Rockies stroll to 3-2 victory

Tuesday, May 8, 2007
The Cardinals' Ryan Ludwick singled in a run during the fourth inning Monday against the Rockies. (TOM GANNAM ~ Associated Press)

The Cardinals forced home the winning run with a bases-loaded walk in the ninth inning.

ST. LOUIS -- Brad Hawpe didn't have to swing the bat to provide the spark the Colorado Rockies needed.

Hawpe drew a full-count walk with the bases loaded in the ninth inning for the tiebreaking run in a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night. On Saturday, his two-run single in the sixth was the go-ahead hit at Cincinnati.

This time he didn't chase any of Tyler Johnson's sliders.

"I guess they were too good," Hawpe said. "I was up there trying to hit the ball and I couldn't reach it."

Todd Helton homered for the Rockies, who have won three of four after taking the opener of a three-game series. Colorado was 1-5 at Busch Stadium last year.

Ryan Ludwick and Jim Edmonds each drove in a run for the Cardinals, who have lost seven of nine and are 5-11 at home. St. Louis is 2-2 during a six-game homestand, scoring in only three innings, and scored fewer than three runs for the 16th time in their first 30 games.

"I don't know what to say," said Edmonds, who was 0-for-4 and is hitless in his last 20 at-bats. "At times we're taking good at-bats and we're hitting balls right at people.

"Then other times, we're not having good at bats and when you're scuffling that's the way it goes. It's timing."

Troy Tulowitzki had to wait to score the go-ahead run after umpires ruled that his one-out drive off the top of the wall in left-center was a double and not a home run. Rockies manager Clint Hurdle drew his first ejection of the season for arguing the call with second base umpire Bob Davidson.

"It's tough to swallow," Hurdle said. "You'd like to think in the 21st century somehow we could do something just to get the call right. The ball, the fans, the way the outfielders reacted, there was just too much that smelled like a home run for it not to be a home run."

Replays were inconclusive on Tulowitzki's shot off Brian Falkenborg (0-1), but appeared to show the ball striking the base of a metal railing just above the top of the wall and beyond a section of shrubbery. Three more walks, including an intentional pass to Garrett Atkins by Johnson to load the bases, produced the run.

Johnson fell behind 3-1 in the count to Hawpe, got a called strike and then was well outside on ball four.

"I didn't come through like I should have," Johnson said. "It's a good strategy, a lefty coming up. I have to go get him, that's my job."

Zach McClellan (1-0) had two strikeouts in a perfect eighth and Brian Fuentes got the last three outs for his eighth save in nine chances.

Cardinals starter Anthony Reyes, who lost his first five starts, had his best outing of the year. He allowed two runs and three hits in six innings with five strikeouts and no walks.

Jeff Francis, who had lost a career-worst four straight starts with a 7.99 ERA, also had a strong outing for Colorado. Francis allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings.

The Rockies were aided by three unconventional double plays, one on runner's interference, one on a poor bunt and one on a lineout to right after starting the runner off first.

Helton hit his third homer leading off the second and Tulowitzki's two-out RBI double in the third made it 2-0.

The Cardinals took advantage of Francis' control problems to load the bases in the fourth on two walks and a single. Ludwick singled up the middle with a liner for one run and Edmonds' liner deflected off Francis' left side to second baseman Omar Quintanilla, who threw to first just in time for a run-scoring groundout that tied it at 2-2.

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