DENVER— Amid another offensive show at hitter-friendly Coors Field, a high-risk, old-fashioned hustle play produced the decisive run for the Colorado Rockies.
The Rockies started off the second half of the season with a series win.
Ryan McMahon singled, doubled, tripled and drove in three runs and a sprinting Garrett Hampson scored from second base on a slow ground-out to cap a six-run fifth inning as the Rockies outslugged the Cincinnati Reds 10-9 on Sunday.
A day after the Reds romped 17-9, Colorado bounced back with a couple of big innings highlighted by Hampson’s dash for home on Antonio Senzatela’s slow chopper toward second base.
Hampson’s head-first slide at the plate narrowly beat first baseman Derek Dietrich’s throw to catcher Kyle Farmer.
“It’s a gamble,” said Hampson, the Rockies’ fastest player. “It’s not something that is going to be successful every time and you might look stupid doing it. But I had a good read off the bat and I knew it was a slow chopper.”
“It’s a tough play for a second baseman. He has to come a long way to make the throw (to first) and then the first baseman has to catch it, get the out and then turn and throw to home. I saw it all the way and I just felt like it was a good opportunity to do it,” he said.
As it turned out, the Rockies wound up needing the run that Hampson manufactured with his speed.
“That was obviously an instinctual play,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “You had the high chopper. He just kept going. He didn’t break stride. Those are the things that make winning players.”
So do meaningful swings with the bat.
McMahon hit a two-run double as the Rockies scored four times in the first inning. He had an RBI triple in the six-run fifth that made it 10-5.
The Rockies shared on Twitter, “Here’s a thread to recap the inning: First, we got taco’s (that’s 7 runs)”
“I was just trying to make them come over the plate, looking for a good pitch to hit, trying not to chase too much,” McMahon said. “But it’s baseball. You can feel great one day and terrible the next. I’m just trying to focus on the task at hand.”
Phillip Ervin, who tied a Reds record with six hits on Saturday night, had a leadoff triple in a four-run sixth that made it close.
It took the back end of the Rockies bullpen to finally quiet down the Reds. Scott Oberg pitched two scoreless innings and Wade Davis worked a perfect ninth for his 14th save.
Yasiel Puig, who entered the game as a defensive replacement in the bottom of the eighth, lined out to third baseman Nolan Arenado for the final out. Arenado, who made a tumbling catch, had entered late after being given a day off from starting.
“We know that guy over there can play the position,” Reds manager David Bell said. “Yasiel couldn’t elevate the ball enough. Otherwise the ball is down the line, but that guy made a great play.”
Tony Wolters got two hits and drove in two runs for Colorado. Pinch-hitter Jose Peraza homered for the Reds.
Senzatela (8-6) got the victory despite allowing eight runs on seven hits in 5 1-3 innings. He walked two and struck out four ad was credited with an RBI on his groundout.
Tyler Mahle (2-10) allowed 10 runs — six earned — on 12 hits in 4 1-3 innings in losing a fifth consecutive decision.
“I am not going to make any excuses,” Mahle said. “I made some bad pitches to mix in with some bad luck. I have to pitch better.”
Trailing 5-4 heading into their half of the fifth, the Rockies sent 11 batters to the plate. A two-run double by Daniel Murphy helped key the burst.AlertMe