Trevor Story’s bat flip wasn’t melodramatic, but his 461 foot triple homer was epic.
The Rockies shortstop defeated a first pitch change from Genesis Cabrera in the seventh inning to lead the Rockies to a 3-2 win over St. Louis on Saturday night at sold-out Coors Field.
« It was definitely special, especially at a moment like this, for much of the game, » said Story, who scored his tenth homer of the season and fifth in his last eleven games.
Story said he wasn’t looking for a specific pitch from Cabrera, he just wanted to be ready to go when he had something good to hit.
« Cabrera has really good things, » said Story. “The pitch was in the middle of the zone and up and I tried not to make too much of it. I just tried to stay short (with the swing) and it worked. »
Story is always shy about self-promotion, but manager Bud Black knew how big the homer was on Saturday night until the shortstop.
« I think Trevor was waiting for this moment, » said Black. “Trevor takes a lot of responsibility for his place on this team. I think that was a moment he’ll cherish this season. That was great for him. »
Colorado’s fragile bullpen, worst in baseball based on ERA, bent but not broken. The Cardinals scored in the eighth double hit against right-hander Carlos Estevez and scored three hits with RBI singles from Paul Goldschmidt and Yadier Molina. But with runners in first and third places, Estevez Harrison Bader fanned out in third place.
Daniel Bard led Paul DeJong to open ninth place, got the next two outs, but gave a cueball double on the left field line to Tommy Edman. Bard was a bit wild, but he beat Dylan Carlson, who was swinging over a 3-2 slider to end the game. It was Bard’s 12th save and he clenched his fist when he got it.
The Rockies, who have won five of their last six games, improved to 30-17 at home.
First there was a classic pitching duel between two left-handers – Wade LeBlanc of the Cardinals and Kyle Freeland of Colorado. They also watched Colorado third baseman Ryan McMahon deliver seven assists, two less than the club record for a third baseman set by Jeff Cirillo against San Francisco on July 23, 2001.
« He was amazing. He’s elite in my eyes, ”said Story. “I think the numbers back it up. He makes every piece it seems. It’s just fun to watch him. »
LeBlanc played 5 2/3 goalless innings and only gave up three hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
Despite pitching with a still slightly sore right Achilles tendon and a blister on one of his fingers, Freeland was a third of an inning better than LeBlanc. Freeland threw six goalless innings, allowed three hits, walked three, and hit three. Former teammate Nolan Arenado raked a double-out double on Freeland’s right center in game six, but Freeland persuaded Molina to land against McMahon to end the frame.
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The left-hander has not allowed a run in any of his last two starts (over 11 innings) and has an ERA of 0.53 with 11 allowed hits, five walks and
17 strikeouts in his last three starts.
« Overall, I felt good and was finally able to find my move, » said Freeland.
Colorado’s starting pitchers, who have done remarkably well at Coors Field all season, have a collective ERA of 1.35 in the current home stand’s first six games, with 26 strikeouts and just nine walks. For the season, Rockies starters have a 3.32 ERA at Coors Field.
« I’m very proud of this rotation, » he said. “We’ve been here for a while and understand this game well. We know how to work properly every five days. I said in the spring that this team will win or lose when they start pitching and that’s kind of held to be true.
By the time Story made his home run in seventh place, the Rockies were 1-for-8 with runners in the points position. That after playing 1-14 in a 9-3 loss to St. Louis on Friday night.
Colorado almost scored a goal in the fourth inning and, aside from a bespoke caramel and an excellent game from Goldschmidt, would have come first.
With one out, McMahon on second and C.J. Cron on the first, Elias Diaz briefly hit a grounder on DeJong, who threw the ball to Edmundo Sosa and cleared Cron out of the way in second. Goldschmidt skipped Sosa’s throw for the first, but Goldschmidt tossed the caramel off the wall with his bare hands and threw McMahon out, who was trying to slide into the house.
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