ST. LOUIS -- Their bullpen taxed from soaking up 10 1/3 innings over the last two nights, the Colorado Rockies needed a good outing from their starting pitcher.
Fortunately for them, they had just the man for the job and the right opponent for him to make it happen.
In improving to 7-4 this year and 8-4 in his career against St. Louis, De La Rosa scattered seven hits and gave up two runs, walking none and striking out four. He threw 67 of his 96 pitches for strikes before leaving after a two-out RBI single by rookie left fielder Stephen Piscotty in the bottom of the seventh capped the night's scoring.
"They're one of the best teams in baseball," De La Rosa said of the Cardinals. "The big thing was my command was better than my last three starts. I just had to make my pitches."
It was De La Rosa's second win of the year over St. Louis; he won 4-3 on June 9 in Coors Field, outdueling All-Star Michael Wacha. He wasn't in a whole lot of trouble in the rematch.
Other than Piscotty's hit and a solo homer by shortstop Jhonny Peralta in the fourth, De La Rosa was in command all night.
"He pitches backwards a lot," Cardinals first baseman Brandon Moss said. "Even if you're ahead in the count, he's still pitching you like it's 0-2. He doesn't throw a lot of fastballs, but he keeps you off-balance."
While De La Rosa kept St. Louis in check, the Rockies (44-58) took advantage of some poorly located fastballs from Cardinals right-hander Lance Lynn (8-6).
Sporting a 1.37 career ERA in four prior outings against Colorado, Lynn was in trouble from the get-go. Center fielder Charlie Blackmon tripled off the top of the right-center-field wall and jogged home on a sacrifice fly by right fielder Carlos Gonzalez.
In the fourth, third baseman Nolan Arenado jacked his 26th homer, a two-run shot over the Rockies' bullpen in left-center, after Gonzalez drew a leadoff walk.
First baseman Ben Paulsen touched Lynn for a 436-foot homer to center to lead off the sixth, then administered the knockout punch an inning later when he drilled a two-run double off the left-center-field wall against reliever Seth Maness. That put the Rockies up 6-1.
"They've thrown a lot of fastballs the last (three) days," Paulsen said of St. Louis, "and I was just trying to stand tall and get good pitches. Our lineup is strong; and, if we put runs up, our pitching's good enough to win."
Lynn departed after five-plus innings, yielding seven hits and four runs, with three walks and five strikeouts.
Despite the loss, the Cardinals (66-38) maintained their 5 1/2-game lead in the National League Central on Pittsburgh, a 4-3 loser in Cincinnati.
While St. Louis chewed on just its 16th loss in 55 home games, Colorado enjoyed only its second road win over the Cardinals in the last three years. De La Rosa was on the mound for that one as well on May 12, 2013.
"I just think he's a good pitcher," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said when asked whether De La Rosa had a good matchup against St. Louis. "When (Jorge) is out there, we feel like we have a good chance to win the game."
NOTES: Colorado placed RHP Kyle Kendrick (right shoulder inflammation) and OF Corey Dickerson (non-displaced rib fracture) on the 15-day disabled list. ... The Rockies also recalled RHP Scott Oberg and OF Kyle Parker from Triple-A Albuquerque, reinstated RHP Christian Bergman (shoulder fatigue) from the 15-day DL and designated LHP Aaron Laffey for assignment. ... St. Louis' 15-12 record in July marked the 19th straight month it has posted a record of .500 or better, dating to June 2012.