The Colorado Rockies are mired in a 26-inning scoreless rut and now have to try to end Jaime Garcia's three-start win streak.
Garcia has been stingy during his run and will try to help the St. Louis Cardinals complete a three-game sweep and hand the visiting Rockies a fifth straight defeat Sunday.
Colorado (19-17) hasn't produced a run since Carlos Gonzalez's first-inning sacrifice fly Thursday in a 3-1 defeat to the Yankees. St. Louis (23-12) has posted consecutive 3-0 victories to start this series, as Shelby Miller fired a one-hitter with 13 strikeouts Friday before Adam Wainwright took a no-hitter into the eighth inning Saturday and settled for a two-hitter and struck out seven.
The Rockies had been hitless in 49 consecutive at_bats before rookie Nolan Arenado lined a clean hit to center field with one out in the eighth off Wainwright.
"I'm just trying to hit the ball hard,' Arenado said. "I knew he wanted to get ahead with a strike and he threw one down and away. I got pretty lucky, I guess.'
Dexter Fowler added a ninth-inning single while Colorado's only other hit in the series came when Eric Young led off the game Friday with a single off Miller.
"What a great couple of days,' St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said.
Colorado has also gone 34 consecutive innings without an extra-base hit since Todd Helton's homer in the second inning in Wednesday's 3-2 loss to New York. Manager Walt Weiss isn't planning a meeting for the Rockies, who have never been shut out in three straight games.
"You leave it alone,' Weiss said. "You know, everyone gets beat up a little bit in this game at some point, but our guys will keep grinding and we'll to come out and try to turn it around (Sunday)."
After facing the right-handed Miller and Wainwright, the Rockies will now try to improve on their 5-8 mark when opposing left-handers as they look to get their bats going against Garcia (4-1, 2.25 ERA), 3-0 with a 1.25 ERA in his last three outings.
Garcia gave up one run over eight innings last Sunday to earn a 10-1 victory at Milwaukee. He's 0-2 with an 11.85 ERA in three career starts against Colorado.
Gonzalez is the only Rockies hitter to homer against him, going 4 for 9 with two doubles as well. Fowler is 0 for 6 versus Garcia.
Troy Tulowitzi, among baseball's leaders with a 1.032 OPS, has five strikeouts among six hitless at_bats in this series. Gonzalez is 0 for 7 with four strikeouts and Helton is 0 for 5 with a walk.
St. Louis has posted a 2.02 ERA while winning nine of 10, including four straight at home.
Yadier Molina has four hits in the series, and is batting .476 during an 11-game hitting streak. He's 5 for 8 against Jorge De La Rosa (3-3, 3.52), who will start Sunday for Colorado.
De La Rosa has given up all of his runs on the road while posting a 5.13 ERA. He pitched six innings in Tuesday's 2-0 win over the Yankees, and is 3-2 with a 5.30 ERA in seven career starts against the Cardinals.
The Associated Press News Service
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