Saturday, August 11, 2001

Rockies 16, Reds 7

4-0 lead disappears in mix of errors, lousy pitching

By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Chris Reitsma reacts after giving up a 3-run homer.
(Brandi Stafford photo)
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        When Reds shortstop Juan Castro made two errors in the sixth inning to give the Colorado Rockies six gift-wrapped runs, it seemed like a big deal. But the way the Reds pitched the rest of the way, it wasn't.

        Castro's tough inning turned out to be merely the beginning of a tough night for the Reds as the Rockies beat up on them 16-7 before 22,778 at Cinergy Field.

        “Tough night for us,” manager Bob Boone said. “Juan made errors, then we didn't do a lot to pick him up. The bullpen couldn't stop them.”

        The 16 runs were the most the Reds have allowed in one game this year. The outburst also equalled a Colorado road record.

        The Rockies won back-to-back road games for the first time since they swept the Reds June 15-17.

Juan Castro throws wildly to first.
(AP photo)
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        The Reds are 1-3 on the homestand after going 5-1 on a West Coast trip. They are 17-40 at home this season.

        The Reds gave starter Chris Reitsma (5-12) a 4-0 lead but he couldn't hold it. Reitsma has not won a game he started since June 20.

        “I feel like I let the team down,” Reitsma said. “I'll take this one on my back. I didn't make good pitches when I needed to. I didn't deserve to win this game.”

        The Reds took the lead in the third. Castro got things started with a double.

        Reitsma drop a bunt in front of the mound, trying to sacrifice Castro over. First baseman Todd Helton fielded the ball and fired to third, but Castro beat the tag with a head-first slide.

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Adam Dunn and Sean Casey celebrate after scoring on Aaron Boone's double.
(Brandi Stafford photo)
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        Adam Dunn got the first run home with a single to right. Sean Casey drove in the second run by banging a double off the wall in right.

        Aaron Boone followed with a double into the left-field corner, and Dunn and Casey scored to make it 4-0.

        The Rockies got a run back in the fourth, but the fifth was the killer for Reitsma. He allowed an infield single to Juan Uribe and a walk to Adam Melhuse, then got the next two hitters to ground out.

        He was an out from escaping, but Jose Ortiz didn't let him. Ortiz, a 24-year-old who played a total of seven games in the majors before this season, launched a high drive to left for a three-run home run.

        That tied it at 4.

Aaron Boone salutes Ken Griffey Jr. after Griffey's homer.
(Brandi Stafford photo)
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        After Dunn walked, Ken Griffey Jr. got the lead back for the Reds with a blast on a 1-2 pitch from Rockies starter Shawn Chacon, his 13th homer of the year.

        But the lead didn't last long. Castro, who made two errors in 269 chances last year, made two in the sixth that led to four unearned runs.

        “One of those games,” Castro said. “I feel bad.”

        The Rockies had runners at first and third with one out, when Castro fielded Uribe's grounder and tried to beat Greg Norton to second for the force. But Norton beat him to the bag, so Castro tried to jump over the sliding Norton and throw at the same time. The ball went about 10 feet over first baseman Casey's head.

        “He came real close to turning (a double play) on that one,” Boone said. “If you're going to throw them away, really throw them away.”

Aaron Boone gets force out on Juan Uribe.
(Brandi Stafford photo)
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        Castro did — the ball ended up in the dugout. Todd Helton and Norton scored and Uribe ended up at second.

        Uribe scored when Adam Melhuse singled.

        That was it for Reitsma. Reliever Chris Nichting got pinch-hitter Mark Little to ground sharply to Castro.

        “He made a great stop,” Boone said.

        But a bad throw. It also went into the dugout.

        That made it 8-6, and it got worse from there. Nichting allowed another run. Then Hector Mercado and Scott MacRae each gave up three.


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