Rockies complete sweep of Reds
DENVER -- Even after a perfect hitting day, Todd Helton was talking about Mike Hampton's first win in over a month.
Helton went 4-for-4 with two RBIs and Hampton won for the first time since July 5 in the Colorado Rockies' 10-3 victory Thursday over the Cincinnati Reds.
''Mike threw the ball well, the way he did the first half of last year,'' Helton said of his teammate. ''A year ago he was winning by pitching out of jams, just like he did today.''
Hampton allowed just an unearned run in six innings as the Rockies completed a three-game sweep of the Reds.
''He had a high pitch count, but they must have had 35 foul balls.'' Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. ''He made enough good pitches, and to give up one run in six innings in this ballpark is a good job.''
Hampton (6-13), who already has matched his career high for losses, had been winless in five starts since beating San Diego last month. He gave up three hits, walked four and struck out two, working out of trouble in two innings.
''I was working with a grip in my bullpen session and the sinker felt a little bit better, a little more comfortable. But the changeup and the four-seam fastball was mostly what I threw today,'' Hampton said. ''I threw 10 or 12 sinkers, but my changeup was my 'out' pitch today.
''I got a lot of swing-and-misses on it today,'' he said.
Cincinnati's run off Hampton came in the third when Barry Larkin scored from second base after Todd Zeile misplayed Brandon Larson's grounder to third for an error. With runners on second and third and two outs, Todd Walker grounded out.
''I was surprised by the way we played. I thought we were flat,'' Cincinnati manager Bob Boone said. ''We tried to pull everything and hit a lot of worm burners and didn't have a lot of good at-bats.''
The Reds loaded the bases in the second inning on singles by Austin Kearns and Jason LaRue, and a two-out walk by pitcher Jimmy Haynes, but Hampton retired Brady Clark on a flyout.
Haynes (12-7), who had been 5-0 in nine starts since losing to Pittsburgh on June 16, allowed five runs and 10 hits in five-plus innings.
Adam Dunn and Reggie Taylor hit solo homers. Taylor's was his second pinch-homer of the series and third of the season.
Zeile, who had three RBIs, hit an RBI double in the second, then allowed the Reds to tie it with his error the following inning.
Helton hit a two-out RBI single in the third, an inning that ended when Brent Butler was thrown out at the plate on a relay from Larkin while trying to score on Helton's hit. Aaron Boone threw out Hampton at the plate earlier in the inning on Butler's grounder to third.
Singles by Butler, Larry Walker and Helton loaded the bases in the sixth and chased Haynes, and Zeile hit a two-run single off Scott Williamson.
''I just tried to get my bat on it,'' Zeile said. ''The last few days I've been feeling a lot better physically and the bat doesn't feel like it weighs 10 pounds.''
Helton also scored on the play, making it 5-1, when Clark, the center fielder, threw the ball past Boone at third for an error. Gary Bennett doubled to right to drive in the fourth run of the inning.
Taylor homered in the seventh off Justin Speier as Cincinnati closed to 6-2. Helton had another RBI single in the bottom half.
''I feel I've been pretty good for about a month now,'' Hampton said. ''The velocity is up and I'm hitting my spots. Luck really hasn't been on my side, but you can't control that.''
Notes: The teams split the six-game season series. … Reds OF Ken Griffey didn't play because of a sore left leg. … Cincinnati returned home for a season-high 10-game homestand. … Colorado's Juan Pierre got his 19th bunt single this season. … The Rockies' Greg Norton and Speier were given Mohawk haircuts by Larry Walker. … The sweep was Colorado's seventh of the year, all at home. … The Rockies designated reliever Rick White for assignment. The Associated Press