CINCINNATI (AP) - The Colorado Rockies' starting pitchers have developed a habit of working just seven innings. The overworked bullpen couldn't bail them out this time.
Chris Heisey gave Cincinnati the lead with his first home run of the season, and four relievers made it stand up as the Reds overcame a poor start by Mike Leake for a 10-3 win over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night.
``We didn't get off to a very good start,' manager Jim Tracy said.
Jordan Pacheco threw away Zack Cozart's ground ball for a two-base error to open the bottom of the first inning and Jeremy Guthrie (2-3) compounded the problem.
``We would have liked to have given Guthrie a better opportunity,' Tracy said. ``If you look back, the error to start the game came back to haunt us but having said that, we didn't pitch particularly well. We really didn't.'
Guthrie allowed a season-high 10 hits and tied his season worst by giving up six runs in five innings.
Guthrie was making his third start since returning from injury but claims it wasn't the cause of his problems.
``There are no lingering effects. Everything feels good,' Guthrie said.
Devin Mesoraco also homered off Guthrie, and Ryan Ludwick homered off reliever Matt Reynolds as the Reds picked up their seventh win in eight games.
The Rockies took advantage of Leake's struggles to get back into the game, but the effect of an overworked bullpen became evident late in the game.
``I'm mindful of the bullpen's workload,' Tracy said. ``The bullpen has had to pick up the starters.'
Colorado hitters reached Leake for nine hits in 3 2/3 innings and closed the gap to 5-3 but the Reds' more rested bullpen locked down the Rockies over the last 5 1/3 innings.
``I couldn't keep the ball down,' Leake said.
Pacheco extended his hitting streak to 11 games with three hits, including an inning-opening double in the fourth to start a two-run rally against Leake. Will Nieves, in his first start since being recalled to replace injured Ramon Hernandez, doubled and scored.
``We did a great job offensively early in the game and a good part of that was from the bottom of the order,' Tracy said. ``Pacheco had a good game offensively, but I'm sure he would have liked to done a lot better in relation to his throw.'
Guthrie would have liked to pick up his teammates also.
``I never really got into too much of a groove,' Guthrie said. ``I fought myself early in the count, throwing balls, knowing I had to throw strikes so I didn't walk guys. I made six bad pitches and two were hit for home runs.
Rookie J.J. Hoover (1-0), the first Cincinnati reliever, pitched 1 1-3 shutout innings for his first career win. Sam LeCure followed with two innings before Logan Ondrusek and Sean Marshall each added one after Leake, 1-0 with a 1.29 earned-run average over his previous two starts, lasted just 3 2-3 innings. He allowed nine hits and three runs.
``Colorado can hit,' Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said. ``You have to outscore them and that's what we did.'
NOTES: Rockies LHP Jorge De La Rosa was scheduled to make the first start of his second rehab assignment Sunday for Triple-A Colorado Springs at Fresno. De La Rosa underwent surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left elbow last season. ... Reds LHP Aroldis Chapman's 20 appearances without an earned run to begin a season are a franchise record, surpassing the record of 18 set by John Hudek in 1998, according to Elias Sports Bureau in stats distributed by the team. ... OF Michael Cuddyer returned to Colorado's lineup after being scratched from Friday's with a stiff neck. ... Reds RHP Mat Latos seeks his second win of Cincinnati's homestand in Sunday's series finale. He'll be opposed by 49-year-old Colorado left-hander Jamie Moyer.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved