DENVER (AP) - Jonathan Sanchez fought command issues and a lack of consistency before he arrived in Colorado. Now that he is a member of the Rockies, the troubles still linger.
The left-hander, acquired from Kansas City on July 20 in the trade that sent Jeremy Guthrie to the Royals, struggled for the second straight start with the Rockies.
Sanchez (0-2) lacked command of his pitches on Sunday in Colorado's 7-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds, and consequently didn't fare much better than the pitcher he replaced.
In his home debut Sunday, Sanchez allowed six runs and eight hits, struck out three and walked two. He has failed to pitch at least five innings in either of his starts for Colorado.
``His velocity has backed up two miles an hour from when I last saw him in San Francisco, and I think some of that is attributable to his struggling with command,' Colorado manager Jim Tracy said. ``Instead of just throwing the ball and trying to place the ball when he fell behind hitters, he was throwing a lot of fastballs to try to get back into the count.'
Sanchez, who was chased after allowing five runs and six hits in his first start for Colorado, had a different take.
``I am a fastball pitcher and the key is my fastball,' Sanchez said. ``These times I have been hit around.'
The Reds posted their 10th straight win and matched their best streak in 14 years. Mat Latos pitching eight strong innings and Drew Stubbs homered in the one-sided victory.
``Our staring pitcher was not up to par,' Tracy said. ``When you are facing a guy like Latos, you can't surrender a whole lot.'
The Reds are two wins shy of matching the club's longest streak, done twice but not since 1957. Cincinnati opened a three-game lead over Pittsburgh in the NL Central, its biggest edge since mid-June.
Jay Bruce also homered and Stubbs drove in three runs. Ryan Hanigan and Zack Cozart each had two hits each for the Reds, who have won 17 of 19. Cincinnati has swept four of five series since the All-Star break, and is a season-best 21 games above .500 (61-40).
Latos (9-3) allowed four hits and struck out eight.
Josh Rutledge homered for Colorado, which has lost three straight and nine of 11.
The Reds took a 3-2 lead into the fifth, then broke it open against Sanchez. Cozart led off with a single, and Stubbs hit his 12th home run.
One out later, Bruce hit his 20th homer of the season into the second deck in right to make it 6-2 and chase Sanchez.
Miguel Cairo added an RBI single in the eighth off Mike Ekstrom to make it 7-2.
Cincinnati took the lead with carbon-copy plays in consecutive innings. In the second, Chris Heisey led off with a triple and scored on Cairo's sacrifice fly. Cozart followed with a leadoff triple in the third and scored on Stubbs' sacrifice fly to give the Reds a 3-2 lead.
The Reds struck first when Brandon Phillips' single scored Stubbs from second base in the first. The Rockies answered in the bottom half when Dexter Fowler walked and Rutledge homered.
NOTES: The Rockies went 1-5 against Cincinnati this season. ... Colorado's Jeff Francis (3-2) will pitch the first game of a three-game series against St. Louis on Tuesday. ... Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez extended his home hitting streak to 28 games, second in franchise history to Larry Walker's 30-game streak in 2002.
The Associated Press News Service
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