Colorado at Cincinnati

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Colorado1001010014101
Cincinnati «00010005x6101

Aurilia caps comeback as Reds complete sweep of Rockies

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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CINCINNATI -- With two late-game rallies, the Cincinnati Reds learned what it's like to be on the other side of those bullpen meltdowns.

Rich Aurilia's pinch-hit, bases-loaded single in the bottom of the eighth inning rallied the Reds to a 6-4 victory Sunday and a four-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies, who let the last two slip away.

Just like that, things are looking up for the Reds, who improved their bullpen with two trades in the last 10 days. The series sweep significantly upgraded their mood.

"The attitude is we're in a situation where it's going to be a lot of fun over the next couple of weeks, and the more wins we have, the more fun it is," said Ken Griffey Jr., who singled during the go-ahead rally. "If we continue to do the little things, big things will come."

Aurilia's two-run single off Jose Mesa (0-3) sparked the Reds' second dramatic comeback against a bullpen that has been the Rockies' main problem lately.

Colorado has lost a season-high seven straight, its deepest slump since it dropped 10 in a row last season. The Rockies were a half-game out in the NL West before the skid, which has dumped them into last place.

"I don't think by any means that we're out of it," said Josh Fogg, who turned a 3-1 lead over to the bullpen after the seventh. "This is just a rough spot. We have a good enough team to go out and put together five, six, seven wins in a row and gain some ground. No matter who you play for, you go through these kinds of slumps."

Colorado hadn't been swept in a four-game series in Cincinnati since 1993. The Rockies are 2-11 in four seasons at Great American Ball Park, where they've lost nine in a row.

The Rockies also matched their season low point at three games under .500 (44-47), a bad sign for a team with playoff aspirations.

Fogg limited the Reds to five hits and one run in seven innings on a 91-degree afternoon, only to see another solid start ruined by a bullpen that has been highly undependable for the last month.

The Reds know all about that. Before the All-Star break, they lost eight of nine primarily because of their bullpen. Now, they're looking more like a contender.

"I think the team knows that the front office is doing what they can to help us win," manager Jerry Narron said. "I think those trades kind of rejuvenated the team a little bit."

Adam Dunn started the comeback by hitting left-hander Tom Martin's first pitch for his 30th homer in the eighth inning, cutting it to 3-2. Aurilia's two-out single off Mesa gave the Reds their first lead, and Royce Clayton followed with a two-run double for a 6-3 lead.

"If we're within a touchdown, we feel we're in it," said Dunn, who played quarterback at Texas. "You never know whose night it's going to be. That's why it's fun."

Todd Coffey (4-4) pitched the eighth to get the win. New closer Eddie Guardado gave up Clint Barmes' solo homer in the ninth while getting his third save in the series. The Reds got Guardado from Seattle 10 days ago, starting the bullpen overhaul.

They also obtained a pair of relievers as part of an eight-player deal with Washington before the series opener.

The Reds inducted pitchers Tom Seaver and Tom Browning and first baseman Lee May into their Hall of Fame, honoring them on the field before the game. Seaver threw a ceremonial first pitch to Johnny Bench, who was his catcher in Cincinnati.

Then, the 27,043 fans settled in to watch a couple of up-and-down teams scuffling to stay in playoff contention at midseason.

Unlike the Reds, who have made high-profile moves to bolster their main weakness, the Rockies have stayed the course. The starting pitching has been exemplary, but the offense and the bullpen have been undependable, setting up a lot of close losses.

What do the Rockies do now?

"Just to make a move to make a move doesn't make much sense," manager Clint Hurdle said. "But (general manager Dan O'Dowd) is here. We're talking. We're watching."

