Research reveals that 80 percent of major league doubleheaders are split — each team wins one game.
And the Cincinnati Reds and Colorado Rockies fed into that statistic Sunday afternoon in Great American Ball Park by splitting a doubleheader.
The Rockies won the first game, 8-4, and the Reds took the second game, 10-0, enabling the Reds to take the series two games to one.
Reds starter Nick Lodolo pitched six scoreless innings in Game One, only to watch the bullpen muck it up by giving up eight runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth.
The Reds scored five runs in the fourth inning of Game Two and Aristides Aquino hit his first career grand slam home run in the sixth inning to tuck the game into the win column.
What Lodolo put together the Reds bullpen tore asunder.
Lodolo muzzled the Rockies on no runs with nine strikeouts for six innings and turned a 2-0 lead over to the bullpen.
Four members of the bullpen gave up eight runs over the last three innings and all four gave up runs.
The culprits were Joel Kuhnel, Buck Farmer, Alejandro Cruz and Art Warren.
While Lodolo was mowing down the Rockies, T.J. Friedl provided him with two runs on a pair of solo home runs, one leading off the fourth and one with one out in the sixth.
Kuhnel took over in the seventh and turned that 2-0 lead into a 4-2 deficit. He faced four batters and retired nobody.
He hit C.J. Cron with his first pitch, Elehur Montero singled, Michael Toglia singled and Sean Bouchard walked on a full count, forcing in a run and cutting the Reds lead to 2-1.
Farmer replaced Kuhnel and with pinch-hitter Charlie Blackmon at the plate threw a wild pitch, permitting the tying run to score. Blackmon then pulled a two-run single to right for a 4-2 Rockies lead.
Cruz took over in the eighth and gave up a run. He walked the first batter, Brendan Rodgers, and he took second on a fly ball to center fielder Nick Senzel, took third on a wild pitch and scored on Toglia’s double to make it 5-2.
And what Colorado starter German Marquez put together, the Rockies bullpen almost tore asunder. Almost. Marquez pitched seven innings and gave up two runs (the Friedl home runs) and three hits.
Carlos Estevez pitched the eighth and walked the first batter he faced, Colin Moran on a full count. With one out, Jonathan India crushed a 447-foot home run, and the Reds were back in it, down 5-4.
But the Rockies scored three in the ninth off Art Warren, one scoring on shortstop Jose Barrero’s throwing error and two on C.J. Cron’s home run.
While Lodolo was cruising, the nine strikeouts and more than 30 foul balls hit by the Rockies, pushed his pitch total to the magic 101 level and manager David Bell said that was enough.
The Reds finished with four hits — Friedl’s two home runs (he has five homers in his 16 games since his recall from the minors), India’s home run and a single by Kyle Farmer in the sixth.
The question was which German Marquez would show up? In his last start, he beat the Atlanta Braves. Two starts ago, he gave up nine runs and nine hits in 1 1/3 innings against the Texas Rangers.
For three innings, it was the Atlanta Marquis. Then he regressed to the Texas Marquis in the fourth when the Reds scored five runs.
The first three Reds reached base for two runs, a walk to Kyle Farmer, a run-scoring double by Jake Fraley and a run-scoring single by Nick Senzel.
The inning continued with one out when Alejo Lopez singled, Jose Barrero singled for another run and two more scored on third baseman Ryan