Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) – Edinson Volquez made a triumphant return to the mound in his first start in more than a year and was backed by four home runs, as the Reds crushed the Rockies, 8-1, at Great American Ball Park.
Volquez (1-0), who last appeared in a major league game on June 1, 2009, struck out nine over six innings, walked two and yielded just three hits. Two of those came in the first inning when Dexter Fowler doubled and Carlos Gonzalez brought in the only Colorado run with a single.
The 27-year-old Volquez had been out because of both Tommy John surgery and a 50-game suspension for a violation of the league’s drug policy. It was his first win since May 5, 2009 against the Marlins.
Drew Stubbs smacked two homers and drove in three, while Brandon Phillips cracked a three-run shot. Jonny Gomes had two RBI and added a solo home run as Cincinnati won its second straight in this three-game set.
“I was able to get some pitches that I was able to get some good swings on,” said Stubbs. “I got the ball up in the air and when you can do that good things are going to happen.”
Jorge De La Rosa (3-2) was rocked for a second straight outing coming off a finger injury that shelved him for more than two months. In 3 1/3 innings, he gave up seven runs — six earned — on four hits and five walks as the Rockies fell for a third consecutive game.
“Tonight boils down to the fact that we weren’t given much of a chance,” said Colorado manager Jim Tracy. “Jorge had trouble tonight with his command and it haunted him tonight.”
After Gonzalez gave Colorado an early advantage, the Reds took over via the longball and never looked back behind a superb comeback from Volquez.
Miguel Cairo walked with one away in the second and Stubbs launched the first of his two home runs to left, putting Cincinnati in front for good.
Gomes provided a sacrifice fly in the next inning and Stubbs belted a solo shot to right-center during a four-run fourth. Ryan Hanigan followed with a walk and Volquez reached on an error in front of Phillips’ three-run blast to deep left-center, making it a 7-1 game.
Gomes led off the fifth with a home run off Jhoulys Chacin to extend the margin. Meanwhile, Volquez continued to deal on the other end.
After Gonzalez’s RBI hit in the first, the right-handed Dominican surrendered only a stray single to Clint Barmes in the second and walked Jonathan Herrera twice. The last time was to open the sixth, but he quickly recovered with strikeouts of Gonzalez and Brad Hawpe, then got Seth Smith to ground out to complete his outing.
Logan Ondrusek set down the Rockies in order in the seventh and Jordan Smith worked around a two-out single by Herrera in the eighth. Smith returned for the ninth and walked Hawpe to start, but closed out the game by retiring the next three batters.
Volquez lost about $120,000 of his $445,000 salary for the suspension, which was served while he recovered from his elbow injury. In six rehab starts in the minors, Volquez went 4-0 with a 1.45 earned run average. Cairo filled in at third base for Scott Rolen, who was out of the lineup due to illness…De La Rosa served up sevens runs, five of those earned, in 4 1/3 innings in his last outing, versus San Diego on July 9. It was his first start since April 25…The Rockies won all seven games versus the Reds last year…Stubbs upped his home run total to 13 on the year. Phillips also hit his 13th and Gomes his 12th of 2010.