The Rockies went just 1-5 on their final homestand of the season and have lost nine of their last 11 games. They hit the road having just been swept in three games by the Dodgers, including yesterday's 7-6 setback.
Troy Tulowitzki had four hits and scored four runs, including one in the bottom of the ninth on a ground out to pull Colorado to within a run. However, Miguel Olivo lined out with two runners on base to end the rally and the game.
"We will be coming back [in 2011] with the intent of playing meaningful September games and hopefully, knocking on the same door of opportunity we've been knocking on for two years and hopefully, knock it down," Colorado manager Jim Tracy said.
Tracy's club can get the ball rolling early versus the Cardinals, whom the Rockies swept in three games in Denver from July 6-8. That ran Colorado's series winning streak to four, and the club has won 11 of the last 12 overall meetings between the teams, including a four-game sweep at St. Louis from June 5-8, 2009.
Right-hander Jason Hammel will try to keep his club rolling in this series in his first career start against the Cardinals. He is 10-8 with a 4.64 earned run average this season.
The 28-year-old is just 0-1 with a 7.65 ERA over his last four starts, however, and hasn't pitched longer than five innings in each of his last three outings. That includes a game versus San Francisco on Saturday in which he gave up four runs on eight hits, three homers and a walk over five frames of a no-decision.
Cardinals co-ace Chris Carpenter will be looking to close out his season on a high note and halt a four-start losing streak. The righty has notched a 7.17 ERA over his skid and lasted just four innings in Chicago on Saturday, allowing five runs -- two earned -- on seven hits and four walks. It marked Carpenter's shortest outing since a three-inning effort on July 3.
The 35-year-old is 15-9 with a 3.31 ERA in 34 starts this year. That does include a loss to the Rockies on July 8 that dropped him to 3-1 with a 1.50 ERA in six lifetime starts versus the club.
St. Louis began its season-ending seven-game homestand by winning two of three versus Pittsburgh, taking Wednesday's rubber match, 4-1.
"That was really impressive," Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said of Walters' outing. "He's got great guts and a real good feel for pitching."
Despite having won five of their last seven, the Cardinals were eliminated from the playoff race on Tuesday.