Rockies 6, Reds 2
DENVER (AP) _ Colorado starter Bill Swift proved Saturday that pitching velocity doesn’t matter nearly as much as pitching location in games played at Coors Field.
In his first start since July 27, Swift allowed one run in five innings as the Rockies defeated the Cincinnati Reds 6-2.
Swift (7-2), who was on the disabled list with shoulder stiffness, improved to 5-1 lifetime against Cincinnati. In extending his winning streak to six games, he allowed six hits, struck out one and walked one.
``I wasn’t sure when I was throwing in the bullpen, but once I got on the mound I felt pretty good,″ Swift said. ``It hurt when I threw my sinker, but that’s my out pitch and you have to bear it.″
The Rockies began the day .001 ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West.
``You bet pitching was the difference when you consider their two pitchers threw sliders, curves and sinkers and kept the ball down,″ Reds acting manager Ray Knight said. ``Swift only threw 85 mph, but his ball was moving and he kept it down. My pitcher, David Wells couldn’t keep the ball down all day and paid for it.″
Kevin Ritz pitched the final four innings for his first major league save.
``That’s the kind of performance you expect from a veteran,″ Colorado manager Don Baylor said. ``We wanted five innings out of Bill and to have Ritz pick him up and Ritz picked him up.″
Offensively for the Rockies, Andres Galarraga drove in two runs with his second homer in as many days and Vinny Castilla added two RBIs.
The Rockies scored three times in the bottom of the first when Eric Young tripled and scored on Trenidad Hubbard’s single. Two outs later, Galarraga hit his 29th homer.
Colorado made it 4-1 in the third inning when Larry Walker doubled and scored on Castilla’s sacrifice fly.
The Rockies chased Wells (4-3) with one out in the fifth with doubles by Dante Bichette, Walker and Castilla to make it 6-1.
Cincinnati cut the lead in the eighth against Ritz with back-to-back one-out doubles by Reggie Sanders and Hal Morris.
Wells allowed six runs on 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings.
Knight ran the team while Reds manager Davey Johnson served the second of his two-game suspension.
``We were lethargic out there for the second game in a row,″ Knight said. ``We didn’t get the big hit when we needed it and we had a chance to get back into the game.″
Notes: Young’s first-inning triple was his eighth of the year, tying a club record set by him in 1993 and matched by Mike Kingery last year. ... Walt Weiss returned to the Rockies lineup after missing the last five games with a left groin strain. ... Bichette (34), Castilla (30), Walker (29) and Galarraga (29) have combined for 122 home runs, more than eight NL teams. ... The Reds stranded 21 runners in scoring position in the last four games. ... Joel Youngblood moved from the Reds’ first base coaching box to third and Hal McRae coached at first. ... Sanders has hit nine home runs and driven in 22 runs in his last 18 games. ... Wells didn’t strike out a batter after fanning 29 in his 40 previous innings.