Thursday’s Game Report: Cardinals 10, Rockies 3
After struggling to score runs in the first two games of their series against the Rockies, the Cardinals took a different approach on Thursday by hitting the ball over the fence.
The Cardinals hit five homers in the first four innings, sending them to the win in Denver that salvaged the final game of the series.
The victory kept the Cardinals four games ahead of the Cubs and Brewers in the NL Central with 16 games left in the regular season.
The five homers tied the Cardinals’ record for their most homers in a game at Colorado, and also marked the first time in franchise history they had a homer from the leadoff batter in the first, second, third and fourth innings of a game.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: Dexter Fowler hit the first pitch of the game for a home run, and Kolten Wong followed with a blast over the center field wall, putting the Cardinals up 2-0 five pitches into the game … Rangel Ravelo, starting at first base as Paul Goldschmidt got the day off, led off the second with a home run after being knocked down by a pitch before Marcell Ozuna homered leading off the third and Harrison Bader hit a leadoff homer in the fourth … After Bader’s homer, the Cardinals had six hits in the game, five of them home runs … The Cardinals carried a 6-3 lead to the ninth inning, when they broke the game open with a four-run inning, the big hit a two-run double by Matt Carpenter … Fowler also walked twice and singled after his leadoff homer, extending his streak of reaching base to eight consecutive at-bats before he struck out in the eighth.
On the mound: Miles Mikolas battled through five innings, allowing the three Colorado runs, two coming on solo home runs. He allowed five hits, walked one and struck out five … Carlos Martinez got the two biggest outs among the five Cardinals relievers who pitched in the game when he inherited runners on second and third with one out from Andrew Miller in the eighth and struck out Daniel Murphy and Tony Wolters, both representing the potential tying run … After the Cardinals four-run ninth John Brebbia pitched the bottom of the inning.
Key stat: The three runs off Mikolas were the most allowed by a Cardinals’ starter in the last 10 games. The starters over the 10 game stretch have allowed just nine runs in 58 innings, a combined ERA of 0.93.
Worth noting: The last Cardinal to lead off a game with a home run in Colorado was Placido Polanco on April 13, 2000 … It was the second leadoff home run for the Cardinals this season, the other coming from Tommy Edman at San Diego … Ravelo’s home run was estimated at 487 feet, the longest by a Cardinal this season … The last team in the majors to hit a leadoff homer in each of the first four innings of a game was the Astros on Oct. 2, 2004 … Adam Wainwright was named Thursday as the Cardinals’ nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, given out by Major League Baseball each year for humanitarian service. Yadier Molina won the award last season for his hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.
Looking ahead: The Cardinals return home to begin a three-game series against the Brewers on Friday night. Wainwright will get the start.