Cardinals go for ninth straight series victory Sunday against Rockies
DENVER — The St. Louis Cardinals‘ long road winning streak came to a crashing halt Saturday night.
Now they will try to win the rubber game of their series with the Colorado Rockies on Sunday and capture their ninth straight series.
Two left-handers will start Sunday, Austin Gomber (3-0, 2.98) for the Cardinals against Tyler Anderson (6-6, 4.45).
The Rockies (71-58) erupted for a season-high eight runs on 10 hits in the eighth inning Saturday and blasted the Cardinals 9-1, just their fifth loss in 23 games this month and first by more than one run.
Cardinals starter John Gant gave up one run in seven innings, a pinch-hit homer in the seventh by former Cardinal Matt Holliday. Rockies starter German Marquez pitched seven scoreless innings before the Cardinals tied the game in the eighth.
“Just a good old-fashioned pitchers’ dual in a hitters’ ballpark,” Cardinals interim manager Mike Shildt said. “We went to the bullpen, and they’ve been great. One of those days. Those days are going to happen. We’re not going to think too much about it. Just move forward.”
The Cardinals (72-58) saw their nine-game road winning streak ended. They had not won 10 straight road games since they set and tied the club record of 12 straight victories on the road in 1941 and 1944.
The last time the Cardinals won more than eight straight series was 2009 when they won 10 in a row.
Gomber made his major league debut June 2 and pitched one scoreless inning against Colorado in relief on Aug. 1 at St. Louis. This will be his second appearance against the Rockies, and he’ll be the first rookie left-hander to start for the Cardinals at Coors Field since Marco Gonzales made his major league debut there on June 25, 2014.
The Cardinals have won all five of Gomber’s starts, and he is 2-0, 2.73 in those games, limiting opponents to a .216 batting average, .685 OPS and two home runs in 26 1/3 innings.
Gomber was not involved in the decision Monday at Los Angeles, where he gave up two runs in five innings in St. Louis’ 5-3 win over the Dodgers.
“He’s got weapons to pitch, obviously,” Shildt said. “He’s in attack mode most all the time. He’s a really good competitor. He’s developing a slider-cutter that’s helping him against the lefties a little bit more. He’s elevating with his fastball, throws to both sides of the plate, always has, really well. He’s got a good changeup. So, he’s got all the pitches to give us a quality start.”
The Rockies have lost the past six games started by Anderson, who is 0-3 with a 6.88 ERA in that stretch while allowing 10 home runs in 34 innings and an .876 OPS to opposing hitters. In his last start Tuesday against San Diego, Anderson allowed a season-high 10 hits, including two homers, and four runs in 6 1/3 innings and lost 4-3.
“It isn’t like he’s lacking his stuff,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “The location’s been bad. The changeup’s been pretty effective, but the fastball and the cutter have not been his norm. He’s the type of guy that has got to locate. His margin for error’s a little bit less than Marquez or Jon (Gray). So, he’s got to locate the ball. But he’s able to do that.”
Anderson, who has made eight starts since he last won July 4 against San Francisco, has yielded 26 home runs in 147 2/3 innings, tied for the most in the National League this season.
He’s 0-1, 4.15 in two starts against the Cardinals, including one this year. Anderson had a no-decision in Colorado’s 5-4 loss in 10 innings at St. Louis on July 30, allowing three hits, three walks and four runs in six innings.