Red-hot Rockies win fifth straight
Aspen, CO Colorado
CINCINNATI ” The Colorado Rockies are getting that look again.
Garrett Atkins and Jeff Baker homered and drove in three runs, Ubaldo Jimenez turned in another terrific start and the Rockies pounded the Cincinnati Reds 11-0 Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.
Chris Iannetta also homered and Scott Podsednik had three hits for the Rockies, who wrapped up their first sweep of a road series this season and their first in Cincinnati since June 15-17, 2001.
Colorado extended its winning streak to five games, matching its season high, and finished with 14 hits in its biggest win of the season. The Rockies are 9-1 since the All-Star break and have compiled at least 11 hits in eight consecutive games, their longest streak since an eight-game run in September 1999.
Colorado won 21 of 22 to get to the World Series last year, but manager Clint Hurdle is hesitant to draw any comparisons to last season.
“We’re not trying to recreate anything,” Hurdle said. “We’re just trying to play well day to day. Last year, we figured out a way to score one more run than our opponents. Right now, we’re finding ways to barrel up some balls. Our offense has been good from the bottom all the way to the top.”
The Rockies entered play in third in the weak NL West, six games back of division-leading Arizona.
“We’re really fortunate to be in the position we’re in,” Troy Tulowitzki said. “We tried to play our way out of it. Now, we’re trying to play our way into it. We learned a lot from last year and not much has changed. We still have the same confident guys.”
Jimenez (7-9) allowed five hits in six innings, improving to 5-1 with a 1.74 ERA in six July starts.
“I wasn’t as sharp as I was in my other starts,” Jimenez said. “They were looking for fastballs up and they got them. My fastball wasn’t as good as it was in my other games.”
Josh Fogg (2-3), pitching with 30 stitches in his lip after being hit by a line drive while tossing in the outfield during practice on Tuesday, lasted just 32⁄3 innings for Cincinnati. He allowed seven runs, eight hits and three walks against his former team.
Fogg said his lip wasn’t the problem.
“I wish I could say it walked the four or five guys I walked, but that was me,” he said. “It was just poor pitching.”
The Reds finished their longest homestand of the season with a 4-6 record while allowing Colorado to pile up 45 hits, the most by a Cincinnati opponent in a three-game series since Oakland had 51 in June 2004.
“We knew they were a hot club coming in,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “They were swinging the bats up and down the lineup. Every game, they went around [the lineup] twice before we went around once. I wasn’t even playing and I feel beat up watching them get beat like that.”
Colorado scored four runs in the fourth to take a 7-0 lead. Podsednik singled with one out and Baker followed with a drive to center on a 1-2 pitch from Fogg, his ninth homer of the season and second of the series.
Atkins chased Fogg with a two-out, two-run homer to left, his 15th of the year.
“You look up and it’s 8-0,” Reds left fielder Adam Dunn said. “The mood’s going to be down all day. This series, we didn’t play well. We’ve got to regroup. It’s definitely shocking any time we don’t score runs. It’s shocking to me.”
Ken Griffey Jr. singled in the fourth to extend his hitting streak to 10 games for Cincinnati, his longest since a 15-game streak in 2006.
Plate umpire Jim Reynolds issued warnings to both benches after Jimenez hit Brandon Phillips with a pitch in the bottom of the sixth and Gary Majewski hit Tulowitzki in the top of the seventh.
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The Colorado High School Activities Association named Kayla Tehrani the Class 3A girls swimmer of the year for this past season. She was a key piece — if not the key piece — in the Skiers finishing second in 3A to state champion Evergreen.