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Votto's walk-off pushed Reds past Rockies

The SportsXchange

CINCINNATI -- Depending on the situation, Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto doesn't automatically have the green light with a 3-0 count. But with the score tied in the bottom of the ninth Friday night, Cincinnati needed something more from Votto than his team-leading 29th walk.

Votto found a pitch to his liking from Colorado left-hander Boone Logan and sent it sailing 437 feet to center field, lifting the Reds to a 4-3 victory over the Rockies in the opener of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park.

"If there's a chance for him to get a good pitch to hit in that at-bat ...he's the guy," said Reds manager Bryan Price.

It was Votto's fifth home run this season and fourth-career walkoff. Third baseman Todd Frazier added his sixth home run of the season for Cincinnati (16-18), which won seven of its past nine games at home.

"I was just trying to be aggressive in that situation," Votto said. "I put a good swing on it. It was a good win for the ballclub. I just ended up being the guy to come through at the end."

Logan (1-1) took the loss, and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki homered for Colorado (22-16), which dropped a second straight game for the first time since April 14.

Reds starting pitcher Johnny Cueto largely was responsible for halting a pair of Rockies hitting streaks.

Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado went 0-for-3 with a walk to end his 28-game streak, and first baseman Carlos Gonzalez went 0-for-4, snapping his 10-game streak.

"I didn't see many pitches to hit, and the ones I saw, I missed," said Arenado. "That's the first time I've faced (Cueto). He's got a sneaky fastball, and he locates it really well. He's one of the best pitchers I've ever seen."

Both starting pitchers finished strong Friday.

Rockies right-hander Jhoulys Chacin, making just his second start since coming off the disabled list, allowed two runs and four hits through six innings. He allowed just two baserunners in his final four innings.

"You could see his confidence growing every inning, especially with his fastball," said Rockies manager Walt Weiss.

Cueto retired the final 11 batters he faced, finishing with two runs allowed and five hits in eight innings with one walk and eight strikeouts.

"Early he wasn't as sharp, but he found that ability to do that sinker/cutter combination again," said Price. "He left a couple sliders up, one to Tulowitzki for the home run. He realized that wasn't his best pitch. He's just so confident and locked in."

Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton, who had missed six starts with bruised knuckles suffered while making a diving catch May 1, pinch-hit for Cueto in the eighth and doubled down the right field line.

Hamilton advanced to third on center fielder Skip Schumaker's sacrifice bunt and scored the go-ahead run on catcher Brayan Pena's sacrifice fly, making the score 3-2.

But Colorado rallied in the ninth against reliever Jonathan Broxton when Arenado walked with one out and scored the tying run on a double by first baseman Justin Morneau.

Broxton (1-0) picked up the victory moments later on Votto's homer.

Schumaker led off the first with a double and later scored on second baseman Brandon Phillips' sacrifice fly to put Cincinnati ahead 1-0.

In the second, Frazier sent Chacin's first pitch sailing an estimated 485 feet onto the Riverboat Deck high above center field, putting the Reds ahead 2-0.

Cueto was dominant early, but the Rockies had some good swings against him, beginning with Tulowitzki's 404-foot solo home run, his 10th homer of the season, leading off the fourth. It was the seventh home run allowed by Cueto this season.

Rockies right fielder Charlie Blackmon's RBI single in the fifth tied the score 2-2.

"We knew it was going to be tough to score runs on Cueto," said Weiss. "We knew we had to scratch and claw. We had to batted every at bat and make him earn every out. They battled all the way through. Boone got into a tough count against a really good hitter."

NOTES: 3B Todd Frazier's second-inning homer was estimated to be the sixth longest in Great American Ball Park history. ... LHP Aroldis Chapman's return to the Cincinnati bullpen was pushed back a day after he threw back-to-back days for Triple-A Louisville earlier this week. "We're going to watch him play catch and see how he feels," manager Bryan Price said. "From a practical standpoint, it was better to go into a series with a fresh arm." ... Reds 1B Joey Votto batted cleanup for the first time since 2009. ... Rockies 1B Justin Morneau returned to the starting lineup after being scratched from Thursday's start because of neck stiffness. ... Rockies 3B Troy Tulowitzki has reached base in 21 consecutive games.
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