DENVER (AP) — Josh Fuentes homered for the second straight game to back seven shutout innings from Chi Chi Gonzalez, and the Colorado Rockies held on for a 13-8 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday night.
Gonzalez (2-1) scattered four hits in his longest outing of the season. He struck out two, walked one and was pulled after 88 pitches.
“He threw some quality pitches early in the count, got some quick outs,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “The ball-strike ratio was great. He was around the plate. The best version of Chi Chi is what you saw tonight.”
Jonathan India and pinch-hitter Tyler Stephenson homered late for the Reds, who shaved a 10-0 deficit to 10-8 with eight runs in the eighth.
Fuentes hit a two-run shot in the first inning off Luis Castillo, then added an RBI single in Colorado’s five-run fourth and another in the sixth to set a career high with four RBIs. Connor Joe had two hits and three RBIs to help the Rockies open the four-game series with a win.
Castillo (1-5), the Reds’ opening day starter, allowed eight runs and 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings. He is 0-4 in his last six starts.
“He’s really close. He’s throwing sinkers at 97 (mph) tonight, which is a major plus for him, a major plus for us as a ballclub,” Reds catcher Tucker Barnhart said. “We’re all trying as hard as we possibly can to get him out of this and it’s going to come soon. Tonight’s definitely a step in the right direction.”
Cincinnati rallied in the eighth against Colorado’s bullpen. Stephenson hit a two-run homer, and five straight singles made it 10-5. India, who started the inning with a single, hit a three-run homer to pull the Reds within two.
“It was a good inning, made a great run and made a game of it,” manager David Bell said. “It could have been an incredible comeback if we would have won it, but it still was a great effort.”
Colorado scored three times in the bottom of the inning, the last on a solo homer by Garrett Hampson.
Reds: Bell said RHP Michael Lorenzen (right shoulder) had positive results from a follow-up MRI and will be able to start throwing soon in Arizona. … 1B Joey Votto (thumb) has not resumed baseball activities.
Rockies: LHP Kyle Freeland (left shoulder) will have two rehab outings, Saturday and next Thursday, with Triple-A Albuquerque, Black said. Freeland will throw 60-70 pitches Saturday. … Black said INF Brendan Rodgers (hamstring) will start at second base for Albuquerque on Friday. … SS Trevor Story was given the night off.
Cincinnati lost the game and a couple of players, too.
Center fielder Nick Senzel ran into the wall trying to track down Joe’s double in the first inning and left in the third with a bruised left heel. First baseman Mike Moustakas exited in the fifth inning after running into the netting in foul territory in the fourth. He had his finger looked at by the trainer, stayed in for the rest of the inning but was replaced by Alex Blandino in the fifth.
“Moose, kind of diving into the screen down the line, tweaked his shoulder just a little bit,” Bell said. “Nick, more day to day. He had a contusion of the heel on a fly ball deep to right-center and just landed on it funny. He may potentially miss a day, but nothing long.”
BEEN A WHILE
Gonzalez’s only career complete game came in his second major league start on June 5, 2015, with Texas.
Joe’s double in the first netted two big league milestones — it was the first RBI and extra-base hit of his career. It’s another step in a comeback for Joe, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer during spring training with the Dodgers in 2020 and missed the year while undergoing treatment.
He made his Colorado debut May 7 at St. Louis, his first game since 2019.
“I gave my first ball back, after all the treatments, to my dad,” Joe said. “I don’t know what this one has in store. Maybe keep this one.”
Reds LHP Wade Miley (4-2, 2.00 ERA) takes the mound a week after throwing the 17th no-hitter in franchise history. He will face Colorado RHP German Marquez (1-4, 5.49), who has been sharp in two career starts against Cincinnati (2-0, 1.93).
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