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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
MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

DENVER -- Sunday afternoon was scary for a moment, when Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado 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.

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DENVER -- Sunday afternoon was scary for a moment, when Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado 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.

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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.

Video: CIN@COL: Dahl, Gonzalez, Arenado on victory over Reds

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 David Dahl and Carlos Gonzalez in the first inning -- Gonzalez's for two runs -- and a two-run Ian Desmond shot in the seventh. Additionally, German Marquez (4-5), who entered with a 10.34 home ERA, limited the Reds to one first-inning run in his seven innings.

Video: CIN@COL: CarGo launches a mammoth 461-ft. homer

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."

Video: CIN@COL: Bud Black on Marquez dominating in 8-2 win

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."

Video: CIN@COL: Dahl crushes a solo homer to the second deck

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 Dylan Floro to open the seventh, Desmond went the opposite way for his ninth homer of the season -- just his second at Coors.

Video: CIN@COL: CarGo launches mammoth HR in 4-hit game

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."

Video: CIN@COL: Marquez strikes out 6 over 7 frames vs. Reds

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 Eugenio Suarez. Innings at home had fallen apart this way before. After a visit from pitching coach Steve Foster, Marquez used his curve to extract a Scott Schebler 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 Brooks Pounders allowed a run and had the bases loaded with one out in the ninth before being replaced by Wade Davis -- who ended it with a glove save on Tucker Barnhart's liner for a double play.

Video: CIN@COL: Davis snags liner, tosses to first for DP

UP NEXT
Righty Chad Bettis (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 Andrew Suarez (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?

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.

Colorado Rockies