CINCINNATI -- Carlos Gonzalez enjoys hitting in Great American Ball Park. He especially likes hitting there on June 5.Five years ago to the day after he hit three home runs in Cincinnati, including one that traveled an estimated at 476 feet, Gonzalez fell three feet shy with a three-run homer
CINCINNATI -- Carlos Gonzalez enjoys hitting in Great American Ball Park. He especially likes hitting there on June 5.
Five years ago to the day after he hit three home runs in Cincinnati, including one that traveled an estimated at 476 feet, Gonzalez fell three feet shy with a three-run homer on Tuesday night in a 9-6 victory over the Reds.
"Tonight was a good night," Gonzalez said. "Remind me every year, remind the manager, I want to play on June 5."
With two runners on, Gonzalez launched Wandy Peralta's 3-2 pitch an estimated 473 feet, according to Statcast™, to dead center field, tying Bryce Harper for the sixth longest home run in the Majors this season.
Gonzalez's shot also ties for the 16th longest home run at Great American Ball Park since it opened in 2003. He is level with Ryan Ludwick, who hit a 473-foot shot off the Reds' Homer Bailey in 2007, and Reds' outfielder Wily Pena, who equaled that distance off the Padres' Rod Beck in '04.
Gonzalez, who is now 14-for-32 over his last eight games after going 3-for-5 with four RBIs, has made adjustments to his swing that have helped slow things down at the plate.
"I just try to be more calm with my body, not overuse it," Gonzalez said. "When it comes to the game, you have to face 95-plus, [which] makes it a little bit harder. I just try to keep things simple, stay squared up and use my hands."
"When you get out of whack mechanically like he did, when he's in a better position with his hands when he starts his motion to swing, that's been the difference," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "He's not as coiled as he used to be. He's in a much better position to attack the ball than he was."
The Rockies (31-29) scored 23 runs in their past four losses, but they finally got some solid pitching on Tuesday when Kyle Freeland (6-5) allowed three runs over 6 2/3 innings despite dealing with a blister.
"Overall, definitely pleased," Freeland said. "The biggest thing is we got the win. The offense exploded and didn't stop."
The Reds' Anthony DeSclafani was making his first start since Sept. 28, 2016, after spending the entire 2017 season on the disabled list with a right elbow strain then injuring his oblique early in Spring Training this year. He allowed four runs, two apiece in the first and second innings. The Rockies didn't have much success against him the second time through the order, as the Reds right-hander set down 11 of the final 12 batters he faced.
Cincinnati chased Freeland with a pair of runs in the seventh, but left fielder Gerardo Parra limited the damage when he threw out Jesse Winker trying to score on Joey Votto's single. The Reds challenged the call, but the call on the field was upheld. Parra's assist traveled 96.1 mph and a distance of 227 feet.
Colorado entered the ninth inning with a six-run lead, but Bryan Shaw gave up three runs, which brought closer Wade Davis into the game. Davis threw three pitches to strike out Scott Schebler and notch his 19th save.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Iannetta breaks it open: DeSclafani hadn't thrown from a big league mound since Sept. 28, 2016, so some early rust was expected. The Rockies scored two runs on three hits in the first inning, highlighted by Charlie Blackmon's RBI triple. Then, in the second, catcher Chris Iannetta crushed an 0-2 pitch to right field for a two-run homer making the score 4-0. It's a good thing the Rockies took advantage of DeSclafani's slow start, because he allowed only two hits the rest of the way.
Jon Gray is scheduled to make his 13th start of the season, his sixth on the road, for the Rockies on Wednesday against Cincinnati at 5:10 p.m. MT. He's no stranger to the Reds, who he has faced four times going 3-0 with a 4.08 ERA. But this will be Gray's first career start at Great American Ball Park. He beat the Reds on May 25, when he allowed four runs over six innings in a 5-4 win. The Reds will counter with right-hander Sal Romano, who allowed five earned runs on May 25 vs. Colorado.
Jeff Wallner is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati.