By Ben Weinrib and Mark Sheldon
MLB.com |@m_sheldon |
DENVER -- The Reds hit five home runs, led by Adam Duvall's first two-homer game, and outslugged the Rockies, 11-8, in the series opener Monday at Coors Field.
The Reds took the lead in a five-run fourth inning and chased Rockies starter Chad Bettis. Duvall hit a two-run homer into the Colorado bullpen, Joey Votto added a two-run ground-rule double, and Brandon Phillips capped off the scoring with a single off reliever Gonzalez Germen.
"No lead is safe in this park, obviously, and today's game pretty much proved that," Reds shortstop Zack Cozart said.
"I felt today I got myself in a lot of bad counts," Bettis said. "I threw a lot of fastballs in fastball counts, and they hit fastballs. This is a start that I have to wash away and move on."
Colorado couldn't stop the bleeding late either, as the Reds hit home runs against three relievers. Other home runs led off innings -- Cozart on Bettis' first pitch, Votto in the seventh, Eugenio Suarez in the eighth and Duvall in the ninth.
Cincinnati starter Dan Straily gave up four runs in the third on a Gerardo Parra single and Daniel Descalso's three-run double. But in his final three frames, Straily struck out two and needed just 36 pitches. It was Straily's nine-pitch plate appearance vs. Bettis with two outs in the fourth that also kept the big rally alive when he walked.
"It turned out to be a game-changer for us," Straily said. "I didn't really think I had much chance to put a ball in play hard and then statistically speaking, I didn't. I was just trying to work a walk and it worked out in my favor."
The Rockies mounted a comeback in the ninth, beginning with Carlos Gonzalez's home run in a third straight game. Descalso added an RBI single, but the game ended with Nolan Arenado representing the tying run on deck, waiting to pinch-hit.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED No. 200 for Votto: During his 2-for-5 day, Votto didn't just provide the big two-run ground-rule double, he also provided insurance with the leadoff homer in the seventh off Jason Motte that made it a two-run game. It was No. 200 for Votto, which made him the 10th Reds player to reach that plateau. He is also the seventh player in club history to have at least 200 homers and 1,000 hits.
Descalso's eventful day: Filling in at third base during Arenado's first day off, Descalso gave the Rockies their first lead with a bases-clearing double in the third. But with the bases loaded and two out in the seventh, he bounced to second base. He hit an RBI single in the ninth to give him four RBIs. After missing 34 games with a fractured right hand, Descalso is hitting .529 in eight games thanks to a 3-for-5 day.
"He's done a nice job," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "[He] missed the start of the year, got to us late, but [he's] done a heck of a job ever since we activated him. He's a pro, knows how to take an at-bat, [and is a] tough out." More >
Duvall does all: The five-run rally in the Reds' fourth got a boost when its second batter, Duvall, slugged a two-run homer that carried in the wind into the right-center-field bullpen. A second long ball came in the ninth, to right field, for the exclamation point. That gave him his team-leading 12th and 13th homers, including 11 in May (which leads the National League) and six homers over his last eight games.
"It's been something to watch," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "For me, it's not just the homers, it's the hard contact and most balls he puts in play hard are base hits." More >
Bettis leaving early again: Bettis lasted 3 2/3 innings, the second consecutive start he has lasted fewer than five innings and given up at least six runs. The Rockies already had a fairly depleted bullpen and had to turn to four relievers to finish the game.
"[We were] certainly tapped today," Weiss said of his bullpen. "Ideally we didn't want to have to start going to the bullpen until about the seventh. That's how we were set up today. But [Gonzalez] Germen did a great job going two-plus [innings], and that was big. We were running out of bodies down there. Jake [McGee] was the last one there available to pitch."
"We know we're better than the way we're playing. You know just shake it off, show up tomorrow, play better. We've got to win these games against these guys because -- no disrespect they have some really good players out there. ... When you have a team like that, you can't just give them a break, and that's what we did today." -- Gonzalez
"We had a big inning. It got us back in the ballgame and got us going again. We got the bats going, were able to tack on some extra runs and it came in handy." -- Duvall
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Cozart led off the game by crushing the first pitch from Bettis into the left-field stands, his third leadoff homer of the season and seventh of his career. Charlie Blackmon matched him in the bottom half of the inning, hitting his second leadoff home run of the season and the 14th of his career.
This feat last happened for the Reds on July 2, 2005, against the Astros, while it only happened one other time in Rockies history, Aug. 25, 1995, against the Cardinals, according to STATS, Inc.
SUAREZ SNAPS OUT OF IT
Suarez had the Major Leagues' longest hitless streak at 0-for-28 when he batted in the fourth. His single in the big rally ended that skid and he followed up with a leadoff homer in the eighth, his first homer since May 18 and 10th overall.
LEAVING RUNNERS ON BASE
The Rockies left nine runners on, with one of the toughest situations in the seventh, which began with a DJ LeMahieu walk and Gonzalez double. Trevor Story eventually walked to load the bases with two outs, but the Rockies couldn't come up with anything while trailing by two.
"You have men on second and third with no outs, you have to be able to score a run and put pressure on them," Gonzalez said. "But at the same time, late in the game, you're not going to face easy guys. Even their bullpen has been strong. [Blake Wood] had great pitches: cutter, fastball upper 90s and a split. "
WHAT'S NEXT Reds: When the series continues Tuesday at 8:40 p.m. ET, Jon Moscot will return from the disabled list to start. It will be Moscot's first start since April 27 vs. the Mets, when inflammation to his surgically repaired non-throwing shoulder knocked him out. In his last rehab start for Triple-A Louisville on Thursday, Moscot threw six scoreless innings.
Rockies:Jon Gray hasn't pitched at home in nearly three weeks, but he will look to build off his last home start Tuesday at 6:40 p.m. MT. Although he has a 7.47 home ERA in three starts, Gray's last one was a quality start with only two runs allowed on five hits over seven innings and eight strikeouts.