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Reds escape bases-loaded jam in 9th, top Rox

Hughes wiggles out of trouble as Cincy wins thriller at Coors Field
MLB.com @m_sheldon

DENVER -- Escaping a bases-loaded, no-out jam vs. the Rockies in the ninth inning with a one-run lead was already a tall order for Reds reliever Jared Hughes. Doing it while pitching at Coors Field? It just felt like an impossible task.

But Hughes got out unscathed, aided by some great defense and a little bit of luck as the Reds held on to a 6-5 victory over Colorado.

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DENVER -- Escaping a bases-loaded, no-out jam vs. the Rockies in the ninth inning with a one-run lead was already a tall order for Reds reliever Jared Hughes. Doing it while pitching at Coors Field? It just felt like an impossible task.

But Hughes got out unscathed, aided by some great defense and a little bit of luck as the Reds held on to a 6-5 victory over Colorado.

View Full Game Coverage

"They had us right where they wanted us," Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said.

Video: CIN@COL: Riggleman on Gennett's performance in win

With Raisel Iglesias on the disabled list, Hughes was tasked with the save attempt, but was in danger of blowing it within four pitches. First, Ryan McMahon reached on a soft chopper to first base and Chris Iannetta smoked a double to left field that put runners on second and third. The pressure intensified when pinch-hitter Carlos Gonzalez walked on four pitches to load the bases with no outs.

A sinker-ball pitcher, Hughes got Charlie Blackmon to ground to first base with the infield playing in. Joey Votto's throw to the plate was in the dirt, but catcher Tony Cruz did an excellent job to recover the ball with his bare hand and touch the plate for the forceout.

"I saw it in the dirt. I just tried to keep it in front of him and pick it up as fast as I could, obviously," Cruz said.

Video: CIN@COL: Peraza crosses the plate on a wild pitch

Getting an 0-1 sinker from Hughes, David Dahl lined a scorcher to the right side. It was hit directly to second baseman Scooter Gennett, who flipped to shortstop Jose Peraza for the double play that retired Gonzalez.

Game over.

"I can look into the future only about five seconds. I was playing [Dahl] perfect there and it ended up working out great," Gennett said. "That's what makes baseball fun. It's always good to get that blood pressure up and down. It's good for the body."

According to Statcast™, the exit velocity on the ball off Dahl's bat was 106.5 mph.

"I thought that was the game-winner … so it was from high to low, real quick," Dahl said.

Hughes could exhale following a thrilling conclusion and his third save of the season.

"I don't know what the odds were, but I'd imagine they're probably not good," Hughes said. "At the same time when our defense plays like that, it makes the odds way better. I'm only as good as my defense and those guys made a couple of great plays out there."

Video: CIN@COL: Cruz crushes a 2-run homer to left field

It was a hard-fought win all the way for Cincinnati, which took the lead three times during the night. With the Reds trailing in the seventh, 4-3, pinch-hitter Scott Schebler led off with a single against lefty reliever Chris Rusin. In a full count, Billy Hamilton hit an RBI triple to plate the tying run and Peraza's RBI single to right field against Bryan Shaw drove in the go-ahead run.

In a 5-for-5 night, Gennett's fourth hit of the game -- a single -- sent Peraza from first to third base. Another run scored on Shaw's wild pitch to Votto.

The Reds' bullpen kept the lead intact. Amir Garrett replaced Michael Lorenzen after a one-out single in the seventh and picked up a double play and a strikeout. David Hernandez started the eighth with a Nolan Arenado double and wild pitch, enabling one run to score on Gerardo Parra's groundout, before retiring the side.

Then it was up to Hughes.

"Dahl hit the heck out of that ball and Scooter was right there," Riggleman said. "It seemed appropriate with the night Scooter had that he would make the play that ended the game. We know we were very fortunate there." 

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Big night for Gennett: In the top of the first inning against Rockies starter Tyler Anderson, Gennett slugged a first-pitch home run to right-center field -- his team-leading 10th of the season. He followed up with four singles to notch the second five-hit game of his career. The last one was June 6, 2017, vs. the Cardinals when he had four homers and 10 RBIs. Gennett is batting .392 (31-for-79) with eight homers and 22 RBIs in the month of May.

Video: CIN@COL: Gennett records 5 hits, turns game-ending DP

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Booking around the bases: In the seventh, Hamilton drove a ball to the gap in left-center field that passed Blackmon. As it rolled to the wall, Schebler scored easily and Hamilton sprinted around the diamond. He appeared poised to try for his first inside-the-park home run, but was held at third base by coach Billy Hatcher with a triple.

"I listen to Hatch and trust his decisions," Hamilton said. "With no outs, I don't want to get thrown out at home for the first out. That would have been pointless. I always want an inside-the-park homer. I feel like it's going to happen. Today might have been the best chance for it to happen. But it's about winning, not me getting an inside-the-park home run."

Video: CIN@COL: Hamilton sprints 30.8 ft/sec on RBI triple

According to Statcast™, Hamilton went from home to third base in 10.39, the fastest time it ever tracked and eclipsing his own record of 10.45 seconds. The sprint speed was 30.8 feet per second.

"Ooooh. That's crazy," Hamilton said when told of his time.

And a good defensive play, too: In the eighth inning, Hamilton also tracked down a line drive to center field by Trevor Story. According to Statcast™, it was a four-star play with a 33 percent catch probability. Hamilton covered 63 feet in 3.8 seconds to get the ball. Hamilton has struggled for much of the season, and is batting .201, but Riggleman wants his defense at spacious ballparks like Coors Field.

"We have to have him out there," Riggleman said. "You see some of the plays he made out there today. Other people just aren't going to make those plays. He's saving us runs out there every day. He's battling to do what he can with the bat and he's sticking a few hits out there."

HE SAID IT
"That was a great job by Jared just sticking with his pitches there. Anytime he's in the game, you have a chance for a ground ball. The first ground ball he got was huge." -- Cruz, on Hughes in the ninth

UP NEXT
Coming off his first victory as a member of the Reds, Matt Harvey will try for another Sunday when the series at Colorado concludes at 3:10 p.m. ET. Harvey pitched six innings with one earned run, three hits, two walks and five strikeouts in Tuesday's 7-2 win over the Pirates. Right-hander German Marquez will make the start for the Rockies.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

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