CINCINNATI — From top to bottom, the Colorado Rockies' lineup is making up for lost time.
Colorado piled up 15 hits in less than five innings off Homer Bailey, another offensive splurge that sent Jorge De La Rosa and the Rockies to a 5-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday night.
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Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 607th career homer off De La Rosa (5-5), who gave up two hits in 62⁄3 innings of a breakthrough win. The left-hander hadn't won a game on the road all season.
An offense that produced from leadoff to the last hitter made it possible.
Every Rockies starter had at least one hit off Bailey (0-4), who left after De La Rosa singled home a pair of runs with two outs in the fourth for a 5-1 lead. Every Colorado starter also had at least one hit in a series-opening 7-2 win on Friday night.
”They were teeing off on him big time,“ Reds Manager Dusty Baker said.
Colorado's offense has been running full-throttle since the All-Star break, setting up an 8-1 surge that suggests the Rockies may not be out of it in the weak NL West. Colorado has averaged 7.2 runs during that tear, and has piled up at least 11 hits in each of its last seven games.
”We showed last year we can hit,“ said catcher Yorvit Torrealba, who had three singles off Bailey. ”We started out really slow. We have a lot of good hitters here. It seems like everybody started getting hot at the same time.“
The Reds are 4-5 on a homestand since the All-Star break, leaving them marooned in fourth in the NL Central.
Cincinnati saw flashes of improvement by Bailey in his last two starts, when the 22-year-old pitcher was a victim of blown saves. His latest start was a huge step backward. The right-hander became the first Cincinnati pitcher to give up 15 hits since St. Louis piled up that many off Jimmy Anderson on June 26, 2003.
”He was leaving a lot of pitches over the plate — not high, not low,“ Baker said. ”He hung some sliders. He didn't have a lot of quality pitches tonight. We've got to be better than that.“
Risky baserunning kept it from being worse. The Rockies had a runner doubled off first base on a fly-out, and had two runners thrown out at the plate as they tried to score on hits. Even with those breaks, Bailey couldn't make it through five innings.
”The slider was kind of flat tonight,“ Bailey said. ”Just one of those days. Everybody has them.“
The Rockies had 14 singles, a double and a walk off Bailey, who fell to 4-6 in his two major-league seasons with a 6.05 ERA. Third baseman Edwin Encarnacion let in one of Colorado's runs with his 17th error of the season, one more than he had last year.
While Bailey fizzled fast, De La Rosa flourished against Cincinnati's free-swinging offense. Griffey's 14th homer of the season left him two behind Sammy Sosa for fifth place on the career list.
De La Rosa hadn't gone more than five innings in any of his five previous road starts this season. He hadn't gone more than six in any of his 12 previous starts overall. He settled in behind the early lead, struck out eight and walked five, winning back-to-back starts for the first time this season.
In the past, De La Rosa would let a little bit of success affect him the wrong way. Now, the 27-year-old pitcher is trying to slow himself down on the mound and concentrate on each pitch a little better.
”That's the problem,“ De La Rosa said. ”I have to contain my emotions.“