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Reds find no relief in sweep by Rockies
, Associated Press Writer
Monday, August 18, 2014 11:00 AM
DENVER - Two bad innings turned a potential fruitful day into a pair of losses for the Cincinnati Reds.
Michael Cuddyer hit for the cycle, including a two-run double in Colorado's five-run eighth inning, and the Rockies rallied again to beat Cincinnati 10-5 in Game 2 to complete a doubleheader sweep Sunday night.
Drew Stubbs finished off Colorado's five-run ninth inning with a three-run homer off J.J. Hoover, sending the Rockies to a 10-9 victory in the first game.
The Reds' relievers allowed 15 of Colorado's 20 runs. No one was spared, including All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman, whose control problems opened the door for Colorado in the opener.
"The first one got away from us and the second one got away from us," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We really did everything we could with our bullpen to get to the place where he had a chance to win that first game. And that's the one we should put away and we didn't."
Cuddyer, reinstated from the disabled list earlier in the day after missing 60 games with a left shoulder fracture, tripled in the first, homered in the fifth and singled in the seventh to become the seventh Rockies player to hit for the cycle and first since Carlos Gonzalez on July 31, 2010, against the Chicago Cubs.
Adam Ottavino (1-4) picked up the win in relief and reliever Carlos Contreras (0-1), who allowed five runs in 1 1-3 innings, took the loss.
"We had a three-man bullpen for Game 2 and it didn't work out," Price said.
Ryan Ludwick had a two-run homer in the sixth off Yohan Flande to help the Reds take a 5-2 lead into the seventh. But the Rockies pulled even in their half of the seventh with the help of the Reds' second error, which came with the bases loaded and one out after Colorado had pulled within two. Reds third baseman Ramon Santiago cleanly fielded Nolan Arenado's hard RBI bouncer down the line and stepped on the bag for the force but his throw to first was wide and rolled onto the dirt track in foul territory, allowing two runners to cross the plate.
That set the stage for another big finish by the Rockies. After Brandon Barnes and Charlie Culberson each singled with one out in the eighth, Manny Parra relieved Contreras, and Josh Rutledge beat out an infield single to load the bases with two outs. Corey Dickerson, who earlier extended his hitting streak to 12 games, and Cuddyer followed with successive two-run doubles.
Cuddyer sent his drive down the third-base line and emphatically clapped his hands as he pulled into second base. It was his second career cycle. He also did it against Milwaukee on May 22, 2009, while with the Minnesota Twins.
"It was not ideal. That last game we played sloppy at the end," right fielder Jay Bruce said. "We just couldn't hold the lead."
In the first game, the Reds carried a 9-5 lead into the ninth, but Chapman walked four straight batters before he was replaced by Hoover. Pinch-hitter Wilin Rosario then hit a sacrifice fly to trim Cincinnati's lead to two.
After Blackmon flied out, Stubbs drove a 1-0 pitch from Hoover (1-9) into the seats in left-center for his 12th homer. It was Stubbs' third career game-ending homer and first with the Rockies.
It was a rare bad outing for Chapman, who had made eight consecutive scoreless appearances. He was warming up in the top of the ninth when his team scored a pair of runs to take away a save chance.
Price opted to use the left-hander anyway.
"I'm not a firm believer that closers only come in save situations," Price said. "The way the ballpark plays. We had him hot already.
"I'm not angry at anybody, but it's a difficult loss to take."
Rex Brothers (4-5) picked up the victory despite allowing a pair of runs in the top of the ninth. Nolan Arenado tied a career high with four hits for Colorado, and he also had a leadoff walk in the ninth.
The doubleheader was set up by Saturday night's water main break outside Coors Field that left the ballpark without running water and forced the game to be pushed back one day. The water main was repaired by city crews overnight.
Bruce and Kris Negron homered for the Reds.
Bruce's home run in the opener was his 13th and was part of a three-hit game for him. It was his fourth three-hit game of the season, all of which have come on the road.
Reds RHP Dylan Axelrod made his season debut with six solid innings. His only blemishes were a pair of solo home runs, but he left the game with a 4-2 lead.
Reds: 2B Brandon Phillips (torn left thumb ligament) continued his minor league rehab stint with Class A Dayton on Sunday at Bowling Green. Phillips began the assignment Friday at Triple-A Louisville, going 0 for 2 with a walk against Indianapolis.
Reds: RHP Mike Leake (9-11) is slated to pitch today's series opener at St. Louis, where Cincinnati has gone 1-10 in its last 11 series.
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