ST. LOUIS – Eric Young Jr. had the lone offensive highlight for the Colorado Rockies on Friday night – a single to lead off game.
After that, Cardinals rookie starter Shelby Miller retired 27 in a row for his first career complete game, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 3-0 victory over the Rockies.
The way Miller was pitching, Young was pleased just to get on at all.
“It was a jam shot, and I just put it in a good location,” Young said. “I guess you could say he was even on that first at-bat. I was just fortunate enough to find grass.”
After beginning the year on a tear, Colorado’s offense cooled off on its six-game homestand. The Rockies scored five runs in their previous three games before Friday.
But Rockies manager Walt Weiss did not feel this was just a continuation of those struggles.
“I think this is one of those nights where we ran into a pitcher that had everything working,” Weiss said. “It’s a talented young arm, and he had his A game (Friday night).
“He looks like a horse out there. He was impressive.”
After Young’s line drive hit to right field to start the game for the Rockies, Miller (5-2) gave up nothing else in his first shutout. The right-hander struck out Young to end it with his 13th K, tying a Cardinals rookie record.
Rockies starter Jon Garland (2-3) gave up all three runs in five innings. Garland allowed seven hits and three walks while striking out five.
Garland suffered in comparison to Miller, but Weiss appreciated his effort.
“I thought Jonny battled really well,” Weiss said. “He kept us in the game. He did his job, pitched out of trouble there that one inning. I thought he battled really well.”
Garland said watching Miller deal helped him focus on his job.
“You know you can’t get away with much,” Garland said. “You just try to keep the ball down and do your thing and not worry about that. Let your hitters go up and worry about it.”
The one-hitter was the fewest hits allowed by a Cardinals pitcher since Bud Smith tossed a no-hitter Sept. 3, 2001, and it was the second one-hitter of the night in the major leagues. Boston’s Jon Lester was perfect until he allowed a two-out double in the sixth against Toronto.
In a near-perfect performance, Miller threw 113 pitches.
Miller lowered his earned run average to 1.39, which is the lowest for a Cardinals pitcher in his first eight starts since Howie Pollet had a 2.09 ERA in his first eight in 1941.
Carlos Beltran hit a solo homer – his ninth – for St. Louis. Pete Kozma added an RBI single and Jon Jay a sacrifice fly for the Cardinals, who are a National League-best 22-12.
Yadier Molina had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, which is the longest for a Cardinal this season.
Garland retired the first five batters he faced before Jay singled to center with two outs in the second. David Freese walked, and Kozma drove home Jay with a single to left.
Beltran made it 2-0 when he hit Garland’s first pitch of the third inning 409 feet into the seats in right. Jay gave the Cardinals a three-run cushion with a sacrifice fly in the fifth.