DENVER -- Greg Reynolds gave the Cincinnati Reds a huge lift on Saturday night and left the Colorado Rockies wondering what might have been had he stayed healthy.
Making his third start of the season for Cincinnati, Reynolds pitched a career-high eight innings as the Reds beat the Rockies 8-3 on Saturday night.
It was Reynolds' first big-league win since July 2, 2011, when he made his last start for the Rockies, who drafted him second overall in 2006. Reynolds threw 72 of 104 pitches for strikes with no walks and five strikeouts.
"That was a huge performance by him, saved my bullpen," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.
Colorado's Todd Helton went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and remained one hit shy of 2,500 in his career.
Brandon Phillips, who went 3-for-5 with two RBIs that gave him a career-high 99 and three runs scored, finished a single shy of the cycle. He had a triple, homer and double in his first three at-bats for the Reds but fell short of the sixth cycle in franchise history and first since Eric Davis accomplished the feat on June 2, 1989.
"It would have been nice to get it done, but tonight was all about Reynolds," Phillips said. "He pitched his butt off. We needed this win. He kept the ball down. Anytime you keep the ball down, positive things can happen, and he did that."
Reynolds, who faced the Rockies for the first time in his career, is an unpleasant footnote in their franchise history.
Colorado drafted Reynolds out of Stanford, picking just ahead of Evan Longoria, a third baseman for Tampa Bay, when Rockies' ownership overruled the scouting department. Reynolds' career with them was waylaid by injuries. In parts of the 2008 and 2010 seasons, Reynolds went 5-8 with a 7.47 ERA for the Rockies in 27 games (16 starts).
"I had good fastball command," Reynolds said. "I didn't give them many mistakes or pitches to hit. I stayed off the plate for the most part. And then later in the game, my cutter was a big pitch. I tried not to show it too early. I went to it a little later, and it seemed to be working well."
Reynolds left the Rockies organization after the 2011 season, pitched at the Triple-A level for Texas last year and signed with the Reds this year. Reynolds, 28, went 12-3 with a 2.42 ERA and three complete games at Triple-A Louisville.
"Mentally I feel that's where I made the biggest strides, kind of knowing how to use my repertoire to my advantage and not letting emotions get in the way of my executing a pitch," Reynolds said. "Where before I'd get a little upset about giving up the hit and I'd over throw or try to make a nasty pitch. Now it's more about making pitches. I really try to go pitch to pitch and keep emotions in check and as calm as possible."
Reynolds started for the Reds in a doubleheader last month and took the spot of injured Tony Cingrani in the rotation last Sunday.
He gave up a run-scoring double to Jordan Pacheco with two out in the sixth, Reynolds retired eight consecutive batters before pinch-hitter Charlie Culberson singled with one out in the eighth and Corey Dickerson homered into the second deck in right field. Sam LeCure pitched the ninth and struck out the side.
"I definitely wanted to finish it," Reynolds said. "It was in my hands, and I made a mistake and they capitalized on it."
Juan Nicasio lasted 4 1/3 innings for the Rockies and gave up six runs. He left with the bases loaded, and Wilton Lopez promptly allowed the three runners to score by committing a balk and then yielding a two-run single to Ryan Ludwick that put the Reds ahead 6-0.
"I thought the game was in the balance right there," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said, "and thought our best shot to get out of the inning was setting up a double play and going to get Wilton. But it didn't work out."
Reynolds held the Rockies scoreless until the fifth when Charlie Blackmon singled with two out and dashed home on a double by pinch-hitter Jordan Pacheo.
Double plays helped Reynolds ease out of two early jams. Nolan Arenado grounded into one to end the second with runners on first and second. After shortstop Zack Cosart missed a catch in the third, putting runners on first and second with no outs, Reynolds made a good play to snare Dickerson's hard bouncer and started a double play.
"That ball's hit up the middle hard," Baker said. "That would have been first and third, and I've seen first and third be a merry-go-round in this ballpark. But he got the double play, and that was a big, big play in the game."
NOTES: Rockies LF Carlos Gonzalez (right middle finger sprain) played seven innings Saturday night in his first rehab game for Triple-A Colorado Springs at Fresno and went 0-for-3...Rockies RHP Roy Oswalt will make a rehab start Tuesday at rookie level Grand Junction. He threw 50 pitches Friday in his third simulated game since he strained his left hamstring July 7. ... Rockies RHP Rafael Betancourt, who has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, will be examined Wednesday by Dr. James Andrews in Pensacola, Fla. Andrews is expected to perform Tommy John surgery on Betancourt later in September. ... Rockies CF Dexter Fowler, who twisted his left knee Monday night and hasn't played since, was slightly improved from Friday, manager Walt Weiss said, but still "a couple days away" from returning. ... The Reds will recall INF Henry Rodriguez, RHP Curtis Partch and OF Derrick Robinson from Triple-A Louisville for Sunday's game. ... Reds C Corky Miller (right quad contusion) played two rehab games at Louisville, one as the designated hitter, and is scheduled to be off Saturday before catching Sunday and returning to the Reds on Monday.