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Game 81: Rockies 3, Cardinals 2

Cardinals rookie starter Joe Kelly really only made one bad pitch.

Unfortunately, it came one batter after a botched fielding play allowed Colorado's pitcher to reach base while he was trying to give himself up to advance the runner.

So when Tyler Colvin homered an a bad 0-2 change-up, the Rockies scored three runs instead of two. And that turned out to be the difference in a 3-2 St. Louis loss.

Kelly ended up pitching six innings with three runs allowed, two of them earned. It's hard to complain about that kind of outing from a guy who was making his fifth major league start. If he gives the Birds that sort of chance to win every time out, they ought to be pleased.

Unfortunately, the Cardinals couldn't take advantage of Colorado's tattered pitching staff. They scored two runs in the first when Matt Holliday lined a homer over the left field wall to push Jon Jay across the plate. And that was it all they could score against lefty Jeff Francis who was 1-1 with a 5.72 ERA when the game started after spending most of the season so far with the Class AAA Louisville Bats.

The Redbirds left nine runners on base in the game and were 0-5 with runners in scoring position while the first three hitters in the order reached base six times.

Cardinals Star of the Game: Jon Jay was 2-for-4 with a walk and scored a run.

Cardinals Play of the Game: Matt Holliday homered for the second night in a row against his former club. And it was the sort of homer you like to see from Holliday -- a nice line drive that rifled over the outfield wall -- as opposed to a big swing in which he is obviously trying to hit a homer.

Lowlight: Four and five hitters Carlos Beltran and Allen Craig were 0-for-7 on the night.

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