Reds 5, Rockies 4, 10 innings
CINCINNATI (AP)—One of the few things unaffected by the Cincinnati Reds’ trading frenzy is their knack for last-inning wins.
After giving Boone and White an emotional goodbye, what’s left of the Reds held a meeting to try to get beyond the tears.
“We talked about that in the meeting,” said Jose Acevedo, who gave up four runs in seven innings. “We’re not going to put our heads down.”
Instead, they were hopping in unison after LaRue provided their 12th game-ending hit, a homer to left on a 1-2 pitch from Brian Fuentes (2-1). The Reds lead the majors with 25 wins in their last at-bats.
LaRue also hit a tying ninth-inning homer on Wednesday, setting up a 3-2 victory in 10 innings. The two happy endings made them forget about their misery for a few minutes.
“Anytime you get a last-inning victory, that’s one of the best Adrenalin rushes you can get,” said LaRue, who hit his career-high 13th homer.
Fuentes made the mistake of throwing LaRue his third changeup in the at-bat, and leaving it up.
“It was a bad pitch,” Fuentes said. “I liked the selection. I just put it in a bad spot.”
John Riedling (1-3) pitched two hitless innings to get the win on a strange night overall.
The Reds held a long-planned Halloween In July promotion, selling $4 bleacher seats to fans dressed in costumes. The stands were full of fright masks and nasty banners.
Fans in Oakland and Yankees shirts—two teams that have acquired Reds players—put bags over their heads and held a banner that read, “THE RED$ … WORTHLESS.” Another sign pleaded, “Quit Selling Our Team.”
The Reds got ahead by batting around for four runs in the second off Chin-hui Tsao, who couldn’t provide an encore to his impressive debut. He beat Milwaukee 7-3 last Friday, when he became the first Taiwanese pitcher to play in the majors.
The right-hander gave up eight hits and four runs in only 4 1-3 innings Thursday, walking one and hitting three batters. Russell Branyan’s three-run homer highlighted the four-run rally.
“He was in a hurry all night,” manager Clint Hurdle said. “His command was below average. He didn’t have much tilt on his breaking ball. He was spinning them, and he didn’t have much command on his fastball.”
Acevedo, who has made three solid starts since his promotion from Triple-A, failed to hold the lead. Juan Uribe tripled home two runs in the second, and Preston Wilson hit a two-run homer in the third, his 28th. Wilson leads the National League with 104 RBIs.
Once again, the Reds looked distracted at times.
They matched their season high with four errors on Tuesday, when they traded closer Scott Williamson to Boston. They lost track and tried to complete a double play with two outs on Wednesday, after outfielder Jose Guillen was shipped to Oakland.
The worst moment came Thursday, when Boone’s fill-in at third base made a baserunning blunder and lost track of the outs on the same play.
LaRue was hit by a pitch in the third inning and held up at third base on Branyan’s double. Branyan didn’t look and kept going toward third on the play, prompting LaRue to dash for home and get caught in a rundown.
Branyan inexplicably headed back to second. After LaRue was tagged out, Branyan walked away from second base and took off his helmet to toss it to the dugout, thinking the inning was over.
It wasn’t. When he realized his mistake, it was too late—he was tagged outas he lunged for the base.
RF Larry Walker was back in the Rockies lineup after missing three games with a sore hamstring. He was 0-for-4 and grounded into a double play. … The Rockies finished July with a winning record for only the second time in the franchise’s 11-year history. The went 17-11 in July 1995 and 14-13 thismonth. … Wilson’s second-inning double was his 36th, a career high.