Colorado Rockies’ starters and relievers combined to give up twelve hits, three home runs and eight walks. All that traffic overwhelmed the Rockies, who watched what was once a five-run lead crumble into a 12-8 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.
The game started out promising enough. The Rockies scored in the top of the first thanks to a double by DJ LeMahieu, who scored on Mark Reynolds’s two out single. That lead didn’t hold up for long, however, as Antonio Senzatela dealt with traffic on the bases all night. The first batter of the game he faced, noted speedster Billy Hamilton, reached on a rare-for-him leadoff walk. Later on, he walked Hamilton a second time, which is generally not a good thing to do, but Hamilton failed to score each time. The other Reds’ players fared better. The Reds tied the game in the second on a Devin Mesoraco single, then they went ahead 3-1 in the third. The Rockies got a run back in the top of the fourth thanks to an Alexi Amarista double.
Then, things got weird. It started out innocently enough when Charlie Blackmon walked to start the top of the fifth. When Blackmon stole second base, the throw from Mesoraco went out to center field, letting Blackmon advance to third. A groundball from LeMahieu drove him in, bringing up Nolan Arenado with one out and the score tied 3-3. Arenado drew a walk, then tried to advance to third base on a single by Mark Reynolds. Initially, he slid into the base safely. However, while sliding, Reds third baseman Eugenio Suarez stepped on Nolan’s hand. Understandably either in shock or pain or both, Arenado pulled his hand off the bag while Suarez still had the tag applied. Arenado was called out after a replay review.
With the rally somewhat killed, leaving Reynolds at first base with two outs, it seemed the top of the fifth was over with. The Rockies then sent eight more batters to the plate for six hits, an intentional walk and a hit by pitch. During the sequence, Senzatela got his first major league RBIs, driving in two with a base hit. When Arenado came up for the second time in the fifth inning, the Rockies had scored six runs, going up 8-3 in the process. If you’re a Rockies fan, that was the high point of the game. Perhaps as a sign of more weird things to come, Arenado flied out, accomplishing the rare feat of being the second and third out of the same inning.
Senzatela gave up a home run to Suarez in the fifth inning, bringing the score back to 8-4 after five innings of play. He left the game having given up five runs on five hits, four walks and a hit batter against five strikeouts.
Chad Qualls came on in the sixth to relieve Senzatel,a and for the first time in a long time, the bullpen faltered. Qualls managed to get Hamilton out, which is a good thing. Yet, he gave up a solo home run, a single and a walk with the heart of the Reds order coming up. Those are bad things. The Rockies brought Mike Dunn in with the score 8-5 in favor of the Rockies to get through the one out, first and third jam.
Dunn failed. He walked Joey Votto, the Rockies sixth walk allowed, to load the bases. Adam Duvall singled, scoring Scooter Gennett, to bring the score to 8-6. Suarez followed that with a sacrifice fly, making it 8-7 Rockies. Then Scott Schebler hit a three run home run off Dunn, giving the Reds an 10-8 lead.
The Reds bumped it up to 12-8 in the eighth. Scott Oberg came on to relieve and allowed two hits and two walks (one intentional) in his first inning of work. He remained on the hill, allowing another hit before retiring the side thanks to a great diving play by Arenado. The Rockies pitchers finished the game without accomplishing a single clean inning.
Pat Valaika got a pinch hit single with two outs in the ninth, the Rockies first baserunner since that six-run fifth inning. And as it turned out, he also was the last Rockies’ baserunner of the game, as Amarista grounded out to end it.
As quirky as Saturday’s game was, the series is merely tied at a game apiece. The Rockies can win the series by defeating the Reds tomorrow at 11:10 MT. Kyle Freeland takes the mound for the Rockies, facing off against the Reds’ Bronson Arroyo.