Adam Wainwright won his 18th game to tie for the major league lead, Matt Holliday hit a long three-run homer in the first inning and the St. Louis Cardinals defeated the Colorado Rockies 5-1 Friday night to stop a three-game losing streak.
Wainwright (18-9) allowed one run and six hits in eight innings with eight strikeouts and no walks. He retired his final 16 batters, improving to 7-1 against Colorado.
Holliday ended a nine-game RBI drought and homered for the first time this month, sending a 467-drive off Jorge De La Rosa (13-11) into Big Mac Land beyond left field. It was the second-longest homer at 9-year-old Busch Stadium behind Holliday's 469-foot drive against the Chicago Cubs' Ryan Dempster on July 20, 2012.
The NL Central-leading Cardinals stayed 2½ games ahead of second-place Pittsburgh.
De La Rosa allowed four runs — three earned — and four hits in six innings. Colorado has scored just three runs during a four-game losing streak.
De La Rosa threw 6 2-3 hitless innings his previous start in St. Louis, in May, a bid broken up by David Freese's single. He started this one by walking Matt Carpenter, gave up Randal Grichuk's infield hit and allowed Holliday's 17th homer.
Colorado, which entered first in the NL with a .274 average and 665 runs, went 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position. Nolan Arenado hit an RBI double off the base of the left-field wall in the fourth.
St. Louis has won 20 of its last 28 against the Rockies.
Rockies: 1B Justin Morneau was taken out before the bottom of the sixth with left intercostal soreness and is day to day.
Cardinals: RHP Michael Wacha, struggling to regain form after nearly two months on the DL with a shoulder injury, will be pushed back in the rotation. Rookie LHP Marco Gonzales will start instead on Sunday.
Rockies: Franklin Morales (6-7) pitched six scoreless innings against the Padres his last start.
Cardinals: Shelby Miller (9-9, 3.83) has thrown 14 consecutive scoreless innings his last two starts and is 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA in two career outings against Colorado.
WHO NEEDS LUCK?
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny shaved off his beard after St. Louis lost three of four at Cincinnati. He joked it was "by demand."
Link to box score: St. Louis (81-67) 5, Colorado (59-88) 1
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