Rockies’ Ezequiel Tovar — two homers, four hits — stars in win over Cardinals

Ezequiel Tovar had better make reservations for Arlington, Texas, on July 16.

The Rockies’ 22-year-old shortstop likely clinched his first trip to the All-Star Game with his glittering performance Saturday afternoon at Busch Stadium in Colorado’s 6-5 win over the Cardinals.

Hitting from the No. 3 hole, Tovar slugged two home runs, went 4 for 4, drove in four runs, and totaled a career-high 10 total bases. Tovar’s two-run blast to left off reliever Andrew Kittredge in the Rockies’ three-run seventh inning provided the game-clincher.

Tovar rescued the Rockies after a defensive train wreck nearly cost them the game in the sixth inning and almost wasted a start by right-hander Ryan Feltner.

Feltner was fabulous for five innings. He shut out the Cardinals and allowed one hit — a harmless two-out single to Paul Goldschmidt in the fourth. Feltner struck out seven.

But his gem was tarnished in the sixth, although it wasn’t his doing. Back-to-back errors by second baseman Alan Trejo and first baseman Elehuris Montero — on potential double play grounders — led to four unearned runs for the Cardinals. Nolan Arenado’s RBI single to left off of reliever Victor Vodnick gave St. Louis a short-lived 4-3 lead.

Colorado’s game-winning seventh inning was ignited by Charlie Blackmon’s one-out double. He shocked the Cardinals by swiping third base, just his third steal of third since 2019. Blackmon scored on Brenton Doyle’s single. Up stepped Tovar, who drove Kittredge’s 0-2, 94.6 mph sinker into the left-field seats.

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Tovar led off the sixth with his first homer of the day, jumping on starter Kyle Gibson’s 2-0 sweeper. The Rockies tacked on another run in the sixth on Montero’s double over the head of center fielder Dylan Carlson’s head, followed by Jake Cave’s RBI single to center.

Although Matt Carpenter blasted a 436-foot homer to center off Vodnick in the seventh to cut Colorado’s lead to one run, Jalen Beeks and Tyler Kinley shut down the Cardinals over the final two innings to preserve one of the Rockies’ most satisfying wins of the season. Kinley pocketed his fourth save of the season.

The Rockies will look to clinch the four-game series on Sunday afternoon.

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