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The Reds get back to their rallying ways and sweep the Rockies

DENVER — Earlier this week, the Cincinnati Reds faced an interesting decision. They were calling up prospect Blake Dunn, and they were weighing which player to send down.It could have been rookie Jacob Hurtubise, but the Reds ended up optioning Nick Martini to Triple-A. Even though Martini had been the Reds’ designated hitter for most of the season and even though he was hitting at a solid clip against right-handed pitching, the Reds put more value in Hurtubise’s combination of speed, defense and on-base ability.

On Wednesday, in a comeback 12-7 win over the Colorado Rockies, the decision to keep Hurtubise paid off. When the Reds trailed by three runs in the eighth inning, Hurtubise got the rally going and carved the deficit down to a run. Then first baseman Spencer Steer did the rest with a two-out go-ahead two-run homer in the top of the ninth. Jonathan India tacked on a grand slam as the Reds came up with a six-run ninth inning and a lopsided victory.

Jeimer Candelario round the bases after his two-run home run in the third inning cut the Rockies lead in half. Colorado scored four runs in the first inning off Reds starter Graham Ashcraft.
Jeimer Candelario round the bases after his two-run home run in the third inning cut the Rockies lead in half. Colorado scored four runs in the first inning off Reds starter Graham Ashcraft.

Since he got called up in the middle of May, Hurtubise has been a useful player. He wears down pitchers with his ability to grind at-bats, adds to the Reds’ overall range in the outfield and consistently is able to take the extra base. But before Wednesday, he hadn’t had his big moment yet in the big leagues.

With designated hitter Jake Fraley on first base, Hurtubise saw a slider over the middle of the plate and roped a triple down the roped field line. The comeback was on with the Reds now down by two runs.

Then, with Hurtubise on third base, second baseman Jonathan India hit a fly ball to very shallow left field. Hurtubise tagged up anyway, and he showed off his speed as he slid in safely.

Before Hurtubise created two runs, Reds reliever Brent Suter was warming up in the bullpen to pitch in the bottom of the eighth inning. But then after Hurtubise scored, top setup man Fernando Cruz got warm and entered the game in the eighth with the Reds trailing by a run. Hurtubise’s impact changed manager David Bell’s plan for the final two innings, and Cruz pitched a scoreless frame and kept the Reds in the game.

Reds center fielder TJ Friedl led off the ninth inning by getting hit by a pitch, which put the tying run on base. Then, Steer powered a two-out homer over the left field fence that put the Reds in front.

Elly De La Cruz had a big day in the series finale Wednesday, going 3-for-5 with several outstanding defensive plays turned in at shortstop.
Elly De La Cruz had a big day in the series finale Wednesday, going 3-for-5 with several outstanding defensive plays turned in at shortstop.

The Reds came back from two significant deficits on Wednesday. They fell behind 4-0 in the first inning due to some early struggles by starting pitcher Graham Ashcraft. Then, the bullpen allowed three runs as the Rockies took a 7-4 lead into the eighth inning.

Last year, the Reds had 48 comeback wins. This year, they entered Wednesday’s game with just 12 comeback wins with the Reds nearly 40% of the way through the season.

They wrapped up their series sweep against the Rockies with their most impressive comeback of the season.

The Reds are as close to full strength as they’ve been all year, and the lineup is as imposing as it has been all year. Their bats led the way as the Reds completed their six-game road trip with a 5-1 record.

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: The Reds get back to their rallying ways and sweep the Rockies