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Tulowitzki's shot carries Rockies past Reds

The SportsXchange

CINCINNATI -- When the umpires ruled that Troy Tulowitzki's line drive had cleared the fence for a two-run, go-ahead home run in the eighth inning, nobody was happier than right-hander Edgmer Escalona.

"I was like, 'Thank you, God,'" Escalona said.

The Rockies can laugh now. Escalona's balk allowed the go-ahead run to score for Cincinnati in the seventh, but Tulowitzki's two-out homer an inning later lifted the Colorado Rockies to a 5-4 victory on Tuesday night at Great American Ball Park.

"If we lose that game, it would've been talked about," Tulowitzki said of the balk. "Now it'll be talked about a lot less."

With the score tied 3-3 and runners on first and third with one out, Escalona faked a throw to third, then turned and faked to first, a move that's banned under a rule instituted this season. A balk was called and Xavier Paul jogged home to put the Reds ahead 4-3.

"I got confused," Escalona said. "I just forgot."

But Tulowitzki picked up his teammate when, with Carlos Gonzalez on first and two outs in the eighth, he launched a 3-2 pitch from Sam LeCure just over the left-field wall to put Colorado ahead to stay.

Replays confirmed the ball cleared the wall before being caught by a fan. The umpires needed just one minute and 40 seconds to award Tulowitzki his 13th home run.

"That was a big-time homer by a big-time player," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "It was a big win to get on the road. I think (Escalona) just forgot. At some point this year, somebody was going to do it."

Rex Brothers pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for his second save. Josh Outman (2-0) picked up the victory.

While the Rockies joked in the clubhouse about Escalona's gaffe, the Reds were in anything but a jovial mood.

"Tulowitzki is a notorious high-ball hitter, and you know me, I try to keep the ball down in the zone," LeCure said. "That one was a little up for me, and he put a good swing on it. We battled our butts off to come back and scratched out that run to take the lead. That's a game we should've won. I'm not going to hide."

LeCure (1-1) had not allowed a run since May 5, a streak of 10 appearances.

Reds starter Homer Bailey allowed three runs and four hits in the second inning but gave up just two hits and had six strikeouts in his six other innings. He retired 13 straight before Todd Helton's leadoff single in the seventh.

Rockies starter Juan Nicasio allowed three runs and five hits, walked two and struck out three in six innings.

Colorado had runners on first and third in the seventh with the score tied 3-3, but pinch-hitter Jonathan Pacheco grounded into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.

A day after being shut out for the fourth time this season, the Rockies came out swinging on Tuesday.

Jonathan Herrera's two-run double in the second put the Rockies ahead 2-0. Dexter Fowler made it 3-0 with an RBI single off Bailey, who was 1-4 with a 5.47 ERA in five starts against Colorado. Herrera went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI for the Rockies.

Cincinnati hit Nicasio hard in the fourth. RBI doubles by Todd Frazier and Ryan Hanigan tied the score 3-3. But the Reds lost for the second time in three games after leading in the eighth.

"Those are real tough," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "You hate to keep losing on home runs. It's a long year. I have to give my guys some love."

NOTES: Rockies RHP Tyler Chatwood returned to Denver on Tuesday to undergo an MRI on his right arm. He left Monday's game after just 64 pitches with right triceps soreness. An initial examination by head trainer Keith Dugger indicated a hyperextension. Chatwood will skip Wednesday's bullpen session. "Probably will be tough for him to make his next start if he misses his bullpens," Weiss said. "The initial report sounds good. We want to make sure the next time he runs out there, he's right." ... Reds 2B Brandon Phillips, who has missed three games with a bruised left forearm after being hit by a pitch on Saturday, took batting practice and ground balls on Tuesday. Phillips is not expected to return to the starting lineup until Friday when the Reds begin a three-game series at home against the National League Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals. ... Rockies 2B Nolan Arenado was given a day off after going 3-for-28 in his past six games.
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