DENVER ( Associated Press) — Albert Pujols and Nolan Arenado combined for seven hits, and Jose Quintana made his second strong start for St. Louis in the Cardinals’ 9-5 win over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night.
Pujols and Arenado had run-scoring hits in the Cardinals’ first innings of five and linked back-to-back homers in the sixth for an 8-2 lead. Pujols had four hits and was short three times the cycle.
Quintana (4-5) conceded two runs and seven hits and scored six in his second quality start since receiving from Pittsburgh in August. He has conceded two runs and eight hits with 13 strikeouts in 12 innings for the Cardinals. And four moves.
Paul Djong set a career high with four hits and one RBI, Lars Knutbar had two triples and two RBIs and Yadier Molina had two hits and one RBI as St. Louis scored in the first game of the series on Tuesday. I came back from a 16-5 defeat. Which broke the winning streak in seven matches.
Jose Iglesias had two hits and two RBIs and Brendan Rodgers had three hits and one RBI for the Rockies, who scored three in the ninth. He had won three out of five.
Quintana performed much better this season on his second start at Coors Field than on July 15, when the Rockies gave him six runs from five innings in a 13–2 victory with the Pirates.
Colorado starter Kyle Freeland (7-8) gave away 10 hits and six runs in 4 1/3 innings, allowing Molina’s single to take a 6-1 lead in fifth place in Djong. Freeland, who dismissed one and scored two, had won his last three starts.
After Paul Goldschmidt singled out the runners with one in the first inning to place first and second, Arenado doubled in the left-field corner for a 1–0 lead. The ball was originally ruled wrong, but was overturned on review after being challenged by the Cardinals.
Pujols, Tyler O’Neill and DeJong followed with hits from RBI before Molina hit the pitch and Nutbar made it 5-0 with a sacrifice fly.
Goldschmidt, vying for his first MVP award, led the NL in Wednesday’s game in batting average (.329), on-base percentage (.413), slugging percentage (.609) and OPS (1.022). He had 26 homers and 84 RBI, both at career-high pace.
“The way he prepares is worth watching,” Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol said. “He’s putting together a very special season.”
Goldschmidt was the NL MVP runner-up with Arizona in 2013 and 2015, and has finished in the top six five times. He led the NL in 2013 in homers, RBIs, slugging percentage and ops, but was runner-up to Andrew McCutchen.
Pujols played his 3,034th game on Wednesday, with Ty Cobb finishing fifth in major league history. He has 121 sacrificial flies, a shortfall in breaking the fourth all-time tie with Hank Aaron and Frank Thomas.
no flour this time
Former Rockies Arenado’s sixth inning homer hits the UC Health charity banner down the left field line, promising a $5,000 donation from the Rockies Foundation to the American Cancer Foundation. A donation takes effect only when a current (not former) Colorado player is at bat.
Cardinals: RHP Jack Flaherty (shoulder) was kicked out of his first scheduled rehab appearance with Triple-A Memphis on Wednesday. Flaherty has been on the 60-day IL since June 27, the day after the third start of the season. … LHP Steven Matz (torn ligament) took a catch in Colorado on Tuesday and will increase his throwing this week. There is no timetable for his return. … RHP Jake Woodford was recalled from Memphis on Wednesday, when LHP TJ McFarland was named for the assignment.
Rockies: C Elias Diaz suffered a knee injury while striking out in the eighth inning and was ruled out of the game. … RHP Chad Kuhl (hip) played a catch on Wednesday and is expected to throw a mock game on Friday. He is not required to begin rehab before returning from the injured list if eligible on August 19. … RHP Jhoulys Chacin (toe) is also expected to throw a mock game on Friday.
St. Louis RHP Dakota Hudson (6–6, 4.20 ERA) faced Colorado RHP German Marquez (6–9, 5.18) in the deciding game of the three-match series. Hudson has not won five of his matches since June 28. Marquez is 2-1 with 2.52 ERA in six career starts against the Cardinals.