Amarista knocks in 4, Rockies overpower slumping Reds
CINCINNATI — Alexi Amarista was a good fit for the Rockies because he can play any position. In one big inning, he showed that’s not all he can do.
The shortstop had a three-run homer and a run-scoring single during Colorado’s eight-run rally on Friday night, and the Rockies extended the best start in their history with a 12-6 victory over the slumping Cincinnati Reds.
The Rockies lead the NL in wins at 27-16, their best mark through 43 games.
Amarista’s three-run shot off Lisalverto Bonilla (0-2) sparked the sixth-inning rally. The Rockies signed him in the offseason in part because manager Bud Black knew what he could do from their time together in San Diego.
“I’ve seen that from him before,” Black said. “That’s one of the things we talked about this winter when we were putting the roster together. We just thought he was a good fit because of his versatility. You can put him anywhere on the field and you feel good about his defense.
“He’s a very solid complementary player on a good team.”
Amarista is getting a chance to play more regularly with shortstop Trevor Story on the disabled list, showing why Black wanted him in Colorado.
“Definitely we have a relationship going back to San Diego,” Amarista said through a translator. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to be here.”
Nolan Arenado kept the big inning going with a two-run homer off Wandy Peralta. Amarista singled home a run in his second at-bat of the inning, matching his career high with four RBIs. Colorado sent 14 batters to the plate and piled up nine hits overall.
Cincinnati hadn’t allowed that many runs in an inning since 2015, when it gave up 10 at Colorado.
The Reds have lost seven straight, their longest skid since they dropped 11 in a row last May.
Left-hander Tyler Anderson (3-4) gave his best performance on the road. He allowed two runs, including Eugenio Suarez’s homer, in six innings. Anderson had a 7.78 ERA in his four previous road starts.
Bonilla allowed eight hits and six runs in 5 1⁄3 innings. He’s the only Reds starter to go more than five innings during the losing streak. Manager Bryan Price left him in the game for 105 pitches, trying to protect a bullpen worn down by the series of short starts.
“It was just one of those days,” Price said. “Bonilla didn’t have it. I had to leave him out there for 40 (extra) pitches, and that’s a disgrace. It didn’t feel good.”
The Rockies finished with a season-high 16 hits and matched their season high with 12 runs. It was the most hits allowed by the Reds this season.
Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer visited the Reds’ clubhouse as the invitation of pitcher Bronson Arroyo. He wore a Reds warmup shirt with No. 91. His band is in town for a performance.
Amarista hit his first homer of the season as a pinch hitter on April 29 at Arizona, ending a streak of 251 at-bats without a homer since last Aug. 3.
Rockies: Story is expected to play three games on a rehab assignment and be evaluated. The shortstop went on the DL on May 11 with a strained left shoulder.
Reds: RHP Anthony DeSclafani was cleared to resume throwing this weekend. The Reds’ top starter has been sidelined since spring training because of a sore pitching elbow. … Bonilla was hit on the side of the right hand while trying to bunt in the fifth inning. He stayed in the game.
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