ST. LOUIS – Abraham Nunez singled in the winning run in the ninth inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals denied the Colorado Rockies their first road series win of the year with a 5-4 victory Sunday.

Albert Pujols had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 15 games and Scott Rolen had two hits and an RBI for the Cardinals, who split the four-game series to complete a 6-4 homestand in which they also struggled against Pittsburgh and Cincinnati.

The Rockies haven’t won a road series in 13 attempts this year, and 16 in a row dating to last September. They did earn only their second split of the year, and first since a two-game series at Philadelphia on April 20-21, against the team with the NL’s best record.

Colorado matched a season best with three homers, by Dustan Mohr, Luis Gonzalez and Preston Wilson. The Rockies fell to 7-33 on the road, worst in the majors since the 1982 Twins also started out with that record.

Jay Witasick (0-3) walked Yadier Molina to open the ninth and John Mabry sacrificed. Nunez, getting a spot start at shortstop, singled to right on the first pitch and Molina scored easily with the winning run.

Ray King (2-1) got Aaron Miles to hit into an inning-ending double play in the ninth.

Cardinals starter Mark Mulder gave up a season-high three homers in six innings, and has allowed seven in his last four outings. He allowed four runs and seven hits.

Rockies starter Jason Jennings lasted six innings and gave up four runs – two earned – and seven hits.

Mohr hit his seventh homer in the first, Gonzalez hit his fourth in the second and Wilson hit his 14th in the third, giving the Rockies a 3-2 lead. Rolen had an RBI double and Molina a run-scoring groundout in the second for the Cardinals.

Aaron Miles’ RBI double in the fourth gave Colorado a two-run cushion, but his fielding error to start the fifth helped the Cardinals tie it. Jennings also made an error in the fifth, dropping a relay from second on Larry Walker’s groundout that allowed Nunez to score from second.

Jennings perhaps had been distracted when Walker tapped him on the back while running to first.

A two-out RBI single by Mark Grudzielanek, who had been in a 5-for-33 slump and stranded four runners his first two at-bats, tied it at 4.

Notes: So Taguchi started in LF for the Cardinals in place of Reggie Sanders, who sprained his foot sliding into second on the game-ending double play Saturday. … Pujols is 23-for-56 during his 15-game hitting streak, which is one game off his season best. … A paid crowd of 47,811 was the Cardinals’ second straight sellout and 16th overall. … Todd Helton was 0-for-4, ending an 11-game hitting streak.

AP-ES-07-03-05 1716EDT


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