Brandon Moss felt as if he got a new baseball life after he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday.
“It was like I won the lottery,” he said. “I’ve got a smile on my face all the time now.”
Moss recorded his first big hit with St. Louis, a pinch-hit game-ending single in the ninth inning, and Randal Grichuk had a two-run homer to lead the Cardinals to a 3-2 win over the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.
Moss’ one-out hit to left off reliever Scott Oberg (2-2) drove in Jason Heyward, who doubled with one away.
Closer Trevor Rosenthal (2-2) pitched a perfect top of the ninth inning for the win.
The Cardinals have won nine of 12 and have a major league-best 40-16 mark at home. Colorado has lost four of five.
Moss is 2 for 11 with the Cardinals, but he hit the ball hard to the warning track three times in a 7-0 win on Friday.
He was acquired from Cleveland for minor league left-hander Rob Kaminsky.
Since the trade, Moss has been on cloud nine.
“You forget about how tough a season it has been for me personally,” Moss said. “Coming here, instantly makes you a better ballplayer.”
St. Louis manager Mike Matheny noticed that Moss has displayed plenty of enthusiasm since joining the team.
“There have been a lot of players that have come through here that have been happy to put on the Cardinal uniform,” Matheny said. “But, I haven’t seen anyone as visually excited as he was.”
Heyward kick-started the winning rally with a first-pitch double.
“We put some good AB’s together,” Heyward said. “Then (Moss) came through at the right time. That’s what he’s going to be able to do for us.”
St. Louis jumped to a 2-0 lead on Grichuk’s home run off Colorado starter Yohan Flande in the fifth. It was
Grichuk’s 12th homer of the season and fifth since the All-Star break.
Colorado tied it in the sixth on singles by DJ LeMahieu and Nolan Arenado and a run-scoring double by Ben Paulsen. Arenado then came home on a wild pitch by reliever Steve Cishek.
“Sometimes you lose close games and that was the case on this trip,” Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. “That’s the consequence of playing in tight games.”
Colorado went 2-5 on a seven-game road, three of the losses came in the final inning.
Flande gave up two runs on four hits over five innings.
“I felt very pleased with my outing,” Flande said through translator Carlos Gonzalez. “Except for that home run. That was the only mistake.”
St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia allowed just one run and two hits in five-plus innings. He left with a 2-0 lead but was not pleased with his four walks.
“I just didn’t do my job,” he said. “It wasn’t good enough.”
The Cardinals have won 17 of their last 21 at home against Colorado.
“It’s just great to be a part of this,” Moss said. “I can’t even put it into words.”
Colorado: RHP Kyle Kendrick will have an MRI in Denver on Monday. Kendrick was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with shoulder inflammation.
Colorado: RHP Eddie Butler (3-7, 4.82) will take on Seattle RHP Felix Hernandez (12-6, 3.02) in the first of a three-game series in Denver on Monday. Butler will be facing an American League foe for the first time.
St. Louis: RHP John Lackey (9-6, 2.78) will face Cincinnati RHP Anthony DeSclafani (6-7, 3.75) in the first of a three-game set in Cincinnati on Tuesday. Lackey will be making his team-high 22nd start of the season.