By HAL McCOY
As if they really needed a reminder, Cincinnati Reds starter Matt Harvey and the relief corps discovered what happens in Coors Field if they don’t keep the ball out of the thin mile-high air.
The Colorado Rockies unloaded four home runs Sunday afternoon and put an 8-2 whipping on the Reds to take two of three in the series.
Harvey gave up two, Tanner Rainey gave up one and Dylan Floro gave up one. The Reds? No home runs. And they had only two hits from the fourth inning through the eighth inning.
The Reds gave Harvey a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on back-to-back two-out doubles by Joey Votto and Scooter Gennett.
It lasted long enough only for Harvey to take the mound in the bottom of the first. He gave up a one-out home run to David Dahl and a two-out two-run guided missile to Carlos Gonzalez that traveled 460 feet, second longest home run in Coors Field this year.
Gonzalez, a folk hero in Denver but in his fading years, didn’t start the first two games of the series. But when this game ended he had four hits, drove in two runs and scored two.
Harvey settled in after the first, pitching his way out of some trouble spots, and it was still 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth. But Tony Wolters, batting .150, led the sixth with a single, was sacrificed to second and scored on Charlie Blackmon’s single against relief pitcher Wandy Peralta to make it 4-1.
Tanner Rainey replaced Peralta and his inauguration in Coors Field was a two-run home run by Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado.
Now it was 6-1.
That, though, is never insurmountable in Coors and it was only the seventh inning when Dylan Floro took the mound. He gave up a single to Gonzalez. That brought up high-paid free agent Ian Desmond. He was 0 for 10 in the series, hitting .170 for the season and the object of the Coors boo birds every time he made an out.
This time he lifted a two-run home run over the center field wall for an 8-1 lead.
Harvey, losing his first game as a Reds starter, gave up four runs, nine hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings.
The Reds filled the bases with no outs in the eighth inning against left handed relief pitcher Mike Dunn. He loaded the bases by walking Joey Votto on a 3-and-2 pitch, despite the fact Votto is 1 for 13 for his career against Dunn.
That brought up Scooter Gennett, who had hits in his first two times up, giving him seven straight hits after he went 5-for-5 Saturday night. Dunn struck him out.
Manager Bud Black brought in Adam Ottavino to face Eugenio Suarez and he hit into an inning-ending double play.
Black started Brook Pounders to pitch the ninth. He retired Scott Schebler on a fly ball to the wall in left. Then he gave up three straight singles to Jose Peraza, Adam Duvall and Billy Hamilton to once again fill the bases. Peraza scored on a wild pitch to make it 8-2. When Pounders walked Jesse Winker to re-load the bases, Black had enough.
Even though it wasn’t a save situation — six-run lead, bases loaded — Black brought in closer Wade Davis. It took him one pitch to end the game. Tucker Barnhart lined one right in Davis’ glove for the second out and Davis threw to third to double off Duvall and end the game.
The Reds move from Denver to Phoenix for a Monday night game against the fast-fading Arizona Diamondbacks, the first game of a three-game series. The Diamondbacks led the National League West for the first month-and-a-half of the season, then lost nine of their last 10 and have fallen behind the Rockies.