Duvall continues HR barrage with two more

With 11 HRs in May, Reds left fielder making strong case for NL Player of Month

Duvall continues HR barrage with two more

DENVER -- Left fielder Adam Duvall returned to the Reds' dugout in the ninth inning after hitting his second home run of the day and found teammates pretending he was too hot to the touch. Figuratively speaking, he certainly is that.

Duvallís latest long balls were among the five Cincinnati slugged for an 11-8 win Monday over Colorado at Coors Field.

"I've never really played with a bunch of these guys. They don't really know what to expect or what I'm capable of," Duvall said. "It was good to help the team win today."

In the five-run fourth inning with Cincinnati down, 5-1, it was Duvall's two-run homer to right-center field against Chad Bettis that put his team back in the game. His second one, off of reliever Jake McGee, landed in the first row of the seats in right field and provided needed insurance as the game became close. It gave him the first career multihomer game.

All but two of Duvall's previous homers this season were pulled, but he's worked on going the other way.

"I was trying to hit a ball through the middle. It just happened to go to right field," said Duvall, who leads the club with 13 homers. "I think I was a little late on the fastball for the last one. When the swing is right and direction is good, you can afford to be a little late."

Duvall has certainly made himself a candidate for National League Player of the Month. Besides having 11 of his homers in May, he's slugged six in his last eight games. Over his last 17 games, heís batting .311 with 18 RBIs.

'I've hit for some power my whole career," Duvall said. "It was just finding that comfortable spot and being able to do it on a consistent basis. Thereís a lot of work that goes into it and I want to keep it going."

When Duvall makes contact, the balls have a good chance of being hits. According to Fangraphs, he makes hard contact over 37 percent of the time and he has a .312 batting average on balls in play.

"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."

Duvall, 27, was part of the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline deal that sent pending free-agent pitcher Mike Leake to the Giants. Duvall hit 30 of his 35 homers last season in Triple-A and came to camp vying for the left-field spot.

Since early in the season, Duvall has made the spot all his.

"He's our best player," Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips said. "I'm very happy he's getting the opportunity to show what he can really do; he's taking advantage of it. It's about time since I've been here, ever since Adam Dunn [in 2008], that we have a left fielder that's penciled in every day. So I'm very happy for his success and hope he can keep it up. He's very fun to watch."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.