Rookie Marco Gonzales struck out nine, Jhonny Peralta homered and the NL Central-leading Cardinals beat the Colorado Rockies 4-1 Sunday for their third straight win. The Cardinals held their 3.5 game division lead over Pittsburgh.
Gonzales (3-2), in his fifth major league start, gave up one run on four hits and four walks over 5.2 innings. Trevor Rosenthal struck out the side in the ninth to pick up his NL-leading 44th save in 49 opportunities. Six St. Louis pitchers combined to fan 16.
Peralta hit his team-leading 21st homer, a two-run shot in the third off Jordan Lyles (6-3). Matt Holliday hit an RBI double before Peralta homered. Yadier Molina had three hits for St. Louis and scored in the eighth on a wild pitch.