Matt Holliday homered in the first inning for the second straight night and Shelby Miller pitched six solid innings and had an RBI double, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-4 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night.
Matt Carpenter added a two-run homer in the second for the NL Central leaders, who have won 12 in a row at home in the final month of the season dating to last Sept. 14. Of their 10 runs in the first two games of this series, seven have come in the first two innings.
The Cardinals are 9-4 this month and took a 3 1-2 game lead over Pittsburgh.
Wilin Rosario, Josh Rutledge and pinch-hitter Michael McHenry had an RBI apiece in the ninth and the Rockies put the tying run on second before Pat Neshek got pinch-hitter Rafael Ynoa to fly out for his sixth save in nine chances.
Miller (10-9) and Adam Wainwright, who won his 18th game Friday, combined for 13 strikeouts and no walks in 14 innings. Miller has allowed one run his last 20 innings over three starts, with a career-best 17 2-3 inning scoreless streak ending on Ben Paulsen's RBI single in the fourth.
Randal Grichuk flied out to the wall in left field the at-bat before Holliday hit his 18th homer to straightaway center off Franklin Morales (6-8). Morales was one strike away from a perfect second when Pete Kozma walked on a full count, Miller followed with his fifth double and fourth RBI and Carpenter's eighth homer made it 4-0.
Morales worked six scoreless innings to beat the Padres in his last start and permitted one homer his previous four outings. He needed 28 pitches to get through the first, with just one swing and miss, and gave up four runs in four innings.
The Rockies have mustered just four runs during a five-game losing streak. They entered the game batting .318 at home with 108 homers and .227 on the road with 60 homers.
Rockies: Justin Morneau did not start after straining a side muscle on Friday. He is day to day.
Cardinals: Michael Wacha has struggled to regain form from a shoulder injury that sidelined him nearly two months and will not start Sunday. The team is hoping a little rest will help the 23-year-old right-hander.
Rockies: Jordan Lyles (6-2, 4.20) won his first start since coming off the DL from a broken left hand on Aug. 6 but is 0-1 in six starts since then. He gave up a run on three hits with no decision his last start at New York against the Mets.
Cardinals: Rookie Marco Gonzales (2-2, 5.01) makes his fifth career start after backing up Wacha's two abbreviated starts since coming off the DL.
Link to box score: St. Louis (82-67) 5, Colorado (59-89) 4
Join the pre-game, in-game and post-game discussion about each contest at The Cardinal Nation message board.