DENVER — It’s hard to say what was more shocking: Nolan Arenado failing to come through in the clutch or the Gold Glove winner committing a throwing error.
Neither happens happen often to the All-Star third baseman, who is generating some MVP buzz for the season he’s having.
Arenado’s errant throw paved the way to a game-altering inning as the Colorado Rockies lost 5-3 to the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night. He also lined out to end the game with the potential tying runs on base.
That spoiled a fine outing by Tyler Anderson (5-6). The rookie allowed five runs — two earned — in seven solid innings and is 5-2 with a 3.00 ERA in 12 starts at Coors Field.
“He ended up getting through seven, so it was a good outing,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.
The slick-fielding Arenado made a costly throwing error in the fourth with the score tied at 2. Cardinals pitcher Carlos Martinez then delivered two-out, two-run double, and Matt Carpenter added a run-scoring single.
“We have seen (Arenado) make that play. He makes it look easy and that wasn’t an easy play,” Weiss said. “And then the throw was a little high. It was a tough play.”
In the ninth, pinch-hitter Ryan Raburn hit a solo homer off Kevin Siegrist to make it 5-3. After allowing a single to Charlie Blackmon, Siegrist struck out DJ LeMahieu before walking Carlos Gonzalez.
That brought up Arenado, who flied out to left field to end the game.
Arenado drove in a run earlier, giving him an NL-best 124 RBIs. He also leads the league in homers (38), which is why Weiss believes Arenado should garner some MVP votes despite playing on a 72-78 squad.
“One of the best players in the league,” Weiss said. “But I don’t think this will be the last time he’s in that conversation.”
LeMahieu finished 2 for 4 to raise his average to .349 and take a slight lead over Washington’s Daniel Murphy in the NL batting race. Murphy is hitting .348.
Martinez labored most of the game. Not with his pitches, but catching his breath.
He threw five effective innings despite struggling to take a deep breath in the thin air. Martinez, who turns 25 on Wednesday, gave himself an early birthday present by holding Colorado to two runs while striking out six. The right-hander is 9-1 on the road this season.
“The altitude affects everybody a little differently,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “It affected him today, for sure.”
Rockies: There are no plans for surgery on the broken left hand of 1B Mark Reynolds after he was hit by a pitch Sunday, ending his season. “It’s a tough break for Mark,” Weiss said.
HOLD THE ONIONS
A launched baseball in batting practice left a burger joint in quite a pickle.
The Helton Burger Shack located behind the bleachers in left field was closed Monday after a ball broke the glass protecting the prep area.
No official word on whose liner actually broke the window pane — Twitter conversations credited injured Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday — but it wasn’t the restaurant’s namesake; Todd Helton retired after the 2013 season.
The Rockies have some history with Martinez. In July 2015, things got a little heated after he hit LeMahieu with a pitch.
Martinez didn’t think there was any purpose to a pitch that plunked him Monday night, even though it did sting.
“I don’t think it was any retaliation. That happened last year. It’s a new year,” Martinez said through a translator. “I wouldn’t like to think that. I think it just got away.”
Anderson downplayed it, too.
“It was a ball that cut and hit him in the shin,” he explained.
Cardinals: With 132 wins, RHP Adam Wainwright (11-9, 4.51 ERA) tries to move closer to tying Dizzy Dean (134) for sixth on the team’s career list.
Rockies: LHP Jorge De La Rosa (8-8, 5.22) is 4-0 with a 4.01 ERA in four starts against St. Louis at Coors Field.