Lynn pitches Cardinals past Rockies 6-2
Thursday, July 5, 2012
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Lance Lynn returned to his All-Star form for the Cardinals.
The St. Louis rookie right-hander broke out of a three-start slump with six shutout innings, and Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran drove in a pair of runs apiece to lead the Cardinals to a 6-2 win over the Colorado Rockies on Thursday night.
"I finally got back to where I felt comfortable," Lynn said. "The ball was coming out the way it used to. It was a good feeling."
Lynn (11-4) bounced back with a strong effort following a trio of disastrous outings. He surrendered four hits and struck out seven in winning for the first time since June 13. Lynn, voted to the All-Star team by his fellow players, was 0-2 with a 9.98 ERA in his three previous starts.
Lynn returned to his aggressive early season form against the Rockies retiring 10 successive batters from the second to fifth innings. He walked two of the first three batters but did not issue a walk the rest of the way.
"The ball was jumping out of his hand," St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. "I thought his stuff was as good as any day he's had this season."
Lynn fashioned a 10-2 mark and a 2.42 ERA in his first 13 starts before giving up 17 earned runs in a 15 1-3 inning skid.
"I was just off a little mechanically," Lynn said. "The ball was coming out well, I just wasn't hitting my spots."
Those struggles appear over for the time being. Lynn was on the top of his game against the Rockies.
"Give him some credit, he's (11-4) for a reason," Colorado manager Jim Tracy said. "We had people out there and we got turned away."
Lynn got out of two-on, one-out jams in each of the first two innings and then sailed the rest of the way allowing just two singles over his final four innings on a steamy night.
His performance helped St. Louis win for the fourth time in five games, and 11 of 14 against Colorado. The Rockies have lost four of five. Colorado has scored 13 runs in its last six games.
The hot-hitting Holliday paced the attack with a run-scoring groundout in the first and a bases-loaded single in the fifth off Colorado starter Christian Friedrich (4-6), who gave up six earned runs in 4 1-3 innings.
Holliday, who has an RBI in each of his last six games, is 34 for 68 with four homers and 21 RBIs in his last 18 games.
St. Louis scored five runs in the fifth inning to take a 6-0 lead. Jon Jay drew a bases-loaded walk and Holliday followed with a single to push the lead to 3-0. Beltran added a two-run, bases-loaded double off the base of the center-field wall. Holliday came in to score the final run of the inning sliding under tag of catcher Wilin Rosario on a grounder by Allen Craig.
"The lineup has been more consistent," Beltran said "We feel if we stay with a good approach every day, we can score a lot of runs."
Tyler Colvin hit a two-run homer in the eighth off reliever Victor Marte to bring the Rockies to within 6-2.
"It gave us a little bit of life right there," Colvin said. "I like hitting in this ballpark."
Colorado scored nine runs in the four-game series. Colvin had three homers and seven RBI.
St. Louis closer Jason Motte came on with two on and two outs in the ninth and retired Carlos Gonzalez on a grounder for his 19th save in 23 opportunities. It was Motte's first one-out save of the season.
Gonzalez had a 12-game hitting streak snapped with an 0-for-4 performance. It was the Rockies' longest streak of the season.
St. Louis reliever Barret Browning pitched a perfect seventh and has set down all 12 batters he has faced in three outings this season.
NOTES: The Rockies celebrated their 21st birthday Thursday. The NL awarded one of two expansion franchises to Denver on July 5, 1991. Miami was given the other franchise. ... Game-time temperature on Thursday was 102, passing the 100-degree mark for the second night in a row. The temperature at game time was 103 on Wednesday. ... Jake Westbrook (7-6, 3.91) will face Florida right-hander Ricky Nolasco (7-6, 4.62) in the opener of a three-game series on Friday in St Louis. Lefty Drew Pomeranz (0-3, 3.72) pitches for Colorado against Stephen Strasburg (9-3, 2.81) in a three-game series in Washington.