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Rockies stop skid with 8-2 win over Cardinals

AP - Sports
Rockies stop skid with 8-2 win over Cardinals
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Colorado Rockies' Josh Rutledge (14) hits a home run during the seventh inning of a baseball game against …

DENVER (AP) -- Josh Rutledge isn't quite sure what to make of his eye-catching home run streak.

The rookie homered in his fourth straight game and Tyler Colvin hit a tiebreaking double as part of a three-run seventh inning that lifted the Colorado Rockies over the St. Louis Cardinals 8-2 Thursday night to avert a three-game sweep.

''I can't think of any time where I've hit a home run in four straight games before,'' Rutledge said. ''That's a first.

''I'm just getting some good pitches to hit, and trying not to overswing and just let my hands work. It's getting some extra carry on the ball.''

Wilin Rosario hit his first pinch-hit homer, a two-run shot off reliever Brian Fuentes in the eighth, and Jordan Pacheco went 3 for 3 with two doubles and two RBIs to help the Rockies snap a five-game losing streak. It was their first win in their last eight games at Coors Field.

With the score deadlocked at 2, DJ LeMahieu singled off reliever Fernando Salas (1-4) to start the seventh inning and was sacrificed to second. Colvin then doubled to left to put the Rockies back on top.

Rutledge followed with his fifth home run since his July 13 call-up, driving a 2-2 pitch into the left-field bleachers.

''He has stunning power for the type of player he is,'' Colorado manager Jim Tracy said.

Rutledge became the first rookie in Rockies history to homer in four consecutive games.

''The kid has been hot. I'm sure it wasn't where Salas wanted it,'' Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.

Ramon Hernandez added a run-scoring double in the eighth and, one out later, Rosario connected on an 0-2 pitch from Fuentes for his 17th home run.

Rutledge said a solid start by Alex White, who held the Cardinals to two runs over 5 1-3 innings, set the stage for the Rockies.

''It was huge,'' Rutledge said. ''We all know how close we are to being a great team, and having Whitey go out there and give us the start that he did gives us so much confidence. We knew from the beginning, the way he was throwing, that we had a good shot of winning the game.''

With St. Louis trailing 1-0, White started the sixth by striking out his counterpart, Lance Lynn, to retire his 10th consecutive Cardinals batter. Skip Schumaker then singled and scored when Jon Jay followed with a double to the left-center gap.

Matt Holliday was intentionally walked and Carlos Beltran hit a run-scoring double to put the Cardinals in front. David Freese was hit by a pitch, loading the bases and finishing White. Rex Brothers (6-2) relieved and got Lance Berkman to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Berkman tweaked his right knee running out a grounder in the ninth.

''I had problems with it before,'' Berkman said. ''Had a surgery on it before. I have been scanned, zapped, more than most players probably. I'll have the doc take a look at it and see what he thinks. Life of a ballplayer. Some days it feels OK. Some days it doesn't.''

The Rockies tied it at 2 in the bottom half on a sacrifice fly by Pacheco, his second RBI of the night. He singled in the fourth to drive in Carlos Gonzalez, who was aboard with a double.

White, recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs before the game, allowed five hits. He struck out three and walked one.

Lynn went six innings and gave up two runs on seven hits. He struck out four and walked four.

NOTES: The Cardinals were foiled in their bid for their first series sweep at Colorado since 2004. ... Cardinals C Yadier Molina sat out with a sprained right thumb sustained on a slide at first base the night before. He'll have X-rays when the team returns to St. Louis to begin a seven-game homestand against Milwaukee (three games) and San Francisco (four). ... Cardinals INF Rafael Furcal missed his fifth straight game with back stiffness, but manager Mike Matheny said Furcal was improving and could be back in the lineup soon. ... Rockies RHP Jhoulys Chacin, who hasn't taken the mound since May 1 because of a nerve issue in the right side of his chest, was scheduled to take another step in his rehab by pitching for Double-A Tulsa. ... Colorado OF Michael Cuddyer, bothered by a sore right oblique muscle, played catch and will be re-evaluated by the team's training staff Friday. ... Pacheco had his fifth three-hit game of the season.

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