series here with the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, Troy Tulowitzki smacked a three-run homer off Jaime Garcia with two out in the third inning to give the Rockies a 3-0 lead.
Garcia gave up two-out singles to Jordan Pacheco and Carlos Gonzalez ahead of Tulowitzki's eighth homer of the season.
Through five innings, Garcia fanned seven but still trailed, 3-0, as the Cardinals were being no-hit by Jorge De La Rosa.
ROCKIES DOUBLE UP, DON'T SCORE
The Colorado Rockies, who amassed only three singles through the first two games of their series with the Cardinals, managed a double in each of the first two innings today against lefthander Jaime Garcia. But the result was the same. They didn’t score.
The Rockies’ streak of scoreless innings in the series reached 20 after a scoreless second, with Garcia fanning four, two in each inning.
The Cardinals didn’t score in the first either.
WESTBROOK ON DL; GAST TO START
The Cardinals’ starting pitching, which had posted a major league best 2.11 earned run average, took its first hit this year when veteran righthander Jake Westbrook was placed on the 15-day disabled list this morning with right elbow inflammation.
Westbrook originally felt discomfort during his start Wednesday in Wrigley Field, though the team gave him a couple days to determine if it persisted.
The righty received an ultrasound scan of the joint Friday morning and a cortisone shot that same day. The recovery time from a shot -- which attacks the inflammation -- is several days so his Tuesday start was unlikely. General manager John Mozeliak insisted the move was made to save Westbrook from pushing to start next Sunday.
"It’s really not that big of a deal," Mozeliak said Sunday morning. "Didn’t want to push it. Didn’t want it to become a big problem."
Westbrook, 2-1 with a 1.62 earned run average, will be replaced on the roster by lefthander John Gast, who has been purchased from Class AAA Memphis to start Tuesday here against the New York Mets.
Westbrook gave up nine hits and three earned runs in 5 1/3 innings in his last start Wednesday in Chicago. Righthander Jason Motte, who had been on the 15-day disabled list but will be out for the season, will be moved to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Gast on the 40-man roster.
Gast, the Cardinals’ minor league player of the month for April, is 3-1 with a 1.16 ERA over six starts in Memphis. The sixth-round draft pick out of Florida State University in 2010 began the season with a 32-inning scoreless streak.
GARCIA HAS TOUGH ACT TO FOLLOW
On the mound, Cardinals lefthander Jaime Garcia has a tall order to follow today against the Colorado Rockies, what with righthanders Shelby Miller and Adam Wainwright having throwing one-hit and two-hit shutouts, in succession. At bat, not so much. He has only to make contact.
“I’m excited to see (Garcia) top them,” said manager Mike Matheny. “He doesn’t have a lot of work (to do) to top them offensively.”
Miller, hitless for the season in 14 at-bats with 12 strikeouts, struck out four times in four plate appearances on Friday. Wainwright did the same on Sunday. Garcia hasn’t done anything at bat this year either, fanning eight times in 16 hitless at-bats, but his .250 average of last year would suggest better.
Cardinals starting pitching has had just six hits in 77 at-bats (.078) with 42 strikeouts.
As Garcia will have today, both Miller and Wainwright had two extra days of rest because of two scheduled off days for the Cardinals last week.
“I don’t think that’s the reason to go on a seven-man rotation,” said Matheny. “But I think it could have been helpful.”
The Cardinals already have had five scheduled off days and a rainout so Matheny said, “I don’t think the guys feel that beat up right now. When you get into July, it would be nice to have that Monday and Thursday off in the same week.
“But you can’t argue with the results. Both (Miller and Wainwright) looked fantastic the last two nights.”
Catcher Yadier Molina will start his 35th game out of 36 although Matheny said Molina, the third leading hitter in the National League at .351, would give way to Tony Cruz once in the upcoming New York Mets series. Matheny said he almost made the move today.
“Yadi’s not a kid anymore,” said Matheny. “He knows his body. And he knows that there’s going to be some dog days ahead. We’re in a pretty long run without off days and he knows he’s going to have an off day in the New York series.”
But, Matheny admitted, “There’s nothing about his game you want to put on the bench.”
Matt Holliday, who turned his ankle late in Saturday's game, is back in the Cardinals' lineup.
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