ST. LOUIS -- After taking a called third strike for the second straight at-bat Friday night, St. Louis Cardinals rookie left fielder Stephen Piscotty figured he had two choices.
"Curl up and hide, or embrace the challenge," he said.
As his sixth inning at-bat showed, Piscotty picked the latter.
His hit was followed by an RBI single from second baseman Kolten Wong and a towering two-run homer from shortstop Jhonny Peralta, turning a 2-0 nailbiter into a laugher for the team with MLB's best record at 66-37.
It was a 180-degree turn from Thursday night's 9-8 win, in which the Cardinals needed three ninth inning runs. There was carryover from that comeback, as St. Louis rapped out 14 straight hits for the second straight game and enjoyed its biggest inning in more than a month.
"We had positive at-bats in key spots," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said of Thursday night's ending, "and I think we fed off that tonight."
While the offense stayed in a groove, St. Louis starter Michael Wacha regained his rhythm after three straight shaky starts in which he gave up 13 runs. Throwing 70 of his 102 pitches for strikes, Wacha (12-4) limited the potent Colorado offense to four hits and a walk in seven innings, fanning seven.
Wacha said he worked on his mechanics between starts, feeling that his body and arm weren't in sync during his delivery.
"I was on time for the most part tonight," he said. "I'm always trying to get better and work down in the zone. I felt good."
"You saw why he's one of the best pitchers in the league," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said of Wacha. "He has a very good fastball and a very good changeup."
Colorado (43-58) got just one runner to third in Wacha's stint and managed just one hit after reliever Aaron Laffey led off the third with a single.
Laffey came in after starter Kyle Kendrick (4-12) experienced right elbow inflammation while allowing a leadoff homer to third baseman Matt Carpenter and a sacrifice fly to right fielder Jason Heyward in the first inning.
Kendrick said after the game that he's going for an MRI when the team returns home Monday and that he's pitched through pain for two months.
The Rockies also found out after the game that starting left fielder Corey Dickerson is headed to the 15-day disabled list with broken ribs suffered in Thursday night's game as he dove in vain to catch Heyward's fifth inning line drive.
"It's kind of heartbreaking," said Dickerson, who's been bothered by a foot injury this season. "I love to play and compete, and I've had some of the craziest injuries. I want to be out there and help the guys win. This stinks."
There was little foul about the Cardinals' play as they maintained their 5 1/2-game lead in the National League Central over Pittsburgh.
Piscotty's mental toughness helped them achieve their latest win.
"The game will find you," he said. "I had a feeling it would come back to me again, and I'm glad it did."
NOTES: St. Louis traded for bullpen help Friday, acquiring RHP Jonathan Broxton from Milwaukee for minor league OF Malik Collymore. Broxton was 1-2 with a 5.89 ERA in 40 games with the Brewers. ... Colorado LHP Chris Rusin, who belted his first MLB homer Thursday night in the fourth inning, pinch-hit in the fifth and laid down a sacrifice bunt. ... To make room for Broxton on the 40-man roster, the Cardinals designated RHP Marcus Hatley for assignment. They also optioned RHP Miguel Socolovich to Triple-A Memphis.