ST. LOUIS (AP) — Yadier Molina drove in three runs in his return from the injured list, Paul Goldschmidt homered and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Colorado Rockies 9-8 Saturday.
Goldschmidt also had three RBIs and Nolan Arenado hit another double against his former team. The Cardinals have won eight straight and 14 of their last 15 games against Colorado at Busch Stadium.
“It was awesome to have Yadi back today,” teammate Paul DeJong said. “I think it just shows top to bottom our depth and the way we can score runs. Big homer by Goldy but we also did it a few other ways.”
Molina hadn’t played since April 26 because of a strained tendon in his right foot. The All-Star catcher was leading the Cardinals in batting, homers and RBIs when he was hurt.
Carlos Martínez (3-4) wound up winning his third straight start. He allowed five runs on six hits and five walks in five innings.
After the game Martínez revealed he had tweaked his right ankle celebrating fellow pitcher Jack Flaherty’s first career home run the night before.
“I didn’t want to get out of this game,” Martínez said. “I knew I got hurt, but I felt comfortable in my mind I could be in the game. I was competing all game.”
Alex Reyes struck out the side in a scoreless ninth for his 10th save after narrowly escaping an eighth inning jam.
Raimel Tapia hit an RBI double off Giovanny Gallegos in the eighth to cut the Rockies’ deficit to 9-6.
Reyes entered and walked Trevor Story before giving up a two-run single Charlie Blackmon, marking the first earned run allowed by the reliever in 15 2/3 innings this season. Blackmon advanced to second on an errant pickoff throw from Reyes before Garrett Hampson lined out to end the inning.
“It was good to see some offense on the road,” Blackmon said. “I felt like we had some really competitive at-bats all the way down the order. It could have easily been a good win.”
Rockies starter Chi Chi González (1-1) gave up seven runs on eight hits in four-plus innings. He has allowed 13 runs in 13 2/3 innings over his last three starts.
“Those looked to be in the middle, middle away. There were some balls up the middle. There were some opposite-field hits. That tells me the ball wasn’t really getting to the corners,” manager Bud Black said.
Goldschmidt hit his sixth homer, a two-run drive that broke a 5-all tie in the fifth and finished González.
Arenado, who doubled and singled Friday night in his first game against the Rockies since they traded their longtime star in the season, doubled and scored on a double by DeJong. Tyler O’Neill added a sacrifice fly to put St. Louis up 9-5.
Dom Nuñez hit a three-run double in the Colorado fifth that tied it at 5.
St. Louis scored three times in the first on run-scoring singles by Goldschmidt and DeJong and an RBI groundout by Molina.
Molina hit a two-run single up the middle in the third to make it 5-1.
Rockies: 1B C.J. Cron (back tightness) remained out of the lineup for the second straight game after being scratched at the last minute Friday. Black said after the game Cron was not available to pinch hit.
“We’re keeping an eye on it,” Black said. “We’re hoping it resolves itself in a day or two to avoid the injured list.”
Cardinals: Molina was activated and C Ali Sánchez was optioned to Triple-A Memphis.
“If there’s a guy that has a parallel pain tolerance as Yadier Molina, I’d like to see it,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “Some of the things he’s able to take and the beatings he takes and just doesn’t flinch and moves forward. More than we even know I imagine.”
The Rockies will start RHP Germán Márquez (1-3, 6.21 ERA) against Cardinals veteran RHP Adam Wainwright (1-3, 4.72 ERA) in the three-game series finale Sunday. Márquez has allowed 12 earned in 4 2/3 innings over his last two starts.
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