Once again, the Reds starting pitching was — to put it mildly — less than effective Saturday.
This time, though, Cincinnati’s offense got together for a chorus of “We Shall Overcome” that was loud enough to snap a seven-game losing streak.
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Scott Schebler’s no-doubt three-run home run to right field off of Mike Dunn (2-1) capped a six-run sixth inning, giving the Reds a 10-8 lead on the way to a 12-8 win before 25,188 fans who might have felt a little dizzy after watching runners wheel around the base while the teams traded the lead three times.
“It was kind of crazy,” said the right fielder, who had one hit in his last 16 at-bats before the homer. “I had a terrible first three at-bats, but one of the beauties of this game is one at-bat can change your day. We changed the momentum. I was happy to come through for the team.”
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Catcher Devin Mesoraco, making his second appearance and first start since last Sunday while dealing with a hamstring problem, and third baseman Eugenio Suarez homered and drove in two runs as the Reds reached double figures in runs for the first time since a 14-2 home win over San Francisco on May 6.
“We had some really nice offensive contributions,” manager Bryan Price said. “Schebler had the big blow, and then to come back in the next inning and add two runs — tacking on a couple of runs is important. Adding on those runs made the difference.”
Right-hander Asher Wojciechowski, promoted from Triple-A Louisville before the game to shore up a sagging bullpen, opened the door for Cincinnati’s comeback and cemented the win by retiring the first 11 batters he faced before allowing a two-out hit in the ninth, giving way to Raisel Iglesias.
“I couldn’t have asked for anything better,” said Wojciechowski, who was out of work for three weeks after being cut by Arizona in spring training before hearing from the Reds. “To be home for almost a month without a job and to have this day happen, I’m on cloud nine. After the first pitch, it was just baseball. I was able to calm down. I was just trying to attack the zone and get quick outs. I was happy to help the team. What a great team win. I got doused by a bunch of stuff in the shower.”
Price was at the same time grateful to get a bullpen-saving effort from Wojciechowski and impressed at the efficiency.
“He was sensational,” Price said. “He came in attacking the strike zone. That was a really nice recipe for success. He couldn’t have come up bigger. He was beyond impressive, in my opinion.”
Wojciechowski, the 41st overall pick by Toronto in the 2010 draft, earned a standing ovation and his first major league win in his sixth appearance and first since 2015.
For the second time in less than 24 hours, the Rockies batted around in an inning. Friday, it was 14 batters in an eight-run sixth. Saturday, the Rockies overcame losing a baserunner when replay review overturned an umpire’s safe call to still send 12 batters to the plate, turning a 3-2 deficit into an 8-3 lead.
Left fielder Adam Duvall, a Gold Glove finalist last season, lost a two-out fly ball during the inning that was capped by pitcher Antonio Senzatela’s first-pitch two-run single.
Cincinnati right-hander Tim Adleman, in his first start since leaving after one inning with a stiff neck last Sunday in San Francisco, lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing six earned runs on seven hits and four walks. The combined earned-run average of Cincinnati’s starting pitchers during the losing streak rose to 8.60 (37 2/3 innings, 36 earned runs). They have averaged fewer than five innings per start in that stretch.
The Rockies pushed across a run in the first, giving opponents a 22-3 advantage in first-inning runs over Cincinnati’s last 11 games. That includes the Reds’ 7-5 loss to the Cubs at Chicago on Wednesday, during which Cincinnati actually led, 1-0, in the first inning.
Billy Hamilton extended to 20 his career-high streak of consecutive games reaching base at least once with a first-inning leadoff walk, but he was stranded when Duvall took strike three.
The Reds tied the score in the second when Suarez scored from second on a one-out single by Mesoraco.
The Reds loaded the bases with one out in the third. Joey Votto scored the go-ahead run on Schebler’s sacrifice fly and Jose Peraza followed with a soft, run-scoring line drive to center.
Hamilton just missed making another spectacular diving catch of Alexi Amarista’s line drive to right-center field in the fourth. The ball glanced off Hamilton’s glove and rolled to the wall, allowing Carlos Gonzalez to score from first base.