Denver, CO (Sports Network) – Carlos Gonzalez, arguably the league’s hottest hitter, blasted an early three-run homer to help lift the streaking Colorado Rockies to a 4-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
Gonzalez extended his hit streak to 15 with his 32nd home run, and the Rockies won for the fifth straight game to close to within four games of first-place San Diego, which is currently playing Los Angeles. Gonzalez, who jumped into the Triple Crown race, has 31 hits in his last 59 at-bats with seven homers and 21 RBI.
The former Oakland and Arizona farmhand currently leads the National League with a .340 batting average and 100 RBI, but trails Albert Pujols by three home runs.
Miguel Olivo added three hits and an RBI, while Jhoulys Chacin (8-9) allowed two runs on six hits in six innings to earn the win. Huston Street picked up his 16th save, as the Rockies won for the eighth straight time over Cincinnati at Coors Field.
Drew Stubbs hit a two-run single, while Jonny Gomes homered for the Reds, who have lost four of five but still lead the Cardinals by six games in the NL Central after St. Louis lost to Milwaukee on Tuesday.
Johnny Cueto (12-5) allowed four runs — three earned — on seven hits and two walks in six innings to take the loss.
Gonzalez’s incredible stretch continued in the opening inning.
Eric Young Jr. and Dexter Fowler opened the game with consecutive singles, and Gonzalez made it count with a three-run blast to left for an early lead.
The Reds didn’t get on the board until a mental mistake by the Rockies in the fourth.
With runners on first and second and two outs, Ramon Hernandez hit a ground ball toward the third baseman Melvin Mora. Instead of throwing to first to get the slow runner in Hernandez, Mora attempted to run and tag third, but Joey Votto beat the play. Stubbs followed with his single for a one-run game.
An error by Brandon Phillips helped Colorado increase its lead to 4-2 in the sixth. With two outs and nobody on base, Seth Smith hit a weak ground ball to Phillips, who couldn’t handle it. Olivo followed with a line drive in the left-centerfield gap, scoring Smith on the double.
Matt Belisle maintained the Rockies’ lead with a scoreless seventh, but Rafael Betancourt allowed a two-out solo homer to Gomes to make it a 4-3 game heading to the ninth.
Street pitched around a two-out single in the ninth to polish off the win.
The Reds’ last win at Coors Field came on August 22, 2008…Young Jr. had two hits and a stolen base for Colorado…Both starting pitchers struck out five…Chacin threw 72 of his 107 pitches for strikes…Phillips’ error was his first in 63 games since May 17.