Wainwright out does Guthrie
ST. LOUIS -- The strange season of right-hander Jeremy Guthrie took a turn in the right direction on Wednesday night, even though it didn't lead to a victory.
Guthrie, in his first start since June 17, held the Cardinals to six hits and two runs in six innings, but Rockies batters struck out 11 times in a 4-1 loss at Busch Stadium before a crowd of 42,338 that was greeted by a temperature of 103 -- the highest for a game in St. Louis going back to 1988.
Guthrie (3-8) also drove in the Rockies' only run, on a single off Adam Wainwright (7-8) in the fifth after Jonathan Herrera tripled with one out. The Rockies loaded the bases with two out, but Wainwright got Tyler Colvin to fly to center to end the threat.
Wainwright also struck out Todd Helton to end the first with runners at second and third -- Carlos Gonzalez had singled to run his hitting streak to 12 games and Colvin had doubled. Wainwright struck out seven and gave up eight hits.
The Rockies gave Guthrie the Opening Day start at Houston and saw him pitch well in a few games. But a 1-5 record in a seven-game span, which ended with a June 17 start in Detroit in which he gave up seven runs and 11 hits in 1 1/3 innings, led the club to remove him from the rotation and go with a four-man starter system.
But after Josh Outman couldn't make it past two innings on Monday against the Cardinals in a 9-3 loss, it became clear that Guthrie's start on Wednesday would be an opportunity to return to the rotation.
Guthrie was hurt by two mistakes. He walked Jon Jay with one out in the first, and Matt Holliday doubled for a one-run Cardinals lead, and he hit Jay with the bases loaded and two out in the second to force in another run. From there he held the Cards to two hits and kept the Rockies close.
Rockies reliever Adam Ottavino, the Cardinals' top Draft pick in 2006, struggled for the second time in the series. David Freese's bases-loaded single in the eighth drove in the two earned runs charged to Ottavino in two-thirds of an inning. Ottavino, who pitched briefly for the Cards in 2010 but joined the Rockies after the Cards waived him late in Spring Training, gave up two runs in 1 1/3 innings on Monday night.
Cardinals closer Jason Motte earned his 18th save.
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