Rockies make quick work of Lackey, Cards

Rockies make quick work of Lackey, Cards

DENVER -- A pair of five-run innings and a strong outing from David Hale were more than enough for the Rockies in their 11-3 series-opening win over the Cardinals on Monday night at Coors Field.

Colorado plated five off Cardinals starter John Lackey (4-4) in both the first and fourth innings -- the opening-frame outburst serving as the Rockies' highest-scoring first inning of the season.

"Right up until [Lackey's] last inning, in this place you're still in it," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "Then you get the second five-run inning and you kind of put yourself in a bad spot. It's a lot of work."

Troy Tulowitzki went deep in the first, and Nolan Arenado homered in the fourth, providing more than enough support for Hale (2-0). He gave up six hits and three runs over seven innings, retiring the first nine batters before Kolten Wong's fourth-inning homer.

Tulo's blast

"The thing I like about David is when he gives up the home run, he goes right back in the zone," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "He has not been scared away from the strike zone after a home run. He continues to attack and throw strikes. Very encouraging."

Monday was another zero-walk outing for Hale, who has not given up a free pass in 19 2/3 innings this season.

"Walks have gotten me in trouble in the past before, so I went into this season really trying to keep them away," Hale said. "It's hard enough to hit a baseball as it is. Giving them free passes just hurts you as a pitcher."

Lackey, meanwhile, yielded 10 runs (eight earned) and 12 hits over four innings. It was just the second time in Lackey's career he surrendered 10 runs -- the other coming on Sept. 26, 2008, when he was a member of the Angels.

Rockies score five in the 4th

"I didn't pitch well at all," Lackey said. "Bad night."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Great out of the gates:The Rockies sent 10 men to the plate in their five-run first, and the wealth was spread around. Tulowitzki delivered the big homer, but five other batters picked up hits in the frame. That included three straight base knocks from the sixth- through eighth-place hitters -- Ben Paulsen, Nick Hundley and Brandon Barnes.

"The Cardinals are one of the best teams in baseball, but it was good to get on top of them early," Tulowitzki said. "I think you know they're coming off Sunday Night Baseball coming in here, and I think that had something to do with it. I don't know if it was tougher for them to play today, but obviously, to get out to a nice lead put more pressure on them. So that was good."

Weiss on Rockies' win and Hale

Holliday hurt in homecoming: Former Rockie Matt Holliday left the game in the bottom of the second after straining his right quad. With the shift employed against left-handed hitting Carlos Gonzalez, Holliday was charging a shallow fly when he tripped and strained his quad. He was able to walk off the field on his own, and will be further evaluated on Tuesday.

"It's something with the quad -- we don't know the extent right now," Matheny said. "We need to talk to the medical team a little more, too, before we jump to any conclusions." More >

Holliday exits with quad injury

That's my DJ: Every position player for the Rockies picked up a base knock in the Rockies' 16-hit parade, and three of those came from second baseman DJ LeMahieu. He contributed in both of Colorado's big innings -- singles in the first and fifth and a double in the fourth -- and over his last 25 games, LeMahieu is hitting .357 (35-for-98). In that span, he's gone hitless just three times.

"The guy's a baller," Weiss said. "He just plays the game the right way. He's a quiet kid, but he's a gem. We already knew about the defense, but I always felt like the offense was going to come."

LeMahieu's RBI double

Impact player: Jon Jay came into the game in the second inning to replace Holliday in the lineup and play center as Randal Grichuck moved to left. Jay was hit by a pitch in his first at-bat, but was stranded at second after advancing on a wild pitch. Jay took matters into his own hands when he came up again in the sixth, taking an 0-1 pitch and sending it into the Rockies' bullpen for his first homer of the season and the Cards' third run of the game.

Jay's solo homer

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Paulsen had zero triples in his first 130 Major League plate appearances but then nearly had two in back-to-back at-bats. After picking up his first career triple in the fourth, Paulsen crushed a ball into the gap in right-center in the sixth and cruised into third standing up. But Paulsen was sent back to second after the umpires ruled the ball got stuck under the outfield padding. He finished a homer shy of the cycle.

Paulsen legs out a triple

WHAT'S NEXT
Cardinals: Michael Wacha (8-1, 2.18 ERA) climbs the hill to cool the Colorado lineup on Tuesday at 7:40 p.m. CT. Wacha is second in the league with eight wins and fifth in ERA, and he has been especially strong on the road, where he is 6-0 with a 1.59 ERA. His six road wins are the most in the Majors. He has faced the Rockies once in his career, a 7-6 loss at Coors Field in which Wacha pitched 4 2/3 innings and gave up four earned runs.

Rockies: After having another start pushed back because of a cut on his left middle finger, left-hander Jorge De La Rosa will start on Tuesday versus St. Louis at 6:40 p.m. MT. De La Rosa is 6-4 in his career against the Cardinals, but he owns a 4.69 ERA in 16 games (10 starts). He faced St. Louis twice last season and went 1-1.

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Dargan Southard is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.