- Associated Press - Saturday, September 13, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) - These days, Colorado pitchers have zero margin for error. One bad pitch was enough to sink Jorge De La Rosa’s outing just three batters into the game.

“I didn’t have my best stuff,” De La Rosa said after Matt Holliday’s three-run homer propelled Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-1 victory on Friday night. “I tried to make them put the ball in the play and my only mistake was to Holliday.

“It was supposed to be away and he hit it really good.”

De La Rosa (13-11) allowed four runs - three earned - and four hits in six innings.

Colorado is really missing injured sluggers Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. It has scored just three runs during a four-game losing streak, but manager Walt Weiss saw progress coming off consecutive shutouts in New York against the Mets.

Especially in a matchup with Wainwright, who earned his 18th win as the Cardinals stopped a three-game losing streak.

“We lined out three or four times,” eighth-place hitter D.J. LeMahieu said after going 0 for 4 with nothing out of the infield. “We definitely had better at-bats than the New York series, that’s for sure.”

De La Rosa got off to a rough start. He walked Matt Carpenter and gave up Randal Grichuk’s infield hit before Holliday connected for his 17th homer.

Colorado, which entered first in the NL with a .274 average and 665 runs, went 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position. Nolan Arenado hit an RBI double off the base of the left-field wall in the third.

Wainwright (18-9) allowed six hits in eight innings with eight strikeouts and no walks. He retired his final 16 batters while improving to 7-1 against Colorado and matching Clayton Kershaw and Johnny Cueto for the major league lead in wins.

“He throws first-pitch strikes, so he gets a lot of quick innings, too,” Weiss said.

Holliday ended a nine-game RBI drought and homered for the first time this month, connecting for a 467-drive to left. It was the second-longest homer at 9-year-old Busch Stadium behind Holliday’s 469-foot drive against the Chicago Cubs’ Ryan Dempster on July 20, 2012.

“Mistakes tend to go far, we’ve seen it when he was with us,” Weiss said. “Jorge did all right, but the one swing by Holliday is what hurt.”

The NL Central-leading Cardinals stayed 2 1/2 games ahead of second-place Pittsburgh.

St. Louis has won 20 of its last 28 against the Rockies.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rockies: 1B Justin Morneau was taken out before the bottom of the sixth with left intercostal soreness and is day to day. Weiss believes Morneau hurt it on a swing.

Cardinals: RHP Michael Wacha, struggling to regain form after nearly two months on the DL with a shoulder injury, will be pushed back in the rotation. Rookie LHP Marco Gonzales will start instead on Sunday.

UP NEXT

Rockies: Franklin Morales (6-7, 5.21 ERA) pitched six scoreless innings against the Padres his last start.

Cardinals: Shelby Miller (9-9, 3.83 ERA) has thrown 14 consecutive scoreless innings his last two starts and is 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA in two career outings against Colorado.

STREAKING

Colorado LF Corey Dickerson went 2 for 4 and is 7 for 16 in four career games against St. Louis. … Rockies leadoff man Charlie Blackmon doubled and singled his first two trips for his 41st multihit game.

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