Gonzalez goes third deck off Harvey, Rockies beat Reds 8-2
DENVER — For one game at least, Carlos Gonzalez was his old self again.
The slumping slugger had a season-high four hits, including a third-deck homer off Matt Harvey, and the Colorado Rockies beat the Cincinnati Reds 8-2 on Sunday.
It was Gonzalez’s first four-hit game since Sept. 12, 2016, at Arizona. The 32-year-old outfielder raised his batting average from .214 to .241.
“Hitting is a hard thing to do, so it takes a lot of time,” said Gonzalez, a .286 career hitter. “Even with good days or bad days you just have to show up the next day and try to get better. So that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
David Dahl, Nolan Arenado and Ian Desmond also homered for the Rockies, who earned their second home series win of the season. German Marquez (4-5) pitched seven innings of one-run ball in his second straight victory.
Colorado leads the NL West despite its 9-12 record at Coors Field.
“There were signs this series that we were swinging the bats better,” manager Bud Black said. “Some guys today had good days — CarGo, for sure, had a great day.”
Harvey (1-3) gave up four runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings in his first loss with Cincinnati. He was acquired in a trade with the New York Mets on May 8, giving the former ace a new start after his downward spiral on the mound relegated him to the bullpen.
Cincinnati’s Scooter Gennett followed his five-hit performance Saturday with two more for seven straight hits. The streak ended with a strikeout in the sixth. Joey Votto also had two hits for the Reds.
Gennett doubled in Votto in the first, but the Rockies responded with three in the bottom half.
Dahl homered on the first pitch he saw from Harvey. With two out and Arenado on first, Gonzalez made it 3-1 with a 461-foot shot to the upper deck in right field.
Harvey said the pitch to Gonzalez was right where the slugger likes it.
“I think everybody’s seen (Gonzalez) enough, I’ve seen him enough, and that low-and-in spot is right where his sweet swing is,” Harvey said. “I put it right there.”
Charlie Blackmon added an RBI single in the sixth, and Arenado and Desmond each hit a two-run shot to extend the lead to 8-1.
Cincinnati loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth and failed to score. Gennett struck out and Eugenio Suarez grounded into a double play.
Rockies: DJ LeMahieu, who has been sidelined since May 14 with a left thumb sprain, participated in pregame batting practice and fielding drills. The second baseman lasered a few shots into the seats during his turn in the cage and said his health was progressing. “I feel good, I feel better every day,” said LeMahieu, who was wearing a bandage on his thumb. “I’m just trying to do everything I can to be ready as quick as I can.” LeMahieu said there is no concrete plan as to when he will return or whether he’ll need a rehab assignment. . Arenado felt a slight pull in his right groin after moving out of the way of a pitch from Harvey in the third. He said afterward he is fine.
GENNETT’S HIT PARADE
Gennett had eight hits over the three games at Coors Field. His average is up to .340, tied for best in the NL.
“There’s ups and downs and right now I’m up, and I’m going to try to ride it out as long as possible,” he said.
Reds: RHP Homer Bailey (1-6, 6.21 ERA) starts Monday in the opener of a three-game series at Arizona. Bailey has pitched better on the road amid his struggles this season, touting a 4.64 ERA in four starts. RHP Matt Koch (2-3) will oppose him for the Diamondbacks.
Rockies: RHP Chad Bettis (4-1, 3.30) will open a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants, opposing LHP Andrew Suarez (1-4). Bettis departed after five innings in his last start against the Dodgers with a sore right middle finger.
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Down 14-7 with less than 11 minutes left in regulation, Rifle head coach Todd Casebier decided it was time to deviate from his ground-and-pound offense for a bit of an aerial attack.