Notes

  • SS Omar Quintanilla was out of the Rockies lineup with a bruised right shin, sustained when he fouled a pitch on Saturday night. He's day-to-day.
  • The Reds placed C David Ross on the 15-day DL before the game to open a spot for Cincinnati starter Elizardo Ramirez, who returned from a one-start stint in the minors. Ross hasn't played since he strained abdominal muscles on July 7.
  • LHP Mike Venafro requested and got his release from the Reds' Triple-A team. Venafro was released by the Mets on March 30 and signed a minor league deal. He had a 2.45 ERA in 36 relief appearances for Louisville.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Safe! Edwin Encarnacion creates a cloud of dust when he slides home with the tying run in the eighth.  (AP)
Safe! Edwin Encarnacion creates a cloud of dust when he slides home with the tying run in the eighth. (AP)

Players of the Game
Cincinnati

A. Dunn
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Colorado

J. Fogg
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 1
BB 1
K 5
 

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Colorado Rockies
Jamey Carroll, 2B4120101 .322
Clint Barmes, SS5121002 .218
Todd Helton, 1B4011101 .292
Garrett Atkins, 3B3000002 .310
Brad Hawpe, RF4120012 .310
Jorge Piedra, LF3121002 .209
    Choo Freeman, LF1000001 .243
Yorvit Torrealba, C4001020 .229
Cory Sullivan, CF4010012 .273
Josh Fogg, P2000020 .033
    Tom Martin, P0000000 .000
    Jose Mesa, P0000000 .000
   a- Luis Gonzalez, PH1000010 .231
Totals3541042713 
a-struck out for Mesa in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jamey Carroll (14, Weathers), Todd Helton (20, Ramirez)
HR - Clint Barmes (5, Guardado), Jorge Piedra (3, Ramirez)
SH - Josh Fogg (8)
RBI - Clint Barmes (46), Todd Helton (47), Jorge Piedra (10), Yorvit Torrealba (20)
2-OUT RBI - Clint Barmes (15)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
E - Garrett Atkins (11, throwing error)
Colorado Rockies
Josh Fogg 7511150 4.23
Tom Martin0222001 4.54
Jose Mesa (BS,6; L,0-3) 1333100 3.48
IBB - Valentin by Jose Mesa
HBP - Encarnacion (by Josh Fogg)
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Fogg 104-65, Tom Martin 6-3, Jose Mesa 17-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Fogg 6-10, Jose Mesa 2-1
Batters Faced - Josh Fogg 28, Tom Martin 2, Jose Mesa 7
Cincinnati Reds
Dewayne Wise, RF5000011 .000
Adam Dunn, LF3121110 .248
Ken Griffey Jr., CF4110022 .253
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B3220000 .281
Scott Hatteberg, 1B3020001 .311
Javier Valentin, C3110103 .224
Brandon Phillips, 2B3001016 .294
Juan Castro, SS3000003 .247
   a- Rich Aurilia, PH1112000 .275
    Eddie Guardado, P0000000 .000
Elizardo Ramirez, P2000000 .136
    David Weathers, P0000000 .000
   b- Ryan Freel, PH1000000 .296
    Todd Coffey, P0000000 .000
   c- Royce Clayton, PH-SS1012000 .272
Totals3261062516 
a-singled for Castro in the 8th
b-flied out for Weathers in the 7th
c-doubled for Coffey in the 8th
Batting
2B - Royce Clayton (23, Mesa)
HR - Adam Dunn (30, Martin)
SF - Brandon Phillips (6)
SH - Scott Hatteberg (1)
RBI - Adam Dunn (64), Brandon Phillips (45), Rich Aurilia 2 (36), Royce Clayton 2 (30)
2-OUT RBI - Rich Aurilia 2 (12), Royce Clayton 2 (12)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Adam Dunn 1
DP - Encarnacion-Hatteberg
E - Brandon Phillips (7, missed catch)
Cincinnati Reds
Elizardo Ramirez 6733141 4.16
David Weathers 1100110 4.85
Todd Coffey (W,4-4) 1100010 3.38
Eddie Guardado (S,8) 1111011 5.06
IBB - Helton by David Weathers
HBP - Atkins (by Elizardo Ramirez)
Pitches-Strikes - Elizardo Ramirez 100-68, David Weathers 23-12, Todd Coffey 16-12, Eddie Guardado 17-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Elizardo Ramirez 8-5, David Weathers 1-1, Todd Coffey 2-0, Eddie Guardado 1-1
Batters Faced - Elizardo Ramirez 26, David Weathers 5, Todd Coffey 4, Eddie Guardado 4
Game Information
Attendance - 27043
Game Time - 2:45
Temperature - 91
Umpires - Home - Tony Randazzo, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - Joe West, Third Base - Ed Rapuano