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Rockies Swept, Reds Win 7-2

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The Colorado Rockies (37-63) were swept in a series for the sixth time this season, the latest by the NL Central leading Cincinnati Reds (61-40), who have now won ten in a row including yesteday’s 7-2 victory in Denver. The Rockies have today off before opening a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals (54-48) tomorrow night at Coors Field.

Colorado starter Jonathan Sanchez’s home debut was a short-lived start in which he was shelled for six runs before the fifth inning had concluded. With Sanchez’s line of work in 4 1/3 innings, the ERA of the Rockies starting rotation swelled to 6.34, which would be tied for the second-worst in Major League history (1939 St. Louis Browns). The starting staff of the 1999 Detroit Tigers combined for a 6.64 ERA.

In his second game with the Rockies since being acquired from Kansas City in a July 20 trade for Jeremy Guthrie, Sanchez (0-2) was nicked for runs in each of the first three innings, including leadoff triples in the second and third. He entered the day with a career 4-3 record at Coors Field — having made eight starts here with the San Francisco Giants.

“I got hit around,” Sanchez said. “I was throwing strikes, and they were swinging the bat. Right now, it’s not working, but I have to go out there and keep fighting. I’ve got to be more aggressive.”

Sanchez was 1-6 with the Royals, but Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd thought a change of scenery would do the lefty well. But, after two looks, he’s been no better than Guthrie, who won three of his 15 starts. In Sanchez’s first start with the club, July 23 against Arizona, he gave up five earned runs in four innings.

Official: Sunday’s Box Score.

Josh Rutledge gave Sanchez a lead in the bottom of the first inning, shooting the first pitch he saw from Reds starter Mat Latos into the Rockies bullpen for his second career home run. Rutledge, hitting in the No. 2 hole for the second day in a row, added a single in the third inning to increase his batting average to .379 since his July 13 callup.

Drew Stubbs and Jay Bruce each crushed fifth-inning homers off Sanchez. Bruce’s second-decker to right chased Sanchez from the game, the second day in a row Tracy has had to relieve the starting pitcher before 15 outs.

From the second inning on, Latos was dominant in his second start of the year against the Rockies, a far cry from the five homers he gave up in a May 27 start in Cincinnati. Latos (9-3) gave up four hits in his eight innings of work, striking out eight.

Carlos Torres struck out five Reds in 2 2/3 innings of relief for the Rockies, who have lost five straight games and are 18 games back in the National League West.

Tickets are available for tomorrow night’s game at Coors Field vs. the St. Louis Cardinals, and can be purchased by calling (800) 388-ROCK, or click here.

[ColoradoRockies.com]

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