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Rockies’ three-game winning streak ends with loss to Reds in 12 innings

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There were plenty of opportunities at Coors Field Saturday night. The Rockies missed most of theirs, as did the Cincinnati Reds.

But in the end, the Reds converted when it counted, and beat the Rockies 6-5 in 12 innings.

Nick Castellanos’s RBI double off Antonio Santos, followed by a single from Nick Senzel and a run-scoring groundout by Eugenio Suarez produced the two runs Cincy needed. Santos, called up from Triple-A earlier in the day, was the last reliever left in Colorado’s bullpen.

Cincy was 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position. The Rockies were 2-for-18 and saw their three-game winning streak come to an end.

Rockies third baseman Josh Fuentes, who made a glove full of excellent defensive plays, tied the game, 4-4 in the 11th, with a two-run double to left-center off of Lucas Sims. The Rockies were in prime position to win. But Sims fanned both Yonathan Daza and Elias Diaz to send the game into the 12th.

For six consecutive innings, the Rockies’ bullpen was stellar, until the top of the 11th when Cincy shortstop Kyle Farmer blasted lefty Ben Bowden’s 1-1 changeup 412 feet and into the left-field bleachers for the go-ahead runs. Up until Farmer’s homer, the Reds were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

After facing one more batter, Bowden left the field with an apparent injury.

The Rockies had another big chance in the 10th but failed, even though a fly ball to the outfield would have brought in Garrett Hampson from third to win the game.

Rockies right-hander Jordan Sheffield had kept the Reds off the board in the 10th. Colorado turned a first-to-short-to-pitcher double play and Sheffield coaxed Eugenio Suarez into an inning-ending groundout.

The Rockies also wasted a prime opportunity in the seventh.

Hampson, the Rockies’ resident roadrunner, led off with a triple — his second game in a row hitting a triple. But Reds starter Tyler Mahle pulled off a great escape. Diaz flew out to right but it wasn’t deep enough to score Hampson. Then Mahle struck out pinch hitter Charlie Blackmon, who didn’t start because of a mild groin strain, and retired Raimel Tapia on a groundout to second.

Mahle was excellent: seven innings, two runs allowed on seven hits with four strikeouts and no walks.

Ryan McMahon delivered like CarGo in the first inning. Displaying left-handed power reminiscent of former Rockies slugger Carlos Gonzalez, McMahon launched a two-run, 478-foot homer to right-center off of Reds starter Mahle. According to Statcast, it was the second-longest homer of McMahon’s career, trailing only his 479-foot moonshot off Dodgers right-hander Yimi Garcia on June 27, 2019, also at Coors.

Spot starter Jhoulys Chacin gave the Rockies what they needed. Making his first start since Sept. 28, 2019 with Boston, the right-hander pitched four solid innings, giving up two runs on four hits. Two mistakes cost him in the third inning. First, he issued a one-out walk to Mahle, then hung a 1-0 curveball to Nick Castellanos who hammered it for a two-run homer to left-center, tying the game at 2-all.

The Reds and Rockies finish up their four-game series on Sunday afternoon.

On Deck
Reds RHP Jeff Hoffman (2-3, 4.70 ERA) at Rockies RHP Antonio Senzatela (1-4, 5.97)
1:10 p.m. Sunday, Coors Field
TV: AT&T SportsNet
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM

Hoffman, the former Rockie, will make his first start at Coors Field since being traded to the Reds last November for right-hander Robert Stephenson and minor league outfielder Jameson Hannah. Hoffman is coming off a loss at Pittsburgh, where the Reds fell, 7-2. Hoffman pitched four innings, allowing three runs on four hits with two walks and four strikeouts. From 2016-2020 with Colorado, Hoffman was 10-16 with a 6.40 ERA in 38 starts and 30 relief appearances. Hoffman was 5-8 with a 7.58 ERA in 22 starts and 18 relief stints at Coors Field. Senzatela is still searching for the consistent command that made him so good in 2020. Against San Diego last Tuesday, he allowed four runs on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts over five innings. In five starts at Coors Field this season, he’s 1-3 with a 5.27 ERA. Senzatela has made two career starts against Cincy, allowing 12 runs on 12 hits
across 10 1/3 innings for a 10.45 ERA.

Trending: Entering Saturday night’s game, Colorado starters had a 3.05 ERA over their past seven home games and had held opposing hitters to a .243 average at Coors.

At issue: Catcher Dom Nunez is in a funk, as evidenced by his .195 average. The saving grace is that he’s smacked five home runs. He’s batting .212 (14-for-66) against right-handers and .091 (1-for-11) vs. lefties.

Pitching Probables
Monday: Rockies RHP Jon Gray (4-3, 2.93) at Padres RHP Yu Darvish (3-1, 2.08), 8:10 p.m., ATTRM
Tuesday: Rockies LHP Austin Gomber (2-4, 5.49) at Padres LHP Blake Snell (1-0, 4.19), 8:10 p.m., ATTRM
Wednesday: Rockies RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-1, 4.79) at Padres RHP Joe Musgrave (3-4, 2.86), 2:10 p.m.

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