Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Rockies end grueling streak with 4-1 loss to Reds

MARK SCHMETZER, Associated Press Updated: May 11, 2014 at 4:25 pm
CINCINNATI — Despite seeing their offense stymied in a 4-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday, the Colorado Rockies feel as if they did more than just survive a grueling schedule to start the season.

The Rockies finished their stretch of 40 games in 42 days with a 23-17 record, which manager Walt Weiss considers to be even more impressive considering the injuries that have plagued his team.

"I think we competed every day," said Weiss, who has had eight players go on the disabled list, including the five currently sidelined. "With the injuries we've had, we've had to compete — right out of the game. Our guys have fought through a lot of difficult stuff."

Another problem was revealed on Sunday. Left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, who was scheduled to start at Kansas City on Tuesday, was pushed back to Friday after he started experiencing back spasms the day after his last start. Left-hander Franklin Morales, who was Wednesday's scheduled starter, was moved up a day with right-hander Jhoulys Chacin moving into Morales' spot.

"We've got starting pitchers hurt and a lot of position players are banged up because of the rigors of the schedule," said right fielder Charlie Blackmon, who homered for the second time in two games on Sunday. "When we get healthy and get reasonable rest we'll play better."

Cincinnati's pitching was Colorado's main problem Sunday. Aroldis Chapman made his first major league appearance since being hit above the eye by a line drive during spring training, striking out the side in the ninth with his 100 mph fastball to close out the Cincinnati Reds' victory.

Todd Frazier hit his second 400-foot home run in three days to back Homer Bailey's shutdown pitching as Cincinnati won the rubber match of its three-game series with Colorado.

Chapman was greeted by a standing ovation from the crowd of 33,143. He reached 100 mph with his first pitch and topped out at 102 mph in earning the save. Chapman had been out since being hit above the left eye by a line drive during a spring training game on March 19.

Skip Schumaker drove in two runs and the Reds capitalized on two Colorado throwing errors to send the Rockies to their third loss in four games.

Besides contributing two sacrifice bunts, Bailey (3-2) limited a Colorado offense that produced 11 runs and 16 hits on Saturday night to one run — Blackmon's ninth homer of the season — and four hits with two walks and six strikeouts in 7 1-3 innings.

"Where he did a good job on me was he went straight to his slider," Blackmon said. "He didn't mess around with throwing too many fastballs, and he used both sides of the plate. This park has the least foul territory of any park in baseball, and I don't know how I fouled out twice."

Manny Parra got the final two outs of the eighth inning.

The Reds snapped Nolan Arenado's streak of getting on base at 30 consecutive games, two days after his hitting streak was stopped at a franchise-record 28 games.

"(Bailey) threw the ball well," Weiss said. "He had a good fastball, and he used his splitter well against left-handed hitters. He has a good arm, and he was on today."

Juan Nicasio (4-2), who'd won his previous two starts, allowed five hits and four runs — two earned — with one walk and three strikeouts.

Billy Hamilton, making his first start since spraining two knuckles on his left hand while making a diving catch on May 1, led off the first inning with a bunt single up the first base line and went all the way to third on first baseman Justin Morneau's throwing error. Hamilton scored on Schumaker's groundout to second baseman DJ LeMahieu.

The Reds made it 2-0 in the third on Ramon Santiago's leadoff bloop single to left field, Bailey's sacrifice, a Nicasio balk while facing Hamilton and Schumaker's soft, two-out liner to center field.

Blackmon became the first Rockie to reach base when he led off the fourth with an estimated 380-foot shot into the right field seats on a 2-2 pitch.

Frazier got that run back with his seventh homer of the season, an estimated 421-foot drive to center field on a 2-2 pitch with one out in the fourth inning that extended his career-high hitting streak to 11 games (13 for 42, .310). Frazier reached an estimated 485 feet with a home run on Friday.

The Reds used another throwing error to take a 4-1 lead in the fifth. With Santiago on third base and Hamilton on second and two outs, third baseman Arenado's high throw to Morneau on Brandon Phillips' two-out grounder pulled the first baseman off the bag. Phillips slid under the attempted tag while Santiago scored.

NOTES: Blackmon's homer was Colorado's 20th of the season with two strikes. ... Reds RHP Mat Latos threw a bullpen session before the game, the next step in his comeback from a flexor mass strain in his right elbow that has kept him out all season. Latos had surgery to remove bone chips from the elbow shortly after the 2013 season and needed surgery on February 14 to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. He has won 14 games in each of his first two seasons with Cincinnati. ... Colorado and Cincinnati both have Monday off. The Rockies are scheduled to open a two-game interleague series at Kansas City on Tuesday, the same day the Reds are due to open a three-game home series against San Diego.

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