DENVER (The Sports Xchange) – Coming off consecutive five-inning outings, Colorado Rockies rookie Antonio Senzatela responded with the best start of his young career Friday night.
He pitched a career-high eight innings as the Rockies beat the St. Louis Cardinals 10-0 for their most lopsided victory this season.
Senzatela gave up five hits and, thanks to four double-play grounders, got 15 outs on ground balls. He struck out three and didn’t issue a walk in his 98-pitch outing.
Through the Rockies’ 50 games, Senzatela and fellow rookie starters Kyle Freeland, German Marquez and Jeff Hoffman have gone 17-5 with a 3.35 ERA in a combined 27 starts, 20 of which the Rockies have won.
Senzatela (7-1) is tied for the major league lead in wins with Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and two American Leaguers — Minnesota’s Ervin Santana and Houston’s Dallas Keuchel.
The win was the fifth in six games for the Rockies, who have outscored their opponents 72-35 while winning seven of their past 11. St. Louis has lost seven of its past nine games.
The shutout win was Colorado’s fourth this season and third at Coors Field. The Cardinals were blanked for third time and for the first time on the road.
Charlie Blackmon, who finished a double shy of the cycle and went 4-for-4, gave the Rockies a 3-0 lead and finished the night for St. Louis starter Carlos Martinez after 7 1/3 innings with his 12th homer of the season.
The home run by Blackmon, who also tripled home a run in the third, helped launch an eight-run rally in the eighth that included nine hits, five for extra bases.
The Rockies blew the game open and made it 6-0 against Matt Bowman, who relieved Martinez (3-4). Bowman gave up a single to DJ LeMahieu, a run-scoring double to Nolan Arenado and a two-run homer to Mark Reynolds, the fourth and final batter Bowman faced. The homer was Reynolds’ 13th of the season.
Trevor Story doubled home a run off Miguel Socolovich. Pinch hitter Gerardo Parra, batting for the second time in the inning, doubled home two more, and Blackmon singled home Parra.
Senzatala faced the minimum number of hitters through five innings. He gave up a leadoff single to Dexter Fowler to open the game and a one-out single to Yadier Molina in the second.
In each case, Senzatela got the next batter to ground into a double play.
Martinez also got double-play grounders in the first and fourth. But the Rockies scored single runs in both the third and fourth to go ahead 2-0.
Reynolds lined a first-pitch single to right with one out in the fourth. The hit scored Arenado, who opened the inning with a double over first base and took third on a groundout.
Blackmon’s two-out triple in the third had given the Rockies a 1-0 lead. The hit scored Tony Wolters, who had walked, and was Blackmon’s major-league-leading seventh triple, two shy of the career-high nine he hit in 2015.
NOTES: Cardinals C Yadier Molina extended his hitting streak to 15 games, one shy of his career-high. … Cardinals OF Stephen Piscotty left the team and went home for unspecified personal reasons. … Cardinals OF/1B Jose Martinez (left groin strain) began a rehab assignment at high Class A Palm Beach. He has been on the 10-day disabled list since May 7. … Rockies RHP Jon Gray (left foot stress fracture) stopped wearing his walking boot Thursday and will throw his first bullpen session without the boot Sunday. … Rockies RHP Chad Bettis (cancer) is scheduled to have a CT scan and a blood test Monday and, if all goes well, travel Friday to Denver and meet with club officials. … Rockies C Tom Murphy (fractured right hand), who was injured March 11, is expected to begin a rehab assignment next week.