Cardinals 8, Rockies 1

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ST. LOUIS (AP)—Jason Marquis was close to his best, propping up a struggling St. Louis Cardinals rotation and giving a worn-out bullpen a break.

Marquis worked eight sharp innings in an 8-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Friday night in the opener of the only non-interleague series of the weekend.

“I think that’s as good as he’s been for us,” manager Tony La Russa said. “He’s pitched some really good games for us in the three years he’s been with us, but that one ranks right there.

“He was outstanding.”

Chris Duncan and Yadier Molina both drove in a run against Aaron Cook (5-7) in a two-run fourth and the Cardinals broke it open with a six-run eighth against three relievers. St. Louis has won four of five and snapped the Rockies’ four-game road winning streak.

“It was a bad inning for us, that’s about it,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “It wraps it up. It was official after that inning.”

The Cardinals are 6-7 this month with only four victories by the starting pitchers and only two of those wins coming in effective outings. Marquis (9-4) bucked the trend, allowing one run and five hits, and is 6-0 with one no-decision in his last seven starts.

That total includes a five-inning start against the Cubs on June 4 in which he allowed five runs.

“I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily my best stuff,” Marquis said. “But it was definitely my best approach to attacking the hitters early, getting quality strikes early in the count, getting quick outs.”

Marquis took a hard grounder by Jamey Carroll off his right heel in the eighth, recovering in time to throw him out for the second out, and finished the inning after consulting with a trainer. He retired Todd Helton on a flyball for the third out.

“It was a little sting, a little shock to it,” Marquis said. “It got me pretty decent but it’ll just leave a little bruise and that’s about it.”

Before Brad Hawpe hit his 13th homer just inside the right-field foul pole with one out in the seventh, the Rockies had only one runner reach second base. Marquis walked two, both times to Hawpe, and struck out three.

“He’s definitely a good pitcher and he showed what he does when he’s on,” Clint Barmes said after going 0-for-3. “I’d say he mixed us up real well.”

Hawpe homered for the second straight game after going without a drive since May 29. Hawpe has hit 10 of his homers on the road. Garrett Atkins went 0-for-4, snapping a 14-game hitting streak.

Jim Edmonds singled with one out in the fourth to start the winning rally. Edmonds, still nursing a lower abdominal injury, had to stop at third on Juan Encarnacion’s double into the right-field corner, but then scored at trotting speed on Duncan’s flyball to medium-shallow left when Matt Holliday’s throw was well off the mark.

Molina, a .218 hitter overall but batting .310 with runners in scoring position, followed with an RBI single for a 2-0 lead.

Cook allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings with two strikeouts and no walks. He’s 0-4 in his five starts since his last victory May 19 against the Blue Jays.

Edmonds’ RBI single off Ray King in the eighth followed an intentional walk to Scott Rolen. King then walked Juan Encarnacion and pinch-hitter Scott Spiezio on eight straight balls for another run.

Hector Luna added a two-run single and pinch-hitter Timo Perez had an RBI double in the inning.

The big inning bailed out a bullpen minus closer Jason Isringhausen, deemed unavailable by La Russa due to a recent heavy workload.


Four St. Louis Rams, Andy McCollum, Dane Looker, Adam Timmerman, and Chris Massey, plus special teams coach Bob Ligashesky, were on the field before the game. At least a few of the players took batting practice. … Cardinals SS David Eckstein missed the game with a mild concussion sustained while breaking up a double play on Thursday at Pittsburgh. … Hawpe is 5-for-10 with six RBIs against Marquis. … Todd Helton had an infield hit and a drive to the right-field wall in four at-bats and is 2-for-17 at new Busch Stadium.

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