Tapia finishes single shy of cycle, Rockies beat Reds 5-3 (Jul 03, 2017)

BY AP • July 4, 2017

DENVER (AP) Raimel Tapia finished a single shy of the cycle and didn't even need to get dirty.

He's just a stand-up player.

The rookie left fielder hit a go-ahead homer in the sixth as part of his big night, Charlie Blackmon lined a solo shot after it was announced he would participate in the All-Star Home Run Derby and the Colorado Rockies beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-3 on Monday night.

''Stand-up triple . Stand-up double. Stand-up homer,'' manager Bud Black cracked of Tapia. ''Tonight was `Tap Time.'''

Just in time, too, with the Rockies returning home following a forgetful 1-8 trip.

''Regardless of how we've played of late, everyone is in a good spot,'' right-hander Jeff Hoffman said. ''There doesn't need to be a dramatic change in the way we go about our game plan.''

Especially for Hoffman (5-1), who nearly collected as many hits at the plate (two) as he surrendered on the mound (four). He went seven effective innings, with his only hiccup back-to-back homers to Scooter Gennett and Joey Votto in the sixth. Hoffman's run-scoring double in the second was his first major league RBI.

''I expect a lot from Jeff,'' Black said. ''That was a good game.''

Hoffman turned the ball over to the bullpen, where Jake McGee pitched the eighth and recently named All-Star Greg Holland threw a perfect ninth for his 27th save in 28 chances. Holland broke the team mark for most saves before the All-Star break, surpassing Huston Street's mark in 2011.

Cincinnati righty Luis Castillo (0-1) went 5 2-3 innings and allowed four runs. He also struck out eight.

''They made really good contact on the good pitches I made. There's nothing I can do about it,'' Castillo said through a translator.

Tapia filled in for left fielder Ian Desmond, who went on the 10-day disabled list Monday with a strained right calf. The 23-year-old Tapia had a triple in the second, double in the third and a homer in the sixth that just cleared the fence in right field. He had a chance for the fourth cycle at Coors Field this season in the eighth, but struck out.

''Trying to keep my swing the same, stay in my zone. Get a pitch and didn't work out for me,'' Tapia said through a translator of needing a single.

The leadoff-hitting Blackmon hit his 18th homer of the season in the fourth. He's set to join a Home Run Derby field that includes Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who will defend his title in his home ballpark.

''There are a lot of guys that I would've expected to get picked before me,'' Blackmon said. ''I may not be the most obvious of choices to put in there. I'm glad to be there.''


Reds: OF Billy Hamilton (stiff lower back) wasn't in the starting lineup. ''We're hoping that he's ready in the next day or two to take on his full-time regular responsibilities,'' manager Bryan Price said. ... The Reds have a schedule they're following with SS Zack Cozart as he returns from a strained right quadriceps. He entered as a pinch-hitter in the seventh and grounded out.


Votto kept up his torrid hitting with a towering homer. It was the 1,500th major league hit of his career.

''It's vintage Joey at this point,'' Price said of his All-Star player. ''I'm happy as anything that he made the All-Star (team) and I hope he gets to play enough to where that people who don't get to see the Reds play a lot get a chance to see him and how he handles himself.''


Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu had three singles. ... Slumping outfielder Carlos Gonzalez was reinstated from the disabled list Monday after being out since June 26 with a strained right shoulder. He went 0 for 4 with an RBI on a fielder's choice.


The Rockies are hoping to add a fifth All-Star in first baseman Mark Reynolds, who's a Final Vote candidate.

''I told Reynolds I was going to vote for him,'' Black said.


Reds: RHP Homer Bailey (0-2, 27.00 ERA) tries to get on track in his third start of the season Tuesday. He's allowed 14 runs over 4 2/3 innings in his previous two outings.

Rockies: LHP Kyle Freeland (8-6, 3.84 ERA) had two hits, including his first major league homer, the last time he faced the Reds in Cincinnati on May 21. He also earned the win.


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