With the postseason race heating up, the St. Louis Cardinals hope to remain on top in the National League Central when they open a four-game series Monday against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.
The Cardinals are tied with the Pittsburgh Pirates for the NL Central lead and won a three-game series versus the Seattle Mariners over the weekend thanks to Sunday's 12-2 drubbing at Busch Stadium.
Yadier Molina finished 4-for-5 with a home run and three runs scored, Matt Adams belted a two-run homer and Matt Carpenter collected three hits and drove in two runs for the Cardinals, who have won eight of 11 games and went 7-2 on a recent homestand. Molina broke out of an 0-for-15 slump to ignite St. Louis.
"It was great timing. It will send us on the road with some good feelings about their swings," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of offensive output.
Cardinals starting pitcher Shelby Miller picked up his 14th win of the season and gave up two runs -- one earned -- and three hits in five innings.
St. Louis is slated to visit Milwaukee on this road trip and will send Lance Lynn to the mound Monday in Colorado. Lynn pitched well in his last start, a 5-1 win over the Brewers on Wednesday. He did not record a decision and gave up just an unearned run in six innings. He is still 0-5 in his past seven starts and 13-10 with a 4.23 ERA in 30 outings this season.
Lynn, a right-hander, is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in two career starts against the Rockies and 5-7 in 15 road assignments.
Colorado will begin its final homestand (9 games) of the season and it will be the last time fans can get a glimpse of veteran first baseman Todd Helton, who recently announced he will retire at the conclusion of the 2013 campaign.
Helton is set to wrap up his 17th campaign, all with Colorado.
"For seventeen years number '17' has been the icon of Colorado Rockies baseball," Rockies owner and chief executive officer Dick Monfort said in a release. "Todd will be missed and our hope is he will be a part of our Colorado baseball family for many more years to come. Thanks Todd!"
The Rockies lost two of three matchups with Arizona over the weekend and suffered an 8-2 loss Sunday at Chase Field to close out a nine-game road trip at 2-7. Charlie Culberson hit a two-run homer, while Charlie Blackmon, Troy Tulowitzki and Jonathan Herrera had two hits apiece.
"I think it's important no matter where you're at to finish the drill and play strong to the end," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "It's good that we're going back home."
Jhoulys Chacin was saddled with the loss for allowing six runs -- four earned -- and seven hits in four innings.
Jorge De La Rosa was originally slated to start Monday, but Collin McHugh will take his place versus the Cardinals. McHugh made his Colorado debut July 27 versus Milwaukee and was dealt the loss for allowing six runs and nine hits in five innings of a 7-5 loss.
The right-handed McHugh was 0-1 with a 10.29 ERA in three games (1 start) with the New York Mets before heading to Colorado. He lost his only career start against the Cardinals last Sept. 3 in a 5-4 loss, charged with four runs and six hits in four innings.
Colorado lost two of three games at St. Louis from May 10-12 and went 2-5 in last season's series with the Cardinals.