Romano helps Reds beat Rockies
DENVER -- Nearly three months ago, Sal Romano made his major league debut for the Cincinnati Reds. It was a harsh learning experience but one from which Romano profited.
He returned to the mound Thursday for the Reds and helped them beat the Colorado Rockies 6-3 to gain a split of their four-game series.
After lasting just three innings April 16 against Milwaukee, an 82-pitch struggle that included four walks and two home runs allowed, Romano had much better control of his emotions and his pitches this time.
Admittedly overamped and overthrowing against the Brewers, Romano, who was optioned back to Triple-A after that game. This time, Romano held the Rockies to six hits and two runs in five innings with one walk and six strikeouts.
Three relievers followed Romano to the mound. The last was closer Raisel Iglesias, who pitched for the first time in five days and worked two innings in a non-save situation.
The Reds banged out 13 hits, seven for extra-bases. That output included five doubles and Adam Duvall's 20th home run.
Romano (1-1) gave up a two-out RBI single to Trevor Story in the second that tied the game at 1-1.
In the fifth, Tony Wolters' run-scoring double cut the Reds' lead to 3-2. Story had bunted for a hit with one out, broke for second on an 0-2 pitch to Wolters and easily scored when Wolters broke an 0-for-9 slide with his first extra-base hit since his double June 11. Romano had runners on the corners with two outs but retired DJ LeMahieu on a ground out.
Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood (6-10) allowed a season-high-tying eight hits and three runs in six innings with four walks and four strikeouts. He ended three innings with double-play grounders.
A two-out double in the fifth by Duvall put the Reds ahead 3-1. The hit scored Scooter Gennett, who drew a one-out walk and scored on Duvall's drive to the base of the wall in right-center.
Eugenio Suarez's single in the third gave the Reds a 2-1 lead after Chatwood gave up a double and walk to start the inning. But Chatwood got Scott Schebler to ground into a double play.
Billy Hamilton opened the game with a triple when right fielder Carlos Gonzalez got a glove on the ball but could not hold it. Gennett followed with a walk and Joey Votto delivered a run-scoring single.
The Reds tacked on three runs in the eighth against Scott Oberg. He has stranded 22 of 25 inherited runners and 12 of his past 13 but has been less effective starting an inning. Duvall led off and belted Oberg's second pitch for a home run. Suarez flared a single to center and scored when Schebler followed with a double to right-center. Pinch hitter Zack Cozart's double off Jordan Lyles made it 6-2.
Raimel Tapia doubled with one out in the eighth against Iglesias and dashed to third on right fielder Schebler's error. Tapia scored on LeMahieu's sacrifice fly, barely beating center fielder Hamilton's throw.
Charlie Blackmon followed with a single, stole second and advanced to third on catcher Stuart Turner's throwing error. But Iglesias struck out Gonzalez.
The win was just the fourth in their past 20 road games for the Reds, who finish play before the All-Star break with three games at Arizona.
The Rockies have lost 12 of their past 15 games and head into the All-Star break with a three-game series at Coors Field with the Chicago White Sox.
NOTES: Reds RHP Sal Romano was recalled from Triple-A Louisville to start against the Rockies, and RHP Austin Brice was optioned to Louisville...Reds SS Zack Cozart was not in the lineup, part of his planned playing schedule this week after being reinstated Friday from the 10-day disabled list. But doubled home a run as a pinch hitter in the eighth... Rockies 2B DJ LeMahieu returned to the lineup after missing the past two games with right groin soreness... Rockies CF Charlie Blackmon, who typically hits leadoff, made his second career start batting third. The other was Aug. 25, 2015, at Atlanta... Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado did not start for just the third time this season. He was also not in the lineup May 7 and June 11.