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Rockies club 7 homers to drub Reds

May 31, 2016

DENVER -- The Rockies homered a record-tying seven times -- including Carlos Gonzalez for a fourth straight game and two apiece from Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon -- to beat the Reds, 17-4, on Tuesday night at Coors Field.Home runs came from Blackmon and Arenado in a five-run first; DJ

DENVER -- The Rockies homered a record-tying seven times -- including Carlos Gonzalez for a fourth straight game and two apiece from Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon -- to beat the Reds, 17-4, on Tuesday night at Coors Field.
Home runs came from Blackmon and Arenado in a five-run first; DJ LeMahieu and Gonzalez in a two-run second off Reds starter Jon Moscot; Gerardo Parra to open the third and Arenado in the sixth off Daniel Wright; and Blackmon on a seventh-inning grand slam off Dayan Diaz.
"You don't get many of those games, so you try to enjoy them while you can," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Good to see several of our guys taking a really nice approach."
Arenado improved his total to a National League-leading 16, which ties him with the White Sox Todd Frazier for the Majors' lead. The Rockies finished with a club-record 14 extra-base hits, which also tied a club record for the Reds' pitching staff.
Moscot lasted only two innings, giving up a career-high seven runs and eight hits.
"I don't really have a whole lot. I just got hit really hard," Moscot said.
Rockies starter Jon Gray earned the win with his fifth quality start in his last six outings. He allowed three earned runs over six innings -- two of which came on home runs by Joey Votto and Jay Bruce -- while striking out four.
"I think tonight's big," Gray said. "Just not having much of your stuff and no command and being to kind of battle all game and throw up a quality start is big. The way I was feeling, it wasn't going to go that way, so it's good to be able to trick yourself and go out there and battle through pitches, get guys out, and not give up free bases."
Big first inning: Blackmon become the first player in Rockies history to lead off consecutive games with homers, and then portended trouble for Moscot. Arenado hit a two-run home run two batters later, while Daniel Descalso and Tony Wolters each drove in runs on two-out hits as all nine Rockies batted.

"I was definitely caught of guard," Gray said about having to hit in the first inning. "I think Tony was walking up to the plate by the time I realized, and then I was like, 'Oh, I'm up.'"
That hurt: Moscot's brief time on the mound was hard enough, but his lone plate appearance was painful. Trying to sacrifice bunt in the top of the third, Moscot was hit by a 96-mph fastball from Gray on the right ear that wasn't covered by a helmet flap. Moscot spent several moments being looked over by the trainer before going to first base. Moscot was already expected to leave the game, as Wright was warming up to replace him for the bottom half of the third.

"I thought he was over the plate," Gray said. "I gripped a two-seam and let it eat; ran into him. Luckily he was OK. That was good to hear. But yeah, it's my plate. I had to let it eat."
Three near-cycles: LeMahieu, Parra and Gonzalez came within a triple of a cycle. LeMahieu got the closest to hitting a triple, hitting a hard liner in the sixth inning to right field that Bruce dove for and knocked down. Gonzalez left the game before the top of the eighth for rest.

"We talk about it," Gonzalez said about nearly hitting for the cycle. "Actually, I didn't get into the conversation until my last at-bat, but I was telling DJ that he better too go for the cycle. He hit one that one really close. I thought he was going to get a triple, but it was a good effort. He had a great game. Parra had a great game." More >
And almost one for Bruce, too: For the Reds, Bruce finished a single short of hitting for the cycle. In the second inning, Bruce hit a one-out double off of Gray and also got him by slugging a 2-1 pitch for a 452-foot homer to center field. In the eighth against Justin Miller, Bruce hit a triple through the gap in right-center field.

"The last couple days, [hitting coach] Blake [Doyle] in the cages really preached about getting back to our big part of the field approach. There's been a heightened sense of awareness about that. A lot of rollover outs in the previous handful of games, so we wanted to get back to our solid approach, and I think it resonated." --Weiss
"There's no doubt [Coors Field] has an effect on young pitchers that don't have their bearings yet. We have a lot of guys here that are really getting their first Major League experience. … That doesn't make it OK to come out and give up 17 runs. There really should be no excuse for this great opportunity that is here for these young guys to show some credibility." -- Reds manager Bryan Price
Blackmon hit a leadoff home run for the second day in a row, which is the first time that has happened in Rockies history. It was Blackmon's third leadoff home run of the season and the 15th of his career. The Astros were the last team to accomplish the feat, with Jose Altuve hitting leadoff home runs on May 4 and 5.
The last time the Reds allowed 14 extra-base hits in a game was over a century ago on May 15, 1911, in a 21-5 loss at Philadelphia. That game featured eight doubles, three triples and three homers.
The Rockies tied a franchise record with seven home runs. The record was first set April 5, 1997, in Montreal. Seven home runs also ties the Reds' record for most allowed, which last happened on May 25, 1979, against the Dodgers. The other two times it happened to Cincinnati came in 1939 and 1950. More >
Reds: Seeking his first win, John Lamb will get the ball for Cincinnati at 8:40 p.m. ET Wednesday as the series continues. Lamb, who is 0-3 with a 6.85 ERA, gave up six runs and seven hits -- including two homers -- over 3 2/3 innings on Friday in a loss at Milwaukee in his previous outing.
Rockies:Tyler Chatwood looks to continue his strong start to the season against the Reds on Wednesday at 6:40 p.m. MT. He has held opponents to one run in each of his last two starts and has quality starts in all but two of his 10 starts, helping him to a team-low 2.69 ERA among starters.
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Ben Weinrib is a reporter for and covered the Rockies on Tuesday.

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.