Longball, bullpen cripples Rockies in series opener versus Cardinals

Aug 22, 2019; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong (12) rounds the bases after hitting a two run home run against the Colorado Rockies during the sixth inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Colorado Rockies Thursday night at Busch Stadium 6-5 in the first game of a three-game set.

The loss drops the Rockies’ overall record to 58-70 this season. Colorado is currently in last place within the National League West division.

Ahead are takeaways from the loss.

Longball and bullpen cripple Colorado 

The Rockies were in the driver’s seat numerous times during Thursday’s affair versus the Cardinals.

Colorado at one point established a 5-2 lead, but thanks to a power surge from the Cardinals’ lineup and miscues from the Rockies’ pitching staff, Colorado lost yet another game in disheartening fashion.

Nolan Arenado hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the fifth inning. German Marquez was able to preserve the lead, but the Cardinals managed to slash the advantage to a single run after smashing a two-run bomb in the sixth inning.

Marquez was pulled after six innings, and youngster Yency Almonte was summoned from the bullpen to take his place on the bump.

Almonte folded instantly, walking Matt Carpenter to start the inning. Former Rockie Dexter Fowler then smacked a go-ahead two-run home run, establishing a 6-5 lead for the Cardinals in the seventh inning.

All in all, St. Louis slugged their way to victory as all six of their runs came via the longball. Thursday’s loss is another brick in the wall in what has been a season littered with turmoil for the Rockies.

Arenado stays hot at the plate 

Rockies’ third baseman Nolan Arenado has put together another splendid season in 2019. After enduring a bit of a down month in July, Arenado has bounced back in August, batting .286 with 15 RBIs entering Thursday’s game.

Arenado has notably picked up production in the power department, having hit a home run in six of his last seven games.

Arenado continued to slug at the plate versus St. Louis, blasting a three-run home run to provide the Rockies with a lead in the fifth inning.

Arenado has already solidified himself as one of the best players in franchise history at just the ripe age of 28. He leads the club in home runs and RBIs this season.

The All-Star played in his 1000th career game earlier this week, joining Todd Helton (2,247), Carlos González (1,247), Larry Walker (1,170), Vinny Castilla (1,098), Troy Tulowitzki (1,048), Charlie Blackmon (1,026) and Dante Bichette (1,018) as the only players to surpass the 1000 game threshold in a Rockies’ uniform.

Marquez deals on the mound and in the box

Due to injuries to Jon Gray and Kyle Freeland, German Marquez is last remaining pitcher from the Rockies’ Opening Day starting rotation.

Colorado provided Marquez with an early lead when Ryan McMahon and Tony Wolters each platted a run in the second inning. Marquez maintained the score through the bottom of the second and third innings, but Marcel Ozuna tied things up in the fourth inning when he hit a two-run home run.

The longball haunted Marquez once more as he surrendered another two-run home run to Paul DeJong, cutting the Rockies’ lead to a single run.

Marquez was a factor in the strikeout department and on his third punchout of the game, he etched his name in the record books. The strikeout was Marquez’ 174th of the season which is the ninth most in a single season in club history.

2019 is the second season in which Marquez has achieved a top-10 strikeout total in club history after setting the single-season club record in 2018 with 230.

Marquez also helped his own cause Thursday night, hitting a double in the fifth inning. The double was the fourth of the season for Marquez which is tied for the second-most doubles in a single season for a pitcher in franchise history.

Marquez was finished after six innings, allowing four runs on six hits while punching out four batters.

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