Lamb silences Rockies' potent offense

Lamb silences Rockies' potent offense

DENVER -- Seemingly no Reds pitcher could figure out the Rockies' lineup Tuesday night, but John Lamb had no such problem Wednesday, as he turned in seven strong innings in a 7-2 win at Coors Field.

Lamb was excellent, allowing just one run on six hits with a walk and two strikeouts while working a career high in innings en route to his first win this season. Colorado scored a season-high 17 runs on Tuesday, but it could not manage much offense after DJ LeMahieu's first-inning RBI double. After the first inning, Lamb never faced more than four batters in an inning, with only one runner advancing past first base.

"It was a better day at the office than it's been in the past without a doubt," said Lamb, who entered the night 0-3 with a 6.85 ERA. "I'm hopeful that there's a reason to it and that what I'm doing, it's not just compete luck."

Watching video pays dividends for Lamb

Cincinnati jumped on Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood early, scoring four runs in the first two frames. Joey Votto drove in his fifth RBI of the series on a groundout in the first, Ramon Cabrera added a run on a fielder's choice and Billy Hamilton drove in two more on a double up the middle.

"They have a lot of veteran hitters over there," Chatwood said. "They're battling, fouling off some pitches and I just missed it barely off the plate. For the most part, I thought I stuck to our game plan and tried to stay out there as long as I could."

Even in slump, Votto commanding respect

The Reds added two more runs to pad their lead after Chatwood's exit. Jay Bruce homered for a second consecutive day, and Hamilton scored after stealing third on a throwing error by catcher Dustin Garneau in the ninth. Colorado was able to score one more run in the eighth on Carlos Gonzalez's ground out against reliever Tony Cingrani.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Billy Ball: Running all the way and taking advantage of Charlie Blackmon forgetting who was running, Hamilton used his speed and slid into second base headfirst for a two-run double. He would add another two bagger later, making it the third two-double game of his career.

Statcast: Hamilton turns on jets

"I'm running hard out of the box pretty much every ball I hit," said Hamilton, who was 3-for-5. "That's the way I was taught to play the game - hard and with heart." More >

Early scoring again: For the third consecutive game, the Rockies got on the board in the first inning. After leading off the past two games with home runs, Blackmon instead hit an opposite-field single. LeMahieu drove him in on a double to right-center, but after Carlos Gonzalez walked, the Rockies wouldn't crack the scoreboard again until the eighth inning.

"[Lamb's] offspeed is really slow," Blackmon said. "He throws a cutter, so that can speed guys up inside, and then he slows them down with offspeed [pitches]. I don't really know exactly why he was so effective tonight outside of throwing good pitches."

Ouch! To begin the bottom of the fourth inning, Ryan Raburn scorched a line drive back to the mound that struck Lamb on the left leg and into foul territory along the first-base line for a single. According to Statcast™, the exit velocity off Raburn's bat was 105 mph. Lamb spent a few moments limping around the mound and was checked by the trainer before he continued. It did not affect his performance, as he gave up one more hit while facing one over the minimum the rest of the way.

Lamb struck, stays in game

"I wanted to be out there," Lamb said. "Physically, I could feel it, but it didn't take much or anything away from what I was doing. So I'm just happy I could stay out there."

Chatwood's continued home struggles: Chatwood had thrown quality starts in five of his previous six outings, but he was pulled before he could complete six innings for the first time since April 23. His five runs allowed tied for the second-most he's given up all season and raised his home ERA to 5.30. His 11 baserunners allowed -- eight hits and three walks -- was one short of a season high.

Chatwood fans Hamilton looking

"He always battles," Weiss said of Chatwood, who reached 100 pitches for the fourth time this season. "At that point when I went and got him, I thought he really grinded through a hundred-plus pitches. I went and got [Miguel] Castro to finish the inning, but he always battles." More >

QUOTABLE
"Extremely impressed in large because of what he saw happen the day ahead of him. He saw a lot of runs scored, seven home runs by the Rockies, a bullpen that got beat up over the course of the ballgame and sometimes that's some bad feedback to have to witness before you go make a start. This is the big leagues. You've got to overcome things like that, and he did in big fashion tonight." -- Reds manager Bryan Price, on Lamb

UPON FURTHER REVIEW
Votto reached base in the first inning when umpires initially ruled he touched the bag before Chatwood received a throw from first baseman Mark Reynolds. Colorado challenged the call, and following a brief review, the ruling was overturned.

Votto out on review

WHAT'S NEXT
Reds: After being ejected from his previous start for hitting a batter intentionally in Milwaukee, Alfredo Simon will return to the mound when the series concludes at 8:40 p.m. ET on Thursday. Simon is winless since May 5 .

Rockies: Eddie Butler take the mound for Colorado against the Reds at 6:40 p.m. MT Thursday, after his first home win since May 14. Butler has walked only one batter in his last four appearances, spanning 18 2/3 innings, and the Reds have the league's third-lowest walk rate.

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Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Rockies on Wednesday.

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.