By HAL McCOY
Fans in Coors Field waited three hours and eight minutes through a lightning show and a rain delay for the start of what they expected to be a major league baseball game.
What they got, when festivities finally commenced, was a slow pitch softball game with the ball ricocheting around Coors like super balls on steroids.
Final score: Cincinnati Bar & Grille Reds 17, Colorado Deluxe Car Wash Rockies 9.
All that was missing in this circus was a high-wire act and dancing bears.
Reds starter Tanner Roark gave up seven runs and a career-high 13 hits, including three home runs in 4 2/3 innings, and didn’t get a loss.
He gave up four runs in the first inning and the Rockies led 4-0, 4-2 and 7-5. But the Reds scored five runs in the sixth inning to take a 10-7 lead and they piled on from there.
That five-run sixth consisted of a three-run home run by Derek Dietrich, his first home run since June 19 that gave the Reds their first lead, 8-7, and a two-run home run by Yasiel Puig to make it 10-7.
The Rockies called up Kyle Freeland from Triple-A to start this one and it was disastrous. Freeland was 17-and-6 last year, but was 2-and-6 with a 7.13 earned run average and was sent down to the minors.
He was 0-and-4 with an 8.44 ERA for the Albuquerque Isotopes, the Rockies’ Triple-A affiliate. He couldn’t hold that 4-0 first-inning lead and lasted only four innings, giving up five runs and nine hits.
Colorado scored two in the sixth to cut the Reds’ lead to 10-9, but the Reds scored five more in the seventh for a 15-9 lead, highlighted by a home run by Curt Casali and a two-run double by Yasiel Puig.
The Reds raked a season-high 24 hits, spiced with five triples, three home runs and four doubles. They became the first team in the modern era (since 1900) to collect five triples and three home runs in one game.
Phillip Ervin had a week’s worth of hits, a career-best six hits in six at bats and drove in three runs. He had a triple, a double and four singles. And to make it a complete night he stole a base.
His six hits tied a franchise record, done six times. The last to do it was catcher Walker Cooper in 1949.
The game didn’t end until 3:11 a.m. Eastern time after 362 pitches were thrown, 192 by Colorado and 170 by Cincinnati.
The five triples were the most since the 1929 Reds ripped five triples against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Nick Senzel had two triples to go with his career-best four hits. Yasiel Puig had a home run, a double and two singles to drive in four runs. Jose Peraza had four hits and drove in three runs.
To add spice to the show, Joey Votto was called out on strikes by umpire James Hoye in the ninth. Votto argued too long and used some grammar that Hoye didn’t like and Votto was ejected. Arguing with an umpire with your team ahead by six runs in the ninth inning seemed rather silly.
But it was a silly night as the Reds ended a three-game losing streak.