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Reds strike early, get Bailey 1st win since '16

MLB.com

DENVER -- The Reds' offense came alive at the right times on Tuesday night, scoring off Rockies starter Kyle Freeland early and often in a convincing 8-1 win.

In an impressive display of clutch hitting, the Reds scored four runs with two outs and two-strike counts in the first three innings. Adam Duvall opened the scoring with an RBI double in the first, Billy Hamilton plated two with a single in the second and Jose Peraza stroked a run-scoring single in the third. The Reds added a pair of two-out, two-strike runs in the eighth, when Scooter Gennett hit a pinch-hit home run.

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DENVER -- The Reds' offense came alive at the right times on Tuesday night, scoring off Rockies starter Kyle Freeland early and often in a convincing 8-1 win.

In an impressive display of clutch hitting, the Reds scored four runs with two outs and two-strike counts in the first three innings. Adam Duvall opened the scoring with an RBI double in the first, Billy Hamilton plated two with a single in the second and Jose Peraza stroked a run-scoring single in the third. The Reds added a pair of two-out, two-strike runs in the eighth, when Scooter Gennett hit a pinch-hit home run.

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"Just throughout the lineup, I thought [we had] some really good at-bats against a guy with a good sinker who keeps the ball on the ground, mostly," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We saw a lot of their best bullpen pieces. I tip my hat to our position players for putting runs on the board and giving us some breathing room."

Video: CIN@COL: Freeland strikes out Votto swinging

The Rockies, meanwhile, couldn't get much going against right-hander Homer Bailey, who won his first MLB game since Aug. 12 of last year, vs. the Brewers. Colorado was held without an extra-base hit at home for just the fourth time this season and first since May 27, vs. the Cardinals.

Freeland cites lack of command in loss

Rockies shortstop Trevor Story acknowledged his team's recent offensive struggles, but he doesn't think the team is pressing. Story, who went 0-for-4 on Tuesday with two strikeouts and is 7-for-his-last-45, said the team's struggle for extra-base hits is just part of the ebbs and flows of a long season.

"It's tough, because we know we can play better than we are," Story said. "It [stinks] when you go through it, but we believe in ourselves that we'll come out of it. ... We're just trying to hit the ball hard, that's it."

Mark Reynolds continued to make his case for the 2017 MLB All-Star Game Esurance Final Vote in the seventh inning, when he reached over the dugout to make a catch to rob Duvall. Reynolds sits in fourth place behind the Dodgers' Justin Turner, the Cubs' Kris Bryant and the Nationals' Anthony Rendon.

Video: CIN@COL: Reynolds reaches into dugout for great catch

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Not throwing away his shot: Hamilton's two-run single in the second didn't seem crucial at the time, but it ended up being the game-winning hit. Freeland had nearly escaped a jam, getting Bailey out the previous at-bat on a sacrifice bunt and taking Hamilton to two strikes with runners on second and third, but Hamilton wasn't fooled by Freeland's slider. In fact, no Reds hitter was. Freeland did not induce a swinging strike with his slider all night.

"I just was trying to make contact, put the ball in play," Hamilton said. "I didn't want to strike out in that situation. I knew I had to battle -- I got two strikes, got a pitch down and got a bloop single. A bloop single, a hard single, they're all singles. He made a good pitch, but I just ended up scooping it over the shortstop's head. It was big to get us going."

Lives of Homer: The Rockies' best chance to close the gap came in the fourth inning, which Nolan Arenado and Carlos Gonzalez led off with back-to-back singles. Bailey, however, was not fazed, getting Reynolds to fly out to center before striking out Story and coaxing a weak groundout from Alexi Amarista. Bailey even uncorked a wild pitch with Story batting, allowing Arenado and Gonzalez to advance a base, but he still worked his way out of the jam. More >

Video: CIN@COL: Bailey strikes out three over six innings

QUOTABLE
"He got a couple pitches up later in the game, but Hamilton was a little pain in the [rear end] tonight. Got the leadoff single, scored a run, the one that hurt [Freeland] looked like a pretty good pitch, the slider that [Hamilton] sort of dug out." -- Rockies manager Bud Black, on Reds leadoff hitter Hamilton, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Scott Schebler's solo home run in the eighth inning off Adam Ottavino was his second-hardest home run since Statcast™ was introduced, with an exit velocity of 110.5 mph. His hardest-hit homer was launched at 110.8 mph, coming against Freeland on May 21.

Video: CIN@COL: Schebler hammers solo home run to deep right

WHAT'S NEXT
Reds: When the series continues on Wednesday at 8:40 p.m. ET, Scott Feldman will take the mound. Feldman worked seven innings in each of his last two starts, including Friday's 5-0 blanking of the Cubs at Great American Ball Park. He hasn't faced Colorado since 2013.

Rockies: Jon Gray will make his second start since returning from the disabled list on Wednesday at 6:40 p.m. MT. Gray earned the win in his last start, pitching six solid innings and striking out 10 against the D-backs.

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Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.

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.