St. Louis, MO – Corey Dickerson's second triple of the game drove in the deciding run in the bottom of the 15th inning as the Colorado Rockies dealt the St. Louis Cardinals a 7-6 loss at Coors Field.
Dickerson also had a run-scoring triple in the eighth inning and finished 3- for-7, while Charlie Blackmon collected four hits to help the Rockies earn a split of the four-game series and reduce the Cardinals' lead atop the NL Central to one game over Pittsburgh.
Todd Helton aided Colorado's cause with a game-tying solo homer off Cards closer Edward Mujica in the bottom of the ninth, with Troy Tulowitzki socking a two-run shot earlier on. Rob Scahill (1-0) earned his first major league victory after working out of a jam in the top of the 15th.
"We had a lot of great performances, a lot of guys stepped up," Rockies manager Walt Weiss remarked.
Matt Holliday went 3-for-4 with two RBI for St. Louis, while Jon Jay had two hits and scored twice in the setback. Fernando Salas (0-3) received the loss after giving up a run on two hits in 1 2/3 innings.
Both starting pitchers, the Cardinals' Michael Wacha and Colorado's Roy Oswalt, permitted four runs in 4 2/3 innings of work. Wacha was tagged for 12 hits, with Oswalt hurt by issuing four walks.
Neither team mustered much of an offensive threat during the extra frames until Scahill got himself in trouble in the top of the 15th, walking Holliday with one out and allowing a single to Carlos Beltran that put the go-ahead run at third. Yadier Molina was then intentionally walked to load the bases, but Scahill kept it a 6-6 game by inducing a double-play grounder off the bat of Pete Kozma.
"We may be out of it, but we're going to go out and try to make it difficult," said Scahill. "We're not going to roll over."
After DJ LeMahieu singled against Salas with one out in Colorado's half of the inning, Blackmon ripped a ball down the right-field line to end the five-hour, nine-minute marathon when LeMahieu averted Molina's tag on the throw home.
"A loss this time of year, you can never find too much to be positive about, but we were down four runs at one point in that game and we had chances," said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny.
Holliday's third hit of the day, a two-out single off Rex Brothers in the top of the ninth, had staked St. Louis to a short-lived 6-5 lead. The Cardinals had put two men on for the ex-Rockies slugger on base hits by Matt Adams, who was subsequently removed for pinch-runner Kolten Wong, and Jay.
Mujica was summoned to protect the one-run edge in the bottom of the inning, but had his second pitch clubbed into the Colorado bullpen by Helton for a dramatic homer by the soon-retiring first baseman.
Oswalt was handed a 4-0 advantage after three innings, but let the Cardinals back in it in the fourth. He walked Jay and Holliday in succession to open the inning in front of Beltran's bloop single to center that trimmed St. Louis' deficit to three runs. A Molina sacrifice fly scored Holliday and cut the lead to 4-2, and the Cardinals inched closer when Tony Cruz laced a two-out double off the left-field wall to bring in another run.
St. Louis pulled even with another two-out run in the fifth, as Jay singled and stole second before Holliday sent him home with a base hit up the middle that ended Oswalt's afternoon.
The score remained 4-4 until the eighth, which began with Holliday singling off Chad Bettis. The Colorado reliever kept him at first by retiring the next two hitters, but David Freese drove a deep fly ball to center that popped out of Dickerson's glove as he struck the wall for a double that enabled Holliday to cross the plate.
Dickerson atoned for the drop in the Rockies' half of the inning, delivering a screaming liner over Jay's head in center that resulted in a triple which tied the contest once more. Blackmon, who had previously doubled against Trevor Rosenthal, raced home on the hit.
Wacha struck out the side following Blackmon's leadoff single in the bottom of the first inning, but was rocked for five hits in the second as the Rockies built a 2-0 lead.
Helton started the outburst with a double and came around on Torrealba's single to right center two batters later for the initial run. Wacha then got Jonathan Herrera to bounce into a double play, but Charlie Culberson scored from third on the twin killing after reaching earlier with a base hit.
Tulowitzki extended the margin to 4-0 an inning later by crushing a Wacha pitch over the wall in straightaway center field with Dickerson aboard.
Blackmon went 10-for-20 for the series and has 10 multi-hit efforts over his last 19 games dating back to Aug. 30 ... Culberson ended 3-for-7 to extend his hitting streak to seven games ... The Cardinals' Matt Carpenter had a 10-game hit streak snapped after going 0-for-6 ... Colorado's Michael Cuddyer was out of the lineup after bruising his right forearm in Wednesday's game, while catcher Wilin Rosario sat out a second straight day with a sore right calf ... Molina started at first base for only the second time this season and third of his career ... The Rockies improved to 6-9 in extra-inning games in 2013, while the Cardinals fell to 5-6.