Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Leake's Pitching, Homers Carry Cards by Rockies

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Leake's Pitching, Homers Carry Cards by Rockies

Article excerpt

Righthander Mike Leake, whose tenure was just two innings in his last start for the Cardinals , also had only one win over his previous 10 starts after opening the season at 5-2. There was talk, most of it emanating from Leake, that he didn't feel as strong recently as he had earlier in the season and that there might be a carryover from the shingles attack that laid him low for much of the second half of last season.

There was little sign of weakness Monday night at Busch Stadium. Leake allowed only two singles past infielders and four overall and didn't walk a batter or allow a run in his seven innings of work as he squelched the second-best offensive team in the National League, the Colorado Rockies, in an 8-2 Cardinals victory.

Leake didn't walk anyone for the fifth time this year and he fanned six in a crisp 94-pitch performance punctuated by good defense from nearly all the Cardinals, including Leake himself.

On offense, the Cardinals took advantage of two leadoff walks in the first inning and then they added on with homers by Randal Grichuk, Jose Martinez and Tommy Pham before tacking on two runs in the eighth.

Grichuk's, a two-run drive in the fourth off Antonio Senzatela, was his 13th overall and fourth in four games since being brought off the disabled list. Martinez, hitting for Leake, pinch-hit his sixth homer. It came in the seventh off lefthander Chris Rusin, and Pham powered his 14th off Rusin.

Rookie Senzatela (10-4) had blanked the Cardinals for eight innings in Denver on May 26.

But he largely had himself to blame for a two-run Cardinals first as he walked the first two hitters he faced, Dexter Fowler and Pham.

Both runners advanced on catcher Tony Wolters' passed ball and Paul DeJong drove in Fowler with a smash to second. DJ LeMahieu sprawled to make the top and, from his knees, fired to first. Umpire Fieldin Culbreth called DeJong out, but Cardinals manager Mike Matheny challenged and won.

That left the Cardinals with runners at first and third and nobody out and a Jedd Gyorko double-play ball scored Pham but also took the runners off the bases. Temporarily.

Yadier Molina, who had two hits, lined a ball off the right-field wall but, employing discretion, stayed at first base as Carlos Gonzalez uncorked a strong throw to second. Luke Voit, starting for injured Matt Carpenter at first, also singled. Kolten Wong then laced what appeared to be a run-scoring hit to left but Gold Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado left his feet near the bag and snared the ball as he landed in foul territory.

Wong got his first extra-base hit since coming off the disabled list in mid-month when he doubled to left with one out in the fourth. Grichuk then lined his homer into the Cardinals' bullpen in right and the Cardinals had a 4-0 lead.

For the first three innings, Leake (7-8) allowed just a one-out ground single up the middle by LeMahieu in the first inning. …

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