Kyle Lohse continued his confident and efficient ways -- and the bullpen came as close as it could to blowing the whole thing without actually doing it -- to beat the Rockies 4-3.
They won the Colorado series two games to one and completed their nine-game road trip with six victories. The moved back to 10 games over .500 as they come home to get ready to play the Giants.
Lohse pitched six innings, allowing six hits and a pair of runs. He struck out six and walked one.
Jon Jay hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Yadier Molina singled in another run in the first to give the Birds a three-run lead and Colby Rasmus hit a solo homer in the fourth to make the lead four.
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Down 4-1 in the seventh, Todd Helton hit a long fly ball to centerfield that Ramus jogged after like the ball was going to clear the wall by 20 feet. Instead, the ball hit the base of the wall in a spot where there was a fenced covered window and it dropped to the warning track as Rasmus ran after it. He's lucky that Helton only made it to second base after how long it took the St. Louis centerfielder to retrieve the ball.
But it didn't matter when Ty Wigginton followed with a single to drive in a run and make the score to 4-2. After another single put the tying run on base and the go-ahead run at the plate, manager Tony La Russa called on Eduardo Sanchez from the bullpen. And he promptly walked the first man he saw to load the bases.
Jason Giambi came to the plate with a chance to put the Rockies ahead with one swing of the bat. But Sachez struck him out. Then Eric Young Jr. came to the plate and hit a line drive that would have tied the bases had it not been caught and flipped to second base for a double play.
In the bottom of the eighth, Sanchez got into a two on and two out trouble and Fernando Salas came in to strike out Wigginton. But in the ninth Salas issued a leadoff walk to put the tying run at the plate. He struck out the next two batters but then gave up a single to Young to make the game 4-3. Centerfielder Dexter Fowler singled to make it first and third with two out and Carlos Gonzalez came to the plate with a chance to win the game with a single or to win it with an extra base knock. But Salas got him to ground to second to end the game.
Cardinals Star of the Game: Lohse who improved to 7-2 with a 2.13 ERA for the season.
Cardinals Play of the Game: Jay's first inning homer.
Lowlight: Rasmus' brain cramp of a play on Helton's fly ball. I tried to rationalize that he was playing the bounce off the wall. But he was flat footed when the ball hit, so it's hard to believe anything other than he gave up on a ball that wasn't even that close to being a homer.