Game Report: Rockies 6, Cardinals 3

By Rob Rains

Matt Carpenter broke one Cardinals’ record and extended another Tuesday night when he led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run.

Unfortunately, that was basically the extent of the Cardinals’ offense for most of the night as they lost to the Rockies at Busch Stadium.

The Cardinals only had one more hit – an infield single by Tyler O’Neill in the fifth – through the first seven innings. Their only other baserunner until the eighth inning came when Dexter Fowler followed that hit by O’Neill by drawing a walk, but then was erased in an inning-ending double play.

Colorado got two-run homers from Charlie Blackmon and Carlos Gonzalez in support of starter Jon Gray.

The leadoff homer for Carpenter was the 22nd of his career, breaking the record he had shared with Lou Brock. It also was his seventh leadoff homer this season. He previously had set the single-season record when he hit his 6th leadoff homer.

Here is how the game broke down:

At the plate: Trailing 6-1 in the eighth, the Cardinals loaded the bases with one out before Carpenter hit a sacrifice fly. Another run scored on a wild pitch-throwing error combination … The team’s two through five hitters – Yadier Molina, Paul DeJong, Marcell Ozuna and Jedd Gyorko – were a combined 0-of-16 … DeJong is now hitless in his last 14 at-bats while Molina is an 0-of-12 streak.

On the mound: Jack Flaherty allowed just three hits through the first four innings but fell behind on a walk and Blackmon’s homer in the fifth. An RBI double by Trevor Story knocked him out of the game in the sixth and he was charged with another run when Chasen Shreve, making his Cardinal debut, gave up a bloop double … Flaherty, now 4-6, has won only one of his last nine starts dating back to June 11 … Shreve became the 27th pitcher to appear in a game for the Cardinals this season, the most in team history. That total does include position players Greg Garcia and Jedd Gyorko … John Brebbia allowed the two-run homer by Gonzalez in the seventh.

Key stat: Carpenter’s home run was his 11th in July, the most he has ever hit in any month of his career. Coming into this season he had 10 career homers in 434 at-bats in the month of July. The only two players who have hit more home runs in July in team history are Mark McGwire in 1999 (16) and Jim Edmonds (13) in 2004. The last player to hit 11 or more homers in any month was Albert Pujols (11) in August of2010 … Carpenter finished July with a .333 average (31-of-93) with 21 RBIs.

Worth noting: As expected, Carlos Martinez was put back onto the disabled list on Tuesday after suffering a right shoulder strain on Monday night. The team’s projection was that he will likely miss two or three starts. A decision has not been made on who will take over Martinez’s spot in the rotation, beginning on Saturday in Pittsburgh … Tyler Webb was recalled from Memphis to replace Martinez on the roster. He had been optioned on Monday to make room for Shreve, but actually never left town. With Memphis playing the final game of a series in Las Vegas on Monday night, and being off on Tuesday, he had planned to make the drive to Memphis on Tuesday but was informed late Monday night not to leave … Kolten Wong is eligible to come off the disabled list on Wednesday but the team does not expect to activate him until either Thursday or Friday … Reliever Dominic Leone, who has been out since May 5 because of a nerve issue in his arm, is scheduled to join Memphis on Wednesday to begin a rehab assignment … The Cardinals finished July with a 12-14 record for the month.

Looking ahead: Luke Weaver will get the start for Wednesday night’s game against the Rockies.

Follow Rob Rains on Twitter @RobRains