CINCINNATI -- The first performance by Cincinnati's revamped bullpen left a lot of people happy.
Aaron Harang pitched seven shutout innings to become the Reds' first 10-game winner, and the bullpen held on Friday night for a 3-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies that left 22,497 fans on their feet celebrating a welcomed change.
Folks inside the clubhouse were smiling, too.
"I'm pretty excited," manager Jerry Narron said. "This gives us a chance to compete. I'm looking forward to seeing how this works out."
So far, so good.
Cincinnati had slipped four games behind St. Louis in the NL Central with a 1-8 slump heading into the All-Star break. In the last two days, the Reds have made an eight-player trade and won both of their games.
"We're only going to be as good as our bullpen is," said recently acquired closer Eddie Guardado, who got his second save in as many nights. "You saw it today."
The Rockies have dropped five straight, a midseason stumble that cost them ground in the wide-open NL West. The latest loss left Colorado below .500 (44-45) for the first time since June 23.
Adam Dunn homered on a pitch he wasn't supposed to reach, and Harang again had his way with the Rockies, who couldn't get a feel for his fastball. The right-hander struck out a career-high 12 at Coors Field on May 4 in a 7-1 win.
"We couldn't get to Harang," said right fielder Brad Hawpe, who had his 10-game hitting streak snapped. "He has one of the tougher fastballs in the league. It's only 90 or 91 mph, but he hides it real good. It feels like it's harder than 91."
Harang (10-6) has been overshadowed by right-hander Bronson Arroyo, who was acquired in a March trade and represented the Reds in the All-Star Game on Tuesday. But Harang has been just as productive pitching at the top of the rotation.
He allowed three hits in seven innings, moving one victory ahead of Arroyo for the team lead. Harang also leads the staff with an NL-high four complete games.
The new-look bullpen took it from there.
Newcomer Gary Majewski gave up Todd Helton's sacrifice fly in the eighth. Guardado, acquired from Seattle in a trade a week ago, pitched a perfect ninth for his second save in Cincinnati.
"I know we've got everybody going in the right direction," Harang said.
Dunn reached for a low 0-2 pitch from Jason Jennings (6-7) and sent it barely beyond the right-field wall in the first inning for his 29th homer. The solo shot was only the third homer Jennings has allowed in his last seven starts.
"It really wasn't a bad pitch," manager Clint Hurdle said. "He's a big, strong man that went down and got a ball out of the zone and dropped it into the second row of seats."
Jennings gave up three runs -- only two earned -- in six innings, adding to his stretch of solid performances over the last two months.
A few hours before the first pitch, the Reds made acquaintance with three high-priced acquisitions who arrived from Washington, D.C., on the same commuter flight.
The Reds traded everyday outfielder Austin Kearns and shortstop Felipe Lopez to the Nationals on Thursday in an eight-player swap focused on the bullpen. Left-hander Bill Bray and the right-handed Majewski are counted on to stabilize one of the majors' worst relief corps.
The Reds also acquired shortstop Royce Clayton, who drove in a run with a groundout in his second at-bat. Jason LaRue's run-scoring single made it 3-0 in the sixth.
But it was the bullpen that the fans were eager to see. Harang made sure it didn't have to do much to make a good impression.
Bray started warming up in the seventh, then sat down when Harang pitched out of a two-on threat. Majewski gave up a pair of hits and a run while retiring two batters in the eighth, but Kent Mercker got Hawpe on a called third strike to end the inning. Hawpe was ejected by plate umpire Joe West for disagreeing with the call.
Cory Sullivan started in center for the Rockies instead of Choo Freeman, who is in a 3-for-19 slump. ... RHP Paul Wilson threw 82 pitches in six innings Friday for the Reds' Sarasota farm team. Wilson is on a rehab assignment, recovering from shoulder surgery 13 months ago. ... Reds 3B Rich Aurilia extended his hitting streak to eight games with a first-inning single. ... 2B Brandon Phillips broke an 0-for-16 slump, his longest of the season. ... The Rockies didn't hit a homer, ending the Reds' streak of giving up at least one in 14 consecutive games -- three shy of the club record.