Reds 4, Rockies 2
DENVER (AP)—Bobby Livingston was in the mood to brag.
Not over his first major league victory or his first career hit, but about Ken Griffey Jr.
“Pretty awesome when Ken Griffey hits a home run,” Livingston said. “He’s phenomenal.”
Griffey was likewise impressed with the 24-year-old Livingston, who was called up from Triple-A Louisville on Monday for only his second career start. Livingston gave up one unearned run and a walk.
“He pitched well,” Griffey said. “It was a lot of fun to watch and be a part of.”
But Griffey shook his head as he grinned.
“He’s more excited about the hit than the win,” he said.
Livingston’s two-out, RBI single in the fourth was the highlight of his night. He even had the ball sitting on his locker shelf. He’s still trying to track down a game ball.
“I was more excited about that hit,” Livingston said.
The win was a long time coming, too. He had a no-decision in his first start, a 10-5 loss to Los Angeles on May 13. He was also 0-3 in nine starts this season at Louisville.
“I had to put a lot of hard work in to one win,” Livingston said. “I’ll take them when I can get them.”
Griffey’s solo shot to right-center in the first inning off Taylor Buchholz was his 12th of the season. Griffey remains in eighth place on the all-time list. Mark McGwire is seventh with 583 homers.
“I was fortunate to get a ball I could hit and I hit it,” Griffey said.
Buchholz (2-3) has given up a homer to Griffey and Barry Bonds this week. He gave up Bonds’ 746th homer on Sunday.
“I didn’t make great pitches to them and they hit them out,” said Buchholz, who went 6 2-3 innings and gave up six hits and four runs.
Alex Gonzalez hit a two-run homer to left off Buchholz in the fourth, his 11th of the season.
“Everybody did a little bit of something,” Livingston said.
Including the bullpen. The Reds’ relievers gave up a run in 2 1-3 innings. David Weathers threw the final 1 1-3 innings for his 11th save in 12 opportunities.
Livingston was pulled in the seventh after throwing 107 pitches.
“He said he was a little bit stiff,” manager Jerry Narron said. “Bobby did a great job for us.”
The Reds may have just found their fifth starter.
“We’ll talk about it and see,” Narron said. “I was happy to get the win.”
Matt Holliday’s single in the first extended his hitting streak to 10 games. However, he was taken out in the fifth after suffering a head contusion in the dugout. The Rockies said he is day-to-day.
Colorado manager Clint Hurdle didn’t elaborate on the injury after the game.
“Well, he bumped his head in the dugout. Hard enough where we had to bring him out of the game,” Hurdle said. “That’s all I got.”
That’s just the Rockies’ luck this season. After winning seven straight— their longest streak since 1998—the team has lost three in a row.
“It’s a little bit of a puzzle,” Hurdle said. “We had big hits in the winning streak. We had different opportunities (Friday night), but we were just not able to get that big push when we needed.”
The Rockies stranded 12 baserunners.
“We were a big hit from breaking something open,” Hurdle said.
Willy Taveras was back in the Rockies lineup after smashing his right index finger Monday on a bunt attempt. He used a glue-like substance to keep his fingernail from falling off.
Taveras had a bunt single in the third, his major league-leading 14th bunt hit of the season, and finished with three hits and drove in a run when Griffey misplayed his two-out single in the eighth, allowing the looper to fall in.
“Right in the lights,” Griffey said. “It always seems to happen to me.”
OF Josh Hamilton (stomach infection) is not expected to join the Reds in Denver. Narron said he would probably be available Tuesday in St. Louis. … Colorado finished May with a winning record (15-13) for the first time since 2002. … Rockies OF Brad Hawpe’s 10-game hitting streak ended with an 0-for-3 night. … A walk to Hawpe in the sixth was the first issued by a Reds starter in 36 1-3 innings.