The Rockies finally got the chance to show what they’re made of on national TV. And in a game broadcast on ESPN, they put up one of their worst all-around performances of the season. The pitching struggled. They couldn’t hit. And, save for a couple of impressive plays by Nolan Arenado, their defense wasn’t great.

Colorado dropped game one of a three-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals, 8-2, at Busch Stadium.

Antonio Senzatela (10-4, 4.84) did not get the usual benefit of his NL-best 6.59 runs per game of run support during his rocky four innings. In fact, neither he nor Chris Rusin had a single run of support from the Colorado lineup through the game’s first seven innings.

Cardinals starter Mike Leake (7-8, 3.20) scattered four hits over seven superb innings, striking out six and walking none. Meanwhile, the Cardinals put up two runs in three evenly spaced innings against Senzatela and Rusin.

Senzatela put himself in a bad spot right out the gate with a pair of walks and a wild pitch to put runners in scoring position before he had recorded an out. Paul DeJong then knocked in a run on an infield single, which Jedd Gyorko followed with an RBI GIDP. After Senzatela settled down for two innings, Kolten Wong doubled and Randal Grichuk homered in the fourth to double St. Louis’ advantage. The rookie departed the game after 86 pitches having allowed four runs on six hits and two walks. Rusin battled through the fifth and had a 1-2-3 sixth, but got tagged for a pair of solo home runs in the seventh.

The Rockies finally mounted a little rally in the top of the eighth when Tony Wolters walked and Pat Valaika hit a pinch-hit home run. Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu followed that with back-to-back hits and it looked like the Rockies might have something big going. Instead, Arenado and Gerardo Parra both struck out and Mark Reynolds lined out to center to end the threat.

Jairo Diaz gave up another two runs in a messy bottom of the eighth that included an error on Reynolds, three walks, and a stolen base by Yadier Molina (not in that order). Arenado saved at least a run that inning, however, spearing a line drive and doubling-up Wong at first base. The reigning four-time Gold Glove third baseman also made a spectacular diving catch in the first inning to rob Wong of a potential RBI base hit down the third-base line.

Colorado will ask Jon Gray to return them to their winning ways on Tuesday. The Rockies had won six of their last seven heading into Monday’s game.