Rockies 12, Reds 7
Jordan Pacheco was on his way out of the Colorado clubhouse with the ball he hit for his first home run in his pocket, a keepsake for his father after helping the Rockies beat the Cincinnati Reds 12-7 on Saturday.
The home run broke a fifth-inning tie, and Pacheco's two-run single capped a four-run eighth in a game in which the teams combined for nine home runs in the first five innings.
The Reds hit five homers off starter Alex White, who tied a Rockies record for homers allowed in a game. White (2-1) gave up three homers in succession. He has allowed nine homers in 22 innings in four starts with the Rockies and has a 8.18 ERA.
''It's really embarrassing, to be honest,'' White said. ''I'm pretty bad right now. It's amazing that I still get the win there, because I certainly don't deserve it. The team picked me up, and I got out of there with it still tied.''
White, acquired in the July 31 trade that sent pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez to the Cleveland Indians, lasted five innings in his second start at Coors Field. Staked to a 6-1 lead after two innings, White gave up a solo homer to Chris Heisey in the third and a two-run shot to Juan Francisco after walking Jay Bruce with two out.
The Reds teed off on White with one out in the fifth, when Heisey, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce hit successive home runs in a nine-pitch sequence that tied the game at 7. White, 23, regrouped and got two fly ball outs to finish an outing that included just four outs on ground balls - two in the first inning.
''I didn't see him back off (after the three consecutive home runs),'' Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. ''And that is very, very encouraging to see. He put the inning down. The game was tied. It was only the fifth inning, and you're going to use a lot of bullpen, but he hung right in there.''
Tracy said White's pitches basically stayed on the same plane, even his slider, as the ball entered the hitting area. Before the trade to the Rockies, White, who missed more than two months because of a torn tendon in his right middle finger, made his seventh major league start.
''My finger feels good,'' White said. ''I don't think that has anything to do with it. My arm felt good, body feels good. I think it's really just consistency with my delivery, consistency with my location and sometimes maybe a little too much effort and I lose my spot on certain pitches and they get hit. That's just something I can't do at this level.''
Pacheco, playing in his fourth game in the big leagues, got into a 3-1 count against Matt Maloney (0-2) and homered over the center field fence. His two-run single in the eighth came with two out against Jeremy Horst. Pacheco has five hits in his first 14 at-bats, for a .357 average, with one homer and five RBI - including two two-RBI games.
''I don't have any different feel about this kid than I had in spring training,'' Tracy said. ''This is a very, very solid offensive player with a real good idea of the strike zone and a nice chip for us moving forward.''
The Rockies hit three homers in the first two innings, knocking out Bronson Arroyo and giving him a share of a dubious Reds record. Arroyo has allowed 40 home runs, tying Eric Milton for the team's single-season mark set in 2005.
Mark Ellis began a four-run barrage in the first with a homer, his fifth since joining the Rockies and fourth at Coors Field. Carlos Gonzalez lined a double off the out-of-town scoreboard in right field. Troy Tulowitzki, back in the lineup after left hip soreness kept him out Friday, singled home Gonzalez.
Jason Giambi hit a two-run homer to straightaway center field for his 13th shot of the season and No. 428 overall. He moved past Mike Piazza and into 42nd place on baseball's career list.
White led off the second with his first major league hit, a double that went over the head of right fielder Jay Bruce, who was fighting the sun. Dexter Fowler followed with his fifth home run, a drive that hit off the facing of the second deck in right field and finished Arroyo's day.
''Looked like he was getting balls over the heart of the plate and up,'' Reds manager Dusty Baker said. ''That doesn't favor well in this ballpark. He hung a couple breaking balls, a couple of fastballs were centered. Balls missed location. That's all it takes here. Same thing happened to White on their side.''
Arroyo tied his career low with one inning, something he also did in 2008 and 2009. He is 0-2 at Coors Field with an 8.84 ERA in 10 games, including eight starts, but didn't blame his troubles on the altitude.
''Their guys got to (deal with) the same thing,'' Arroyo said. ''It's not like it's an unfair fight. I don't think you can get accustomed to that. The air isn't going to change. I've had a difficult time with this lineup over the years, especially at this ballpark. I don't see them a whole lot. It's hard to have a concrete game plan. You're unsure of guys' mental processes at the plate, to be able to pick them apart.''
Matt Belisle, Rex Brothers, Huston Street and Rafael Betancourt followed White to the mound and combined to allow one hit over the final four innings. Betancourt's appearance was a non-save situation after Pacheco delivered his two-run single, offensive icing for him after a home run that went an estimated 422 feet.
''I got into a couple good counts, so I was able to let the bat fly a little bit.'' Pacheco said. ''I'm just trying to stay inside the ball and look up the middle (and) the other way. I wasn't trying to do too much. Late in the game, you pray for every run you can get. We were able to push across four, so that was nice.''
Notes: White is the third Rockies pitcher to allow five home runs in a game but the first to do it after the 2002 installation of the humidor at Coors Field. ... Rockies 2B Mark Ellis left the game in the sixth after getting hit in the head by a pitch from Carlos Fisher. Ellis sat up right away after being hit and walked off the field unaided. ... The last time the Reds hit three consecutive homers was Aug. 13, 2006, at Philadelphia when Juan Encarnacion, Adam Dunn and Rich Aurilia did it. ... Heisey has had three two-homer games in his career, all this season. ... Left-hander Drew Pomeranz will make his major league debut and start for the Rockies on Sunday. Edinson Volquez, 5-4 with a 5.93 ERA, will make his first start for the Reds since July 5. He went 3-2 with a 2.47 ERA in 11 starts at Triple-A Louisville after being sent down.