By Hal McCoy
The Cincinnati Reds were just what the doctor order for the Colorado Rockies — take nine innings and call the doctor in the morning.
The Rockies had lost 10 of their last 11 games when the Reds came calling Monday night in Coors Field. But they walked off the field with a 5-3 victory.
For the Reds it is another example of living low on the road. They are 12-and-26 this season in games away from Great American Ball Park.
Rookie Luis Castillo made his third major league start and in his first two starts he left the games with a lead only to have the bullpen blow the games.
THIS TIME CASTILLO, a 24-year-old right hander promoted directly from Double-A Pensacola a couple of weeks ago, lost this one on his own.
He pitched 5 2/3 innings and gave up four runs and nine hits, walking one and striking out eight.
The Reds gave him a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Joey Votto’s sacrifice fly, but Castillo gave up single runs in the second, third and fourth to fall behind, 3-1.
One of the runs came when Castillo gave up a two-out run-scoring single to opposing pitcher Jeff Hoffman, who was 1 for 25 when he dug into the batter’s box.
CASTILLO STRUCK OUT leadoff hitter Charlie Blackmon the first two times he faced him, but after Castillo struck out the first two in the fourth, Blackmon ripped his 18th home run, the 25th game of the last 26 that the Reds have given up at least one home run in a game.
The Reds tied it in the sixth with back-to-back home runs by Scooter Gennett and Joey Votto. Gennett’s home run was a prodigious wallop, 452 feet from home plate into the upper deck. Votto followed with his 24th home run on a 3-and-0 pitch over the center field wall, his 1,500th career hit.
THE TIE LASTED ONLY UNTIL the Rockies came to bat in the bottom of the sixth and Ramiel Tapia led with a home run to push the Rockies in front for good, 4-3. Earlier in the game Tapia tripled and doubled. Needing a single to complete the cycle, Tapia struck out his last time at bat.
The Rockies added a fifth run in the seventh against Drew Storen on a walk, an infield hit and a sacrifice fly by Nolan Arenado.
The Reds put a runner on first on Gennett’s third hit with one out in the eighth, but Joey Votto hit into a double play.
Greg Holland, the practically peerless closer, pitched a one-two-three ninth with two strikeouts to record his 27th save in 28 chances.
Colorado starter Jeff Hoffman lifted his record to 5-and-1 by holding the Reds to three runs and four hits over seven innings and the Reds finished with only five hits, three by Gennett.