Marquez, Parra lead Rockies past Cards

Marquez, Parra lead Rockies past Cards

DENVER -- Behind yet another put away inning, this time four runs in the eighth, the Rockies ran away for an 8-4 win over the Cardinals on Sunday, claiming their eighth series win over the nine they've played since the final weekend of April.

Despite leading the entire afternoon, Colorado staved off the Cardinals late. The Rockies got to reliever Matt Bowman for four runs and capitalized on a few costly misjudgments by Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz, eventually leaving the ninth inning to closer Greg Holland in a non-save situation.

Another big inning for the Rockies

"We're playing consistent," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "I think that's the thing that's sort of stood out for me, the consistency of our play. We've been pretty steady on the mound, our defense has been -- if we're not leading the league in least amount of errors, we're close. I think we're playing sound."

Holland allowed a home run to rookie Paul DeJong, who was added to the roster Sunday when Kolten Wong went on the disabled list. DeJong's homer came in his first big league at-bat.

DeJong hits homer in first big league at-bat

"I was pretty amped," DeJong said. "I couldn't really feel my legs. I just kept watching it and it kept going. It was pretty amazing."

German Marquez was effective with curveball command for most of the afternoon, other than a mistake low and in to Jedd Gyorko that the Cards' slugger lifted 462 feet to right-center. He generated an average spin rate of 2,704 RPM, according to Statcast™, among the higher rates in the Majors, and was pulled with two outs in the sixth inning. The rookie right-hander allowed two earned runs on eight hits with one walk and five strikeouts.

Gyorko's solo homer

Marquez is now 4-0 with a 1.46 ERA over his last four starts, and Rockies rookie starters are 12-3 in May.

"I saw his curveball was spinning pretty hard and I just wanted to ride it out just as long as possible," Rockies catcher Tony Wolters said. "But he was throwing the ball great. His fastball was lightning and I'm proud of him."

Lance Lynn tossed five innings but once again fell victim to a pesky Gerardo Parra, who played right field on a scheduled off day for Carlos Gonzalez and went 3-for-4 with a three-run homer off Lynn to make him a career 13-for-26 against the right-hander.

"Parra is a guy that's given him trouble in the past, he gave him trouble today, and that was the big difference in the game," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said.

Lynn battled through a blister on his right index finger that flared up in the third inning, but remained in the game and wasn't pulled until after five innings. Lynn allowed four earned runs on six hits and a walk with three strikeouts.

"It's kind of that time of year where it gets a little warmer," Lynn said of his recurring blister problems in Colorado. "The climate change might have a little bit to do with it to. Get back to St. Louis and make sure we do everything we can to toughen it back up."

Lynn fans Reynolds

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Parra pummels: In the starting lineup in large part because of his success against Lynn, Parra pounded a 389-foot moonshot over the right field wall with a 35-degree launch angle to score three with no outs in the fourth. Parra had hit only two deep flies with such lift since the metric was installed by Statcast™ in 2015.

"I'm happy that I got a good connection to a slider inside and that's a good point," said Parra, who's primarily played off the bench since Ian Desmond returned from a broken hand earlier this month and took over in left. "I'm happy for me. I'm happy for the team."

Crisis averted: Rockies pitchers twice escaped jams that potentially had costly repercussions. After loading the bases on a four-pitch walk to Tommy Pham in the fifth, Marquez pounded Matt Carpenter on the outside corners at 97 mph before eventually inducing an inning-ending groundout. 

"We've had a lot of missed opportunities," Matheny said of the situation in the fifth. "Guys on base, and we need a big hit. You think of bases loaded, the game can swing in a heartbeat, Carp up, if something happens right there. That's [the issue] to me more than anything else. We need the big hit in those big situations. It'll come."

In the sixth, left-hander Chris Rusin was called from the bullpen with a runner on second, but escaped by forcing a flyout to center on a middle-low sinker to pinch-hitter Jhonny Peralta.

Marquez works out of a jam

QUOTABLE
"I guess it's easy, I don't know. I'm happy for him. He got here about halfway through the game. Just an exciting player, and we see why." -- Matheny on DeJong's homer

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Cardinals lashed their two longest homers of 2017, according to Statcast™ -- Pham went 443 feet to straightaway center off Rusin and Gyorko blasted one 463 feet off Marquez, dropping one in the Cardinals' bullpen in deep right-center field. Gyorko's was the second deepest hit by a Cardinal since Statcast™ was implemented in 2015, behind a 466-foot shot hit by Matt Holliday on May 30 of last year.

Statcast: Garcia's 462-foot shot

UPON FURTHER REVIEW
A 53-second review confirmed that DJ LeMahieu was safe sliding into third and under Gyorko's glove on an infield grounder by Nolan Arenado to Diaz at shortstop. It left the Rockies with runners on the corners and positioned LeMahieu to score on a Mark Reynolds bloop to right during the ensuing at-bat, pushing Colorado ahead, 5-3.

LeMahieu safe after challenge

WHAT'S NEXT
Cardinals: Mike Leake climbs the hill for the Cardinals as they return home to face the Dodgers at 1:15 p.m. CT on Monday. Leake faced the Dodgers on the road in his last start, pitching eight innings of one-run ball. His 1.91 ERA is best in the National League.

Rockies: The Rockies begin a four-game series with the Mariners with a Monday matinee at 1:10 p.m. MT. Right-hander Tyler Chatwood is coming off his second-best start of 2017, a one-hit outing of seven shutout innings against the Phillies. Chatwood last faced the Mariners in 2011 when playing for the Angels.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. He covered the Rockies on Sunday.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver. He covered the Cardinals on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.