Rockies 5, Reds 3

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CINCINNATI (AP)—Dave Miley wore a huge smile as he took out the lineup card before his first game as the Cincinnati Reds’ interim manager. The joy didn’t last long.

As Miley watched from the front of the dugout in a folding chair, the Reds committed four errors, lost a game and traded their closer.

Jay Payton matched his career high with four hits Tuesday night, leading the Colorado Rockies to a 5-3 victory that underscored the Reds’ problems and reiterated their new direction.

A stunned silence hung over the clubhouse after players said goodbye to closer Scott Williamson, who was traded to the Boston Red Sox during the game for a minor leaguer, another player and cash.

The trade came one day after the Reds fired general manager Jim Bowden, manager Bob Boone and two coaches. Miley joined the team Tuesday from Triple-A and took over a tough job.

“There’s a lot of frustration going on in here right now, but hopefully we can right the ship,” said first baseman Sean Casey, who had two of the Reds’ six hits. “Until the trading deadline is over, I think everyone is kind of on edge.”

While the Reds looked like a team that had its minds on something else, the Rockies got the clutch hits and made good pitches when they needed them.

Darren Oliver (9-6) gave up four hits and three runs in six-plus innings, improving to 6-1 in his last eight starts. He also had two hits, including an RBI single.

Oliver escaped threats in the fourth and sixth by getting double play grounders.

“It just worked out my way this time,” Oliver said. “I’ve given up a double in that situation before.”

Oliver failed to win the fifth starter’s spot in spring training, making the team as a reliever. He went into the rotation when injuries created openings, and has been perhaps the most consistent starter over the last two months.

“You can almost say, ‘Same as last outing,”’ manager Clint Hurdle said. “It’s been a blueprint on how to pitch. He works quick and throws strikes.”

The Reds have mastered the formula for losing games—bad pitching and defense.

They tied their season high with four errors Tuesday, three by shortstop Ray Olmedo. The Reds lead the majors with 104 errors in 107 games.

“We did a lot of things good,” Miley said. “Obviously the four errors weren’t so good. Each error played a part in some runs. You guys mentioned it to me before I got here. Something we’ve got to get better at is defense.”

Cincinnati also has the NL’s worst pitching staff, another shortcoming that led to the housecleaning.

Starter Jimmy Haynes gave up 10 hits and four runs in only 4 1-3 innings. Haynes, who lost the inaugural game at Great American Ball Park, is the first Reds pitcher to start 2-11 since Sammy Ellis in 1966.

Haynes also had one of the Reds’ more embarrassing moments. He hit a grounder through the hole at second in the third inning, but right fielder Rene Reyes charged and threw him out at first.

Adam Bernero took over for Oliver in the seventh and gave up Jason LaRue’s sacrifice fly and Barry Larkin’s pinch RBI double that cut it to 5-3. Justin Speier got the last two outs for his sixth save in seven chances.

Payton had three of his four singles off Haynes, leaving him 8-for-8 career off the right-hander. He singled to open the second, when Oliver’s two-out single to center made it 1-0.

Payton also led off the fourth with a single, and Reyes followed with a bunt. LaRue came out from behind the plate and threw wildly into right field, allowing Payton to score. Charles Johnson’s double made it 3-0.

Reds right fielder Jose Guillen, who has boxed up some of his belongings in the clubhouse in hopes he’ll be traded, committed the worst gaffe in the fifth. Ronnie Belliard led off with a single, and Guillen unaccountably stood in place—the ball resting at his feet—after he failed to come up with it cleanly on his first swipe.

Belliard decided to try for second, and Guillen threw to Olmedo, whose relay hit Belliard for another error that sent him to third. Preston Wilson singled for his NL-leading 102nd RBI.

Finally, right-hander Ryan Wagner—the Reds’ top draft pick in the June amateur draft—relieved with the bases loaded in the seventh and threw a wildpitch.

Notes

OF Larry Walker was out of the Rockies’ lineup for a second consecutive game because of a sore hamstring. … Belliard stole two bases for the first time in his career. … It was the sixth four-hit game of Payton’s career, his second this season. … Olmedo’s three errors were the most by a Red since SSPokey Reese had four in the 1998 season opener.

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