EditorsNote: Edit 1: Corrected standings in second graph.
Jack Flaherty struck out nine in six shutout innings, and the host St. Louis Cardinals beat the Colorado Rockies 8-3 on Friday night.
Marcell Ozuna homered and drove in three runs, Yadier Molina went 3-for-5 and three other St. Louis batters had two hits each. The Cardinals moved a half game ahead of the Chicago Cubs for first place in the National League Central Division.
Nolan Arenado had two hits and reached all four times he came to the plate for Colorado, which has lost four of five since sweeping a home series against Miami.
Flaherty (8-6) didn’t allow a hit until Yonathan Daza led off the fifth inning with a single. Before that, the Rockies only had three base runners — one on a walk and two hit batsmen.
The Cardinals had no problem getting to rookie right-hander Peter Lambert (2-4). With one out in the first, Kolten Wong reached on an error by second baseman Ryan McMahon. After Paul Goldschmidt lined out, Ozuna homered to left-center field to put St. Louis ahead 2-0.
It was Ozuna’s 24th home run of the season.
It stayed that way until the fourth, when the Cardinals loaded the bases on a double and two walks. Lambert hit Wong to score Tommy Edman and make it 3-0.
St. Louis broke it open in the fifth against Lambert and reliever Wes Parsons, who was making his Colorado debut after being claimed off waivers from the Atlanta Braves. Molina started it with a single off Lambert and Edman followed with a single off of Parsons.
Harrison Bader drove in Molina with another single and Edman came home on a throwing error by Parsons. Flaherty drove in Bader with a sacrifice fly to make it 6-0.
The Cardinals added two more runs in the sixth on Ozuna’s double that scored Goldschmidt from first followed by Paul DeJong’s single to drive in Ozuna.
Lambert allowed four runs but only two were earned.
The Rockies scored three in the ninth on McMahon’s RBI single, a passed ball and a groundout.
—Field Level Media