Contact CU Independent staff writer Jake Mauff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Colorado Rockies, now sitting at second place in the NL West, traveled to Cincinnati at the top of the week to play the Reds in a three-game series that saw the Rox lose two. Here’s how the games broke down.
April 18: Colorado 5, Cincinnati 1
Jordan Lyles took the mound in the opening game, which turned out to be a good thing for the Rockies. Lyles had an 11.25 ERA going into the start. It still isn’t spectacular, but he lowered that to a 6.00 ERA.
In seven innings, Lyles allowed four hits and walked one. A run crossed the plate, but that came off of a throwing error by left fielder Gerardo Parra. The run tied the game at one. This seemed to be an evening out of the outfielder’s defensive prowess.
Leading off the bottom of the fifth, Reds’ rightfielder Jay Bruce hit a deep ball into left center field and sprinted hard, going for three. Parra nabbed the ball at the warning track and drilled it to third baseman Nolan Arenado who made a spinning tag of Bruce. The play was upheld after it was reviewed.
The game was still tied at one going into the eighth inning. In an act of fate, rookie sensation shortstop Trevor Story stepped up. When the at-bat was over, Story had made history yet again. This was Story’s eighth home run of the year, the most in a player’s first 13 games since 1900.
After Story’s home run, the Rockies’ offense didn’t stop. First baseman Ben Paulsen also crushed one to center, this time with two runners on. The score was 5-1 Rockies, and Colorado never looked back. They took the win in the first game of the series.
April 19: Cincinnati 4, Colorado 3
It was the ace’s turn to pitch on Tuesday as Jorge De La Rose took the mound. It wasn’t his best performance to say the least. De La Rosa entered the game with an unsettling 8.80 ERA. He left with a 9.87 ERA.
This was a result of only two innings pitched, and they were a frightening two innings. They helped Cincinnati send home four runners during that frame.
The Rockies found themselves in a hole early, and they couldn’t dig themselves out against the Reds’ Robert Stephenson. Stephenson was only making the second start of his career, as the original pitcher, Alfredo Simon, was scratched with a bicep injury.
Still, Colorado was able to make it a nail-biter. Down 4-1 in the ninth inning, with two outs, first baseman Mark Reynolds hit a two-run bomb to make it 4-3.
The comeback wasn’t meant to be, and the Rockies lost the second game, tying the series going into the final game.
April 20: Cincinnati 6, Colorado 5
It was another close game for the Rockies on Wednesday, but it held similar results to the previous contest. Chad Bettis was the starter this time around, and he had a fairly even showing. He gave up three runs in six innings of work. That’s about as average as you can ask for.
The game was seemingly tied in the seventh when pinch-hitter Ryan Raburn hit a single into right field. Catcher Dustin Garneau was on second and booked it home to tie the game at three.
However, the Reds tagged third before the next pitch was thrown, and Garneau was ruled out. Cincinnati claimed that he did not properly touch the base when rounding the corner — official review supported that claim, and Garneau’s run was disqualified and the score stood pat 3-2 in the Reds’ favor.
At the bottom of the inning, the home team added to their run total. With two runs crossing home, the score was 5-2, an uninspiring total for the road team.
However, the Rockies fought back in the eighth and scored three runs of their own to even the game, this time at 5-all, giving Cincinnati a reason to breathe heavily.
In the end, there was a sigh of relief. With Christian Bergman filling in, Reds’ catcher Tucker Barnhart singled home Brandon Phillips. It was a walk-off in the home team’s favor, a great way to send home the fans.
The away team, the Rockies, were served a losing series. They now sit at 8-7 on the year.