Gray's long-distance HR helps Rockies beat Reds
DENVER -- Colorado Rockies starter Jon Gray helped himself Wednesday night with an improbably massive home run, the first time in his career he trotted around the bases.
He pitched into the sixth before four relievers completed Colorado's 5-3 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
Gray's home run was a two-out, two-run shot in the second that soared an estimated 467 feet to center field. It was the longest homer hit by a Colorado player this season.
Pat Valaika belted his sixth homer, a two-run shot in the fourth that gave the Rockies a 4-1 lead after Gray yielded a run in the top of the inning.
Valaika had a career-high three hits and drove in a third run with a two-out single in the eighth.
Closer Greg Holland struck out Arismendy Alcantara but threw a wild pitch on the third strike, allowing Alcantara to reach base to open the ninth. Holland then got speedy Billy Hamilton to ground into a double play.
Zack Cozart singled and Joey Votto walked. Holland then lunged for Scooter Gennett's hard one-hopper, knocked the ball down and threw him out to earn his 28th save in 29 opportunities and seal just the third win in 14 games for the Rockies.
Gray (2-0) gave up eight hits and three runs (two earned) in 5 1/3 innings with one walk and five strikeouts. He yielded three consecutive singles to begin the sixth, the last a run-scoring hit by Eugenio Suarez that cut Colorado's lead to 4-2.
Gray then struck out Scott Schebler and Jose Peraza before Tucker Barnhart singled to load the bases, ending the right-hander's 108-pitch outing.
Scott Oberg came on to face pinch hitter Adam Duvall and got him to ground to third, but Nolan Arenado bobbled the ball for his third error, allowing a run to score and make it 4-3.
Oberg then got Hamilton to bounce out. Oberg has inherited 25 runners this season and has allowed just three to score. He has been used in high-traffic situations lately, inheriting 13 runners in his past five outings and stranding 12.
After Cozart led off the seventh with a double against Oberg, left-hander Chris Rusin came on to face Votto and walked him. However, Rusin struck out Gennett and got Suarez to ground into a 5-3 double play.
Reds starter Scott Feldman (7-6) gave up five of Colorado's six hits and four runs in five innings with one walk and six strikeouts.
Votto led off the fourth with a triple when left fielder Raimel Tapia misplayed the drive, which went over his head and off the wall. Gennett followed with a run-scoring single, beating the Rockies' shift and grounding the ball to the right of third baseman Arenado to trim the Rockies' lead to 2-1.
Gray then issued a walk but got Schebler to ground into a double play. Gennett was stranded at third when Peraza fouled out,
Gray was 7-for-66 (.106) lifetime with 41 strikeouts when he teed off on Feldman's 90 mph sinker.
NOTES: Reds C Devin Mesoraco (left shoulder strain) was placed on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to Monday, and RHP Ariel Hernandez was recalled from Triple-A Louisville. Hernandez pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings Wednesday. ... Rockies 2B DJ LeMahieu did not play for the second straight day to right groin soreness. ... Colorado OF/1B Gerardo Parra (right quad strain) played the entire game at first base and went 1-for-4 in his second rehab game for Triple-A Albuquerque. He could rejoin the Rockies on Friday.