Rox go deep early and often to take finale

Colorado wins series, hits four home runs; Marquez holds Cincinnati to 1 ER over 7 IP

May 27th, 2018

DENVER -- Sunday afternoon was scary for a moment, when Rockies third baseman limped down the dugout tunnel after a third-inning groundout. But Arenado, like the Rockies' offense, showed that he just might be in good shape.

Arenado cracked his 10th homer of the season -- a two-run shot in the sixth -- and the Rockies went deep four times in an 8-2 victory over the Reds at Coors Field.

The Rockies won just their second home series of the season (2-4-1) but lead the National League West by 1 1/2 games over the D-backs, who have lost 15 of their last 17. The division-rival Giants will begin a three-game set at Coors on Monday night.

Arenado said his quick turn away from an inside pitch from Matt Harvey "grabbed me a little bit in my right groin," but the pain didn't worsen. And in the sixth, Arenado took reliever Tanner Rainey's first pitch deep.

"[Harvey]'s a hard thrower," said Arenado, who left the game after the Rockies took an 8-1 lead to rest and prepare for Monday. "I just wanted to be ready to hit. Today, throughout the at-bats, I was taking a little bit too much. I just didn't want to get behind."

The performance also included homers from and in the first inning -- Gonzalez's for two runs -- and a two-run shot in the seventh. Additionally, (4-5), who entered with a 10.34 home ERA, limited the Reds to one first-inning run in his seven innings.

Sunday's 14-hit game followed an 11-hit game in a 6-5 loss to the Reds on Saturday. It's the second time this season and first time at home that the Rockies have reached double figures in hits in consecutive games.

"There were signs this series that we're swinging the bats better," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "CarGo, for sure, had a great day."

And the fact Arenado was able to finish the game after a scary moment meant all the good feeling on Sunday didn't come with a, "Yeah, but ..."

Dahl's homer was his third since his April 22 promotion from Triple-A Albuquerque. Dahl, who finished 1-for-5, has hit into some hard outs lately -- like Saturday night's liner that became the game-ending double play in a 6-5 loss. Sunday was a reward.

"I know it's very early in the season," said Dahl, who's hitting .261 in 88 at-bats. "The more barrels you find, the more hits you get."

Gonzalez's home run was his fifth, and first since May 11 as his playing time has been reduced, primarily because of Dahl's emergence.

"A home run always gets you excited, but at the same time you still have a lot of work to do," Gonzalez said.

After Gonzalez lashed his fourth hit of the game, off to open the seventh, Desmond went the opposite way for his ninth homer of the season -- just his second at Coors.

Marquez went seven innings and allowed one run for his second consecutive start, but the venue was significant for the Rockies. Marquez has a 2.06 road ERA but had accomplished little at home before striking out six Reds against five hits.

"I don't really care where I pitch," Marquez said. "I just come out there and do my best to help the team win. What's in the past is in the past."

MOMENT THAT MATTERED

Marquez's first inning was telling.

Joey Votto and Scooter Gennett, who had eight hits in the last two games of the series, each doubled with two out for a 1-0 lead. Then Marquez walked . Innings at home had fallen apart this way before. After a visit from pitching coach Steve Foster, Marquez used his curve to extract a grounder to second.

Marquez also shook off two-out singles from Votto and Gennett in the third to strike out Suarez.

WORKING BACK

Second baseman DJ LeMahieu, who missed his 12th game with a left thumb injury, took batting practice and did fielding drills Sunday. Black said Monday would be more of the same, and there could be a more detailed update Tuesday.

LeMahieu said he doesn't know if he needs a Minor League rehab assignment.

"I've been doing as much as I can; swinging is the only thing that's tough, and that's the most important part," added LeMahieu, who by the second round was putting balls into the seats -- a welcome sign from a hitter with a .279/.350/.457 slash line in 32 games. "I don't know if I'll need it [a rehab assignment] or not."

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS

After Dahl was the unlucky victim of a line drive to the wrong place, Sunday's game ended the same way, but to the Rockies' pleasure. Reliever allowed a run and had the bases loaded with one out in the ninth before being replaced by -- who ended it with a glove save on 's liner for a double play.

UP NEXT

Righty (4-1, 3.30 ERA) will face the Giants for the second time this season when he takes the mound at 5:10 p.m. MT on Monday. The Giants will start lefty (1-4, 5.68), which creates an interesting lineup situation. Gonzalez, who has been starting part-time this season, is coming off a big game Sunday against the Reds, but will Rockies manager Bud Black use him in a left-on-left matchup?