Marquis, Rockies beat Cardinals 5-2 for sweep
AP Sports Writer
ST. LOUIS – Jason Marquis was the fourth straight starter to set the tone, helping the last-place Colorado Rockies look like contenders for at least a series.
Marquis took the NL lead with his eighth win and Troy Tulowitzki homered for the first time in nearly a month as the Rockies completed their first sweep in St. Louis with a 5-2 victory on Monday.
Colorado starters totaled 29 1-3 innings with a 2.45 ERA and won all four games.
“We pitched great the entire series and we deserved to win these games,” manager Jim Tracy said. “What we did here is not easy to do, and we did a terrific job.”
The Rockies won their season-high fifth in a row. St. Louis has lost a season-worst four straight.
“We’re in a rut now and it could be that we’re pressing,” manager Tony La Russa said. “The bullpen had some bad moments, starters had some bad moments. Offense. Defense. Manager.”
Clint Barmes had a pair of RBI singles for his sixth consecutive multihit game and Brad Hawpe doubled and had a sacrifice fly in the Rockies’ first sweep of the year.
Colorado last swept the Cardinals in July 1994, winning four straight at Mile High Stadium. The Rockies are 7-4 under Tracy after going 18-28 with Clint Hurdle.
“You can’t put your head way down when things start going bad, because they’re going to change,” first baseman Todd Helton said. “You just keep working and focusing on the process, not the result.”
Marquis (8-4) allowed two runs in 6 2-3 innings against the Cardinals, for whom he won 42 games from 2004-06. He leads the league with five road victories, and has won four of his last five starts overall.
“This is my fourth team so I’ve been through it enough to control the emotions,” Marquis said. “But it still feels like I’m at home because I played here for so long and had good success.”
The Cardinals were outscored 33-9 while winding up a 2-6 homestand. Even star slugger Albert Pujols was in a slump during this series, going 1 for 14.
“We’ve got to be tough mentally,” catcher Yadier Molina said. “We lost this series, but tomorrow is another day.”
Rockies starters have worked at least six innings in all eight games this month. Huston Street made his first appearance in the series and worked the ninth for his ninth save in 10 chances.
Helton’s RBI single in the third off Brad Thompson (0-2) put the Rockies ahead. The Cardinals answered in the bottom half when Brendan Ryan tripled with two outs and scored on a wild pitch.
Barmes singled for the go-ahead hit in the fifth and Hawpe added a sacrifice fly for a 3-1 lead. Tulowitzki hit his sixth homer, and first since May 10, in the sixth off Jason Motte for a three-run cushion.
Molina singled in the fourth for his 500th career hit, and then doubled and scored on Ryan’s single with two outs in the seventh for St. Louis. Barmes’ second RBI single in the eighth put the Rockies ahead 5-2 in the eighth.
Thompson made his second straight fill-in start, one each for Joel Pineiro and Kyle Lohse. He allowed three runs in 4 1-3 innings, leaving with two on.
“I would have loved a chance to get out of my own mess,” Thompson said. “A ground ball away from getting out of that.”