CINCINNATI -- Using a four-run top of the fourth inning and A.J. Pollock's near-cycle, the D-backs zoomed over the Reds for a 6-3 victory on Friday at Great American Ball Park. Cincinnati has dropped seven games in a row and fell to the bottom of the National League Central division for the first time this season.
Rubby De La Rosa gave Arizona a strong seven-inning start and allowed two earned runs on seven hits with one walk and six strikeouts. David Holmberg labored for his five innings and gave up five earned runs and 11 hits. That included home runs by Pollock in the first inning and Yasmany Tomas in the big top of the fourth where nine came to the plate to make it a 5-0 game.
"It's another night without the command I've been looking for. I ended up on the wrong side of those five runs," said Holmberg, who lasted only two innings in his previous start against the Dodgers. "It's something you can feel the first few pitches. I felt like I was much closer and made improvements from last time. It just wasn't quite there."
"We wanted him to go deep, he's the guy on our staff right now that's become our horse," D-backs manager Chip Hale said of De La Rosa. "We know, win or lose, he has the ability to throw 100 pitches, even 120 if we wanted. Actually his pitch count [De La Rosa threw 93 pitches] was really manageable. He pitched a good seven innings and at 5-2 I just felt like we had enough left in the bullpen."
The Reds inched their way back with a run in the sixth, and another in the seventh, against De La Rosa. Leading off the bottom of the eighth against reliever Keith Hessler, Joey Votto's 23rd homer of the season cleared the left field wall and made it a two-run game. Aaron Hill's sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth against Jumbo Diaz gave Arizona some insurance.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Four in fourth: Arizona broke the game open with a five-hit, four-run fourth inning to take a 5-0 lead. The inning began with a solo homer to center field by Tomas that traveled an estimated 410 feet, according to Statcast™. Ender Inciarte tacked on another run with a sacrifice fly and Welington Castillo drove in two more runs when Eugenio Suarez was unable to hold onto a sharp liner with the bases loaded. Holmberg gave up all four runs in the inning.
Frazier robs Pollock: Pollock already had three hits by the fourth inning, but Reds third baseman Todd Frazier prevented a fourth hit in the top of the sixth. Against reliever Sam LeCure, Pollock led off and scorched a sharp liner that curved towards the line, but Frazier made a nice leaping catch for the out that robbed Pollock of extra bases. Pollock entered the at-bat with six straight hits and he would have tied the D-backs' club record for consecutive hits had Frazier not made the leaping snag.
Pollock misses out on cycle: Pollock hit a sharp single up the middle in his final at-bat, finishing 4-for-5 and a triple shy of the cycle. Pollock hit a solo homer in the first inning, a single in the third inning, double in the fourth inning and another single in the ninth, but couldn't pick up the triple in his final two at-bats. He is now 8-for-10 with four RBIs and three stolen bases in the series.
"I don't know how to hit a triple so I was just trying to hit," Pollock said. "I don't know exactly what you need to do. I was trying to hit the ball hard. It's something that if you put a good at-bat together and if it happens it happens." More >
Fancy footwork by Pena: Cincinnati added a two-out run in the seventh on a nice move by Brayan Pena. When Jason Bourgeois hit a single to right field, Pena headed home from second base. As Tomas' perfect throw to the plate came, Pena's slide was short as Castillo missed the tag. Pena, who was 3-for-4 in the game, danced around Castillo's legs to touch the plate for a run that put his team within three runs of Arizona.
"I think Brayan has such a joy. Frustration doesn't allow him to buy into that ability to kind of kick it back," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "I think he has such a great joy of playing the game, playing it right and trying to do something to spark us. He exudes that when he's on the field."
"His last couple of starts haven't really looked like the guy we've seen in the past, especially late in the year last year and then when he came back up this year as a starter. He was just more erratic with his command. He threw a lot more empty pitches, just because they missed their mark by so far. They don't really serve a purpose. It's really not like him. It's not his game. It's not what has made him successful." -- Price, on Holmberg's performance
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With the loss, and the Brewers' victory over the Nationals, the Reds fell into last place in the National League Central. At 51-69, this is the latest in a season Cincinnati has been at the bottom of their division since 2008, when they were sixth on Aug. 24.
WHAT'S NEXT D-backs: Right-hander Randall Delgado will make his first start of the season on Saturday against the Reds at Great American Ball Park. Delgado, who has made 43 appearances this season as a reliever, is 11-19 with a 4.23 ERA in 47 career starts. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. PT.
Reds: The best overall performer among their all-rookie rotation, Anthony DeSclafani will start for the Reds in Saturday's 7:10 p.m. ET game. DeSclafani is on a run of five straight quality starts, including two earned runs over six innings in a 2-1 loss to the Dodgers on Sunday. Both runs came on back-to-back homers by Los Angeles in the fifth inning while facing Zack Greinke.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. Robert Bondy is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.