Reds can’t overcome Colorado’s HRs, rain

Published 2:09 am Tuesday, August 9, 2011

CINCINNATI (AP) — Carlos Gonzalez got the perfect pitch on a night when home runs were the norm.

Gonzalez hit a down-the-middle fastball for a two-run homer in the eighth inning Monday night, and the Colorado Rockies beat the Cincinnati Reds 10-7 in a game featuring a long rain delay and nonstop homers.

The Rockies hit four homers, one more than the Reds.

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“It’s kind of fun when you go back and forth,” said Seth Smith, who hit the Rockies’ first two homers.

Only if you win.

“Add to frustration?” Reds manager Dusty Baker responded to a question. “The frustration’s already here. We battled back, but the long balls got us tonight. We kept fighting back, but we couldn’t keep it in the ballpark.”

Smith hit a pair of two-run homers for the Rockies, the fifth multihomer game of his career. Gonzalez snapped a 7-all tie with the first homer allowed by left-hander Bill Bray (2-2) this season.

“It was a perfect pitch to drive to center field,” Gonzalez said. “It was a fastball right in the middle of the plate.”

Todd Helton also homered for the Rockies, who matched their season high with four. Jay Bruce, Drew Stubbs and Brandon Phillips homered for Cincinnati, which has lost five of seven. The seven homers combined accounted for 15 of the 17 runs.

Matt Belisle (6-4) pitched out of a threat in the seventh and Huston Street worked the ninth for his 29th save in 32 chances.

Bruce got it started with a three-run homer in the first inning off Jason Hammel, his first since July 9.

Smith hit a pair of two-run homers off Reds starter Homer Bailey, putting the Rockies up 5-3. The outfielder’s playing time has been reduced as the season has gone along, leaving him unsure of his role.

“I don’t really know where we are with that,” Smith said. “Hopefully tonight gets me back in there.”

Baker decided not to bring Bailey back following a 1-hour, 34-minute rain delay in the middle of the third inning — the first this season at Great American Ball Park.

Manager Jim Tracy chose to let Hammel return after the long delay, a move that quickly backfired. Bruce singled home a run in the third, and Stubbs hit a two-run homer for a 6-5 lead. Tracy was glad to get two innings out of Hammel after the long delay.

“I’m fairly certain Jason Hammel didn’t pitch the way he wanted to, but for him to go out and give us those two innings put us in position to win the ballgame and use our bullpen the way we wanted to,” Tracy said.

Hammel played catch every 15 minutes and listened to music during the delay.

“I wasn’t coming out of the game,” Hammel said. “I’d only thrown 30 pitches. I didn’t get the results I wanted, but the silver lining is I saved our bullpen for two innings.”

The rain returned from time to time, though not heavily enough to stop the game again.

The homers kept coming, too.

Helton hit a two-run shot in the fifth for a 7-6 lead. The Reds tied it in the seventh on Phillips’ second career pinch-hit homer. The second baseman was out of the lineup for the second straight day with a sore right ankle, but hit the first pitch from Rex Brothers into the upper deck in left field.

Gonzalez’s 16th homer put the Rockies ahead again. Mark Ellis doubled home a run in the ninth.

Notes: Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki had his fifth straight multihit game. … Smith has excelled in Ohio this year. He also had a pair of homers on June 21 in Cleveland. … The Reds had 1B Yonder Alonso take grounders at 3B before the game and plan to use him there at some point. … Colorado’s Esmil Rogers makes his first career start against the Reds on Tuesday. He made two relief appearances against Cincinnati last season, giving up a run in three innings. … Rogers is coming off his first career win at Coors Field, 6-3 over Washington. … LHP Dontrelle Willis tries to get that elusive first win for Cincinnati on Tuesday. He’s made five starts for the Reds and had the bullpen blow save chances in three of them, leaving him 0-1. … Willis homered in Houston in his last start. He has hit safely in all five starts.