St. Louis Cardinals centerfielder Harrison Bader played the hero in his very first MLB game. The rookie came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth of a tie game with the Colorado Rockies having gone 0-for in his first three big-league at-bats. It looked as though he might have had a fourth. But after taking a would-be strike three, he lined a double to left to lead off the inning against Jake McGee (0-1, 3.27 ERA). A sac bunt and a sac fly by Jedd Gyorko later, Bader was sliding into home as the winning run.

It looked like the Rockies might be in for another long night when Jon Gray allowed a first-inning two-run home run to Paul DeJong, but Gray settled down nicely over the next four innings. He lasted just five innings and allowed eight hits, yet the DeJong home run was the only damage the Cardinals could inflict on Gray. Six strikeouts helped the righty limit the damage. Mike Dunn, Scott Oberg and McGee each allowed a hit in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, respectively. Still, St. Louis could not manage to push any more runs across.

Cardinals starter Lance Lynn had the Rockies off balance all night, allowing just three hits over six-plus innings. The last of those hits, however, was a double to Nolan Arenado to give the Rockies hope. Trailing 2-0 at the time, Arenado’s double to left field put men on second and third with none out in the seventh. Gerardo Parra hit a sacrifice fly to score DJ LeMahieu, who walked to lead off the inning, and despite all their struggles up to that point, the Rockies trailed by just one.

Then, in the top of the eighth inning Trevor Story wrote another chapter in his home run book, sending a 1-2 fastball into the left field bleachers to tie the game. Mark Reynolds and Carlos Gonzalez hit back-to-back two-out singles in the ninth, but Story could not play the hero again. Trevor Rosenthal (3-4, 3.69) struck out story to end the threat and set the stage for Bader.

The loss drops Colorado to 58-44 on the season.