Wednesday’s Game Report: Cardinals 9, Rockies 5
By Rob Rains
Coors Field in Denver will always be a special place for Albert Pujols and Paul DeJong because for both it was the site of their first game in the majors, Pujols in 2001 and Dejong 16 years later.
It’s also now the spot where each turned in another game to remember on Wednesday night.
Both players had four hits and Pujols launched the 687th home run of his career to lead the Cardinals to a bounce-back win over the Rockies after suffering a blowout loss on Tuesday night.
Pujols had two singles and a ground-rule double along with his home run, his second four-hit game in Denver and first since Sept. 26, 2004.
DeJong had two doubles and two singles, scored three times and drove in a run as his resurgence since being recalled from the minor leagues continued. In his 10 games since rejoining the Cardinals he is 11-of-33 with five doubles, four homers and 13 RBIs.
Nolan Arenado also got in on the fun with three hits, including his first career homer at Coors as a visiting player. He was just 2-of-14, including a double, in his first four visiting games at the stadium last year.
Here is how the game broke down:
At the plate: The Cardinals sent 10 batters to the plate in the first inning, scoring five times, which equaled their biggest first inning of the season … The home runs from Arenado and Pujols came back-to-back in the sixth as the Cardinals increased their lead to 9-2 … Lars Nootbaar hit two triples in the 18-hit attack and drove in two runs, one of the RBIs coming on a sacrifice fly … The Cardinals also had two runners thrown out at the plate … The only Cardinal without at least one hit was leadoff hitter Dylan Carlson, who was 0-of-5.
On the mound: The beneficiary of the big offensive night was Jose Quintana, who turned in his second quality start after being acquired at the trade deadline. He worked six innings, allowing two runs … Andre Pallante added two scoreless innings before the Rockies scored three times off Chris Stratton in the ninth.
Key stat: This was the 45th time in his career that Pujols had four or more hits in a game, the last coming on Aug. 30, 2019 for the Angels against Boston. The four hits all came off lefthanders, raising his average this season against lefthanders to .357 (25-of-70).
Worth noting: The best performance on Wednesday night in the Cardinals’ system came from Chandler Redmond of Springfield, who hit four home runs and drove in 11 runs in a game at Amarillo. He hit a solo homer, a two-run homer, a three-run homer and a grand slam, only the second time that has happened in the history of minor-league baseball. Springfield finished with eight homers and scored 21 runs, both team records … The Cardinals designated T.J. McFarland for assignment on Wednesday and recalled Jake Woodford from Memphis … Jack Flaherty’s scheduled rehab start at Memphis was rained out. He will start game one of a doubleheader on Thursday.
Looking ahead: Dakota Hudson will get the start in Thursday’s day game in the series finale against the Rockies.
Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains