Hilliard hits two home runs, Freeland has nine Ks as Rockies beat Reds 6-5 | Sport

Hilliard hits two home runs, Freeland has nine Ks as Rockies beat Reds 6-5 | Sport

CINCINNATI (AP) — Sam Hilliard hit two home runs, his first since last April, and Kyle Freeland had a season-high nine strikeouts and the Colorado Rockies held on to beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-5 on Wednesday night.

Freeland (1-3) has allowed two or fewer earned runs in four consecutive starts, allowing two runs and eight hits with one walk in 6 2/3 innings.

Colorado had lost eight consecutive games against the Reds, including the first five meetings this season.

“They had a good series against us in Denver and these (first) two here,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “We had to stop them. It starts with the starting pitcher. Kyle did his part. The offense did its part to get us six runs.”

Hilliard hit a two-run home run in the third inning and a solo home run in the fifth, making it the third multi-home game of his career and the first since April 24, 2023, when he hit two home runs for the Braves against Miami.

“That’s the goal, to contribute and help the team win games,” Hilliard said. “I’ve worked hard the last few years. It’s nice to be back with the Rockies. It feels like home to me.”

Jonathan India, the Reds’ designated hitter after missing Tuesday’s game with a bruised knee, hit a solo home run in the third inning to make it 3-1. It was his seventh home run.

That was one of the few good hits the Reds had against Freeland.

“We realized early on that they were only after fastballs,” Freeland said. “So we just decided we were going to put spin in the zone and wait for them to make an adjustment. That got us through to the seventh inning.”

Brenton Doyle walked in the sixth inning and scored on Jake Cave’s double, giving the Rockies a 5-1 lead.

Reds starter Frankie Montas (4-7) allowed five earned runs and eight hits in seven innings.

Tyler Stephenson hit a double in the seventh inning, but the Reds catcher was thrown out while attempting a triple on a relay by second baseman Brendon Rodgers.

In the first six innings, India’s home run was the only time a runner got past first base.

Freeland has had four good starts in a row.

“He’s capable of doing that and putting together solid starts,” Black said. “Kyle leads our pack because of who he is and because he’s been playing here for so long. It’s really nice to see him pitch like that.”

Cincinnati rallied from a 6-2 deficit in the ninth inning. Stephenson led off with a solo home run, his eighth, against Victor Vodnik. With runners on first and second base and no outs, Jalen Beeks got Rece Hinds to fly out to right. Santiago Espinal hit a single, bringing home the Reds’ fourth run. India’s sacrifice fly made it 6-5.

Elly De La Cruz was grounded out, giving Beeks his ninth save.

“It’s always tough when you come up short,” Stephenson said. “We got them to add another reliever before tomorrow. We had a little momentum there.”

Hinds, who became the first Reds player since 1937 to have five hits in the first two games of his career, went 1 for 4 with an RBI and a stolen base.


Rockies: OF Charlie Blackmon (right hamstring) strained his hamstring while diving for a fly ball on Monday. He was running and ready to bat before Wednesday’s game. … RHP Jake Bird (right groin strain) was activated from the 15-day injured list and sent to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Reds: RHP Graham Ashcraft (right elbow strain) was placed on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to July 8. Ashcraft was sent to Triple-A Louisville on Monday, but that option was waived. … OF Jake Fraley was activated from the family medical emergency list and OF Blake Dunn was sent to Triple-A.


In the finale of the series, Reds RHP Hunter Greene (5-4, 3.45) faces Rockies LHP Austin Gomber (2-5, 4.47).


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