A tightly pitched game between the Rockies and Reds was determined by two ongoing trends. Cincinnati's bullpen can't escape its rut and Trevor Story's power can't be contained for long. It was Story's eighth-inning home run that gave Colorado a boost toward a 5-1 victory on Monday -- its fifth win over the last six games.
Reds reliever Ross Ohlendorf, who was coming off a loss at St. Louis on Sunday when he allowed an eighth-inning run that also snapped a tie game, was cruising with five in a row retired and three strikeouts after taking over in the seventh inning. There were two outs on two K's in the eighth when Story ripped a first-pitch fastball to center field for a no-doubt homer, his eighth of the young season. He set a Major League record for fewest games (13) with eight career home runs.
Ohlendorf followed Story by allowing a single up the middle and a walk before he was replaced. Jumbo Diaz's first batter, Ben Paulsen, crushed his first homer of the season -- a three-run shot to center field that blew the game open. It was Diaz's third homer allowed in eight appearances.
Rockies starter Jordan Lyles gave up one unearned run and four hits over seven innings while throwing 76 pitches to earn the victory. Lyles, who hadn't yet completed five innings entering, had one intentional walk and struck out four. The Reds, who have dropped six of their last seven games, have the second-highest bullpen ERA in the National League behind only Colorado.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED It had been soooo long: Remember when Story seemed to homer every day? Folks got spoiled before he went 27 at-bats without going deep. With the Reds playing and pitching him to pull all game, it was a matter of time before the ball ended up in the home-run wheelhouse of Story, who is not necessarily a pull hitter.
Golden D: There's a reason Rockies left fielder Gerardo Parra and third baseman Nolan Arenado have five Rawlings Gold Glove Awards between them (three for Arenado), and the Reds' Jay Bruce found out in the fifth. Bruce thought he had a triple when his leadoff drive bounced off the left-center wall, but Parra took dead aim with his throw, and Arenado made a spinning back-tag. Reds manager Bryan Price challenged, but replay showed Bruce's leg was above the bag when Arenado's glove made contact.
Not-so-golden E: The Reds made it a 1-1 game when the defense betrayed Colorado in the sixth. Following a Zack Cozart hit that scorched off Story's glove, Jordan Pacheco followed with a double to the left-field wall. Parra's cutoff throw was short and one-hopped to Story but got away, letting Cozart score. An error was charged to Parra on the play.
Straily's strikes: Moved from the bullpen into the rotation for his first start of 2016, Dan Straily gave the Reds five nice innings and allowed one run, two hits and two walks over five innings with four strikeouts for a no-decision. Hovering mostly in the 88-91 mph range and topping at 92 mph, Straily threw 52 of his 76 pitches for strikes and first-pitch strikes to 13 of his 18 batters.
WHAT'S NEXT Rockies: Lefty Jorge De La Rosa (1-1, 8.80 ERA), who shed some of his early struggles by striking out seven Giants in 6 2/3 innings while winning on Thursday at home, will start against the Reds at 5:10 p.m. MT on Tuesday. De La Rosa is 3-3 with a 7.42 ERA in 11 appearances against the Reds.
Reds: Following a rough week, Alfredo Simon will be looking for good results when he makes the start vs. the Rockies at 7:10 p.m. ET Tuesday. Last week, Simon had both the shortest start of his career -- two-thirds of an inning vs. the Cubs on Wednesday -- and a one-inning relief appearance at St. Louis on Friday. The combined totals were nine runs (eight earned) three walks, two strikeouts and two home runs allowed.