Wellemeyer, a waiver claim from Kansas City a couple of weeks ago, allowed a run each in the first and second innings and then wasn't scored on again until the sixth. Matt Holliday led off the sixth with a homer, causing Cardinals manager Tony La Russa to go to his bullpen, which pitched four innings, allowing just one run.
Pujols said, "You've got a guy starting for the first time. The last thing you want to do is not put any runs on the board. I'm sure he was a little nervous."
Wellemeyer, who threw 78 pitches, said, "I started out a little rough, but then I got into a groove and kept it going."
CARDINALS 8, ROCKIES 4: The day started poorly for the Cardinals with the news that catcher Yadier Molina would be lost for at least four to six weeks with a fractured left wrist, an injury suffered Tuesday night. But Todd Wellemeyer, a longtime reliever in the majors who was making his first big-league start, helped pick up some of that slack. With backup catcher Gary Bennett handling him, Wellemeyer pitched five efficient innings for his first Cardinals win, snapping a St. Louis losing streak at three games.
"We played very well in all regards," manager Tony La Russa said.
NOTES AND QUOTES
--C Brian Esposito, hitting .174 at Class AAA Memphis, was summoned from to replace injured C Yadier Molina on the roster. Molina is out four to six weeks with a fractured left wrist. Esposito, 28, never has played in the big leagues, so general manager Walt Jocketty said he is looking outside the organization for help, but manager Tony La Russa liked what he saw of Esposito in spring training. "(Esposito) catches and throws very well," La Russa said.
--LF Chris Duncan again was left at the team hotel, resting a swollen knee. He has bursitis and an infection and surely won't play until the team gets to Houston this weekend.
--SS David Eckstein sat out Wednesday for the fourth consecutive start with a bad back.
--INF/OF Scott Spiezio sat out Wednesday as he recovered from a bug that caused him some dizziness the night before, when he was forced to leave the game.
--RHP Todd Wellemeyer, besides winning his first start for the Cardinals, singled home a run in the fifth. It was just Wellemeyer's second hit in his career and his first run batted in. He has 10 career at-bats.
--1B Albert Pujols and CF Jim Edmonds accounted for the Cardinals' first back-to-back homers this season when they connected in the fifth inning Wednesday.