Cardinals score 5 in 6th, beat Rockies

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Kyle Lohse worked into the seventh inning after a week between starts and Albert Pujols followed up a 4-for-4 game with two hits and the go-ahead RBI to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 6-1 victory Friday night over the Colorado Rockies.

David Freese had two hits and three RBI, two of them during a five-run sixth that chased Aaron Cook (2-7). Matt Holliday returned after missing two games with a lower back injury and had an RBI double, while Lohse contributed his first Busch Stadium RBI in nearly two seasons, both in the rally.

Carlos Gonzalez hit his 17th home run for the Rockies, who have lost three in a row while mustering just four runs and are a season-worst 10 games below .500 (55-65). Colorado had only five hits for the second straight game and has scored only one run for Cook in his last three starts.

Lohse (10-7) matched his victory total from the previous two seasons, both of them injury-plagued, and addressed doubts about his current health and durability that in part prompted the Cardinals to give him two extra days of rest. The right-hander allowed a run on four hits in 61⁄3 innings and threw 91 pitches, 17 more than any of his three previous appearances.

Lohse was sent home for tests for inflammation in the middle finger of his pitching hand after his start July 24 at Pittsburgh and allowed eight runs in eight innings in his previous two starts.

Ace Chris Carpenter jumped ahead of Lohse with regular rest and had a strong eight-inning outing in a 5-2 victory Thursday night over NL Central-leading Milwaukee. The Brewers lead St. Louis by four games.

Pujols singled in two of his first three at-bats and his one-hop smash that glanced off second baseman Mark Ellis’ glove made it 2-1 with none out in the sixth. Holliday bounced a double over the head of third baseman Scott Nelson on the next pitch for a two-run cushion and Freese’s two-run single made it 6-1.

Lohse had early success going after hitters, with first-pitch strikes to 11 of the first 12.

Lohse’s last RBI at home was Aug. 16, 2009, against the Padres. He has two RBI this season to go with a .143 average (7-for-49).

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