Cincinnati and Colorado have hit home runs in bunches during the first three games of their series at Great American Ball Park.
The Reds may have the right pitcher going in the finale to keep the Rockies from padding their total.
After dropping the first two games of this series, the Reds hit three solo homers - from Edgar Renteria(notes), Jay Bruce(notes) and Joey Votto(notes) - off newly-signed Rockies starter Kevin Millwood(notes) in Wednesday’s 3-2 win. Cincinnati’s 130 home runs rank second in the NL, trailing only Arizona.
“We caught some breaks finally,” manager Dusty Baker said.
“Solo homers aren’t going to beat you, and they didn’t tonight,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. “We got 13 base hits and scored two runs.”
Each team has hit six homers in the series. Bruce and Tulowitzki have each gone deep twice and lead their respective teams with 23.
Tulowitzki is 0 for 4 against Cueto (7-5, 2.06 ERA), who needs 4 2-3 more innings to qualify for the NL’s lowest ERA, currently held by San Francisco’s Ryan Vogelsong(notes) (2.48). Cueto is 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in two career starts against the Rockies, both in Colorado.
He also will try to rebound from his worst outing of the season. The right-hander gave up five runs and seven hits in 3 2-3 innings of Saturday’s 11-4 loss to the Chicago Cubs. Cueto served up a homer to fellow pitcher Carlos Zambrano(notes) leading off the third inning after failing to yield one in six July starts, a span of 41 1-3 innings.
Cueto, who saw his ERA rise from 1.72, hadn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any of his previous 16 starts.
Chacin has dropped his last four starts away from home, allowing 12 runs and 20 hits - including four homers - in 23 innings. He has surrendered a total of 18 long balls this season, but none in 18 1-3 innings over his last three starts.
Chacin is 1-0 with a 2.79 ERA in three games one start - in his career against the Reds (56-61). The right-hander yielded a solo homer in 2 2-3 innings of relief during his only appearance in Cincinnati, an 8-1 Rockies loss July 17, 2010.
With a win, Chacin can exceed the victory total from his 2010 rookie season. He wasn’t sharp Saturday against Washington, getting tagged for three runs, five hits and five walks in five innings, but got credit for Colorado’s 15-7 win.
Chacin had been 0-4 with a 4.50 ERA over his previous eight starts.
The Reds are expected to play their second straight game without second baseman Brandon Phillips(notes), who got hit in the elbow with a pitch in Tuesday’s 3-2 loss. X-rays were negative, but Phillips tweeted Wednesday he could miss five days.