Holliday, Burnitz belt two homers each to beat Reds

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 19, 2004

CINCINNATI - Matt Holliday was honored to be a copycat.

Holliday followed Jeromy Burnitz's homer with one of his own in the second inning and again in the seventh Tuesday night, powering the Colorado Rockies to an 8-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

The rookie couldn't have been more excited to follow in someone's footsteps around the bases.

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Holliday's father, Tom, coached Burnitz at Oklahoma State, the first time their paths crossed. They became teammates for the first time on April 15, when Holliday was called up to replace the injured Preston Wilson.

Now, they're linked in a rather unusual way - hitting back-to-back homers twice in a game.

''I remember Jeromy from when I was little,'' Holliday said. ''Just being in the same outfield with him is a thrill.''

Burnitz shared the thrill over a rare feat. After he led off the seventh inning with his 12th homer, he went back to the dugout and had just finished accepting congratulations when Holliday matched him again.

Burnitz's jaw dropped and his eyes widened when the ball cleared the wall.

''I was just happy that it happened,'' Burnitz said. ''It's always nice to be a rookie and to go deep. I was excited for him.''

There was something for all the Rockies to enjoy.

A day after they overcame a six-run deficit to beat Philadelphia 7-6 in the ninth inning, their offense kept rolling. Colorado piled up 14 hits - half for extra bases - off Cory Lidle (2-4) and three relievers.

''There's no doubt the emotion from that big win carried over,'' said Burnitz, who is 8-for-16 with four homers in four games at Great American Ball Park.

The Rockies have won three in a row for only the second time this season. Their inability to string wins together has left them in the middle of the pack in the NL West.

Shawn Estes (6-2) overcame a tough first inning, when the Reds loaded the bases with none out. A pair of groundouts put Cincinnati up 2-0, but Estes - known for letting one bad inning lead to another - got things turned around fast.

''The saving grace was keeping the ball on the ground,'' Estes said. ''Every ball they made contact with was a grounder.''

The left-hander gave up only four hits in seven innings, winning for the fourth time in his last five decisions. Wily Mo Pena broke an 0-for-19 slump with a solo homer in the second, but Estes allowed only one more single.

''That's another step in the right direction for him,'' manager Clint Hurdle said. ''We all know he's been streaky in the past.''

The Reds had won three in a row and were looking to match their season high for consecutive victories, but couldn't overcome a poor outing by the inconsistent Lidle.

The right-hander was coming off his best start of the season - only six hits in a complete-game, 2-1 loss in San Diego last Wednesday. He retired 17 of the last 18 batters he faced in that one.

This time, he got pounded for 11 hits and six runs in only five innings, continuing his trend of following each solid start with a poor one.

Burnitz got the Rockies going with a homer to center in the second. Holliday hit the next pitch to the same part of the ballpark.

''They've got some young guys who we didn't have much data on, but they came out swinging early,'' Lidle said. ''I got a fastball up to Holliday on his first at-bat, and I didn't expect him to be that aggressive. He was. I didn't expect that ball to go out, but it was carrying tonight.''

Royce Clayton's two-out, two-run double put Colorado ahead 5-3 in the fourth. Burnitz and Holliday pulled off their second set of back-to-back homers in the seventh off Brian Reith.

Even Estes joined in the offensive outburst, hitting a two-out single in the fourth, then scoring on Clayton's double. The only Rockies starter who didn't get a hit was Vinny Castilla, who had an 11-game hitting streak snapped.

Notes: It was Burnitz's second two-homer game of the season and the 20th multihomer game of his career. … It was the first time that Holliday hit two homers in one game. … The Rockies have hit consecutive homers five times this season. … The 11 hits off Lidle were one shy of his career high. … 1B Sean Casey was back in the Reds' lineup after missing three games with a sore thumb. He went 0-for-3 and hit into a run-scoring forceout in the first.