CINCINNATI | With the top of the Rockies’ lineup struggling to do much of anything, the guys who bat at the bottom did all the damage in their latest win.
Ian Desmond hit a two-run homer , and Gerardo Parra and Tony Wolters each drove in a pair of runs Wednesday night as the bottom of the batting order powered Colorado to a 6-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
Those three hitters — 6 through 8 in the order — drove in all six runs and accounted for five of Colorado’s eight hits, enjoying some breakout games individually. Desmond came in batting .193, Wolters .159.
The Rockies needed their big games. Their top three hitters in the lineup went 1 for 14 with three strikeouts.
“We saw some good things offensively from guys in the deep part of the order,” manager Bud Black said.
Colorado arrived in town with a season-high four straight losses, all set up by blown leads. Jon Gray (6-6) went five innings and showed signs of emerging from his recent struggles after refining his delivery. The bullpen held on to give the Rockies their second consecutive win in the series.
Cincinnati’s Scooter Gennett drove in a pair of runs with a double and a sacrifice fly on the one-year anniversary of his record-setting game .
The second baseman became the 17th player in major league history to hit four home runs last June 6 against the Cardinals at Great American Ball Park. Gennett also became the first to have four homers, five hits and 10 RBIs in a game.
He was no match for the bottom of the Rockies’ order.
Wolters batted eighth and doubled home a run with two outs in the second inning against Sal Romano (3-7). Sixth-place hitter Parra singled home a run in the fourth, and Desmond followed with his 11th homer for a 4-2 lead.
“We lost again when I pitched,” said Romano, who faced one batter in the sixth before leaving. “It doesn’t matter what I say, I gave up five runs.”
Wolters singled home another run with two outs in the sixth, and Parra had an RBI single in the eighth as the Rockies pulled away.
Gray came into the game in a deep slump — 1-2 with 9.33 ERA in his last four starts. He gave up three runs and seven hits in five innings. Four relievers finished it, with Wade Davis pitching the ninth for his second straight save in the series and his NL-leading 20th in 22 chances.
“I was a little in-and-out of the moment at times, and I had to find that rhythm,” said Gray, who threw 101 pitches. “I felt I was getting closer. There were definitely some positives to take out of it.”
The Reds fell to 21-41 overall. They’ve matched the 1950 team for second-worst start in franchise history, trailing only the 1934 team that went 19-43.
The Rockies have won four of the five games in their season series with the Reds. On Thursday, they’ll try for their first three-game sweep in Cincinnati since 2005.
The Reds wore a special uniform honoring the military on the anniversary of D-Day.
Charlie Blackmon went 0 for 5, ending a 12-game hitting streak that was his longest of the season.
Reds left fielder Jesse Winker made a diving catch of DJ LeMahieu’s liner in the third inning, robbing him of an extra-base hit.
Rockies: Relief pitcher Adam Ottavino could resume throwing off a mound by the end of the week. He’s recovering from a strained left oblique.
Reds: RHP Homer Bailey is expected to resume throwing Thursday. He went on the 10-day DL last week with a sore right knee.
Rockies: Left-hander Tyler Anderson (3-1) faced the Reds on May 26 at Coors Field and gave up three runs on six hits in six innings of Cincinnati’s 6-5 win.
Reds: Tyler Mahle (4-6) is 1-3 in his last five starts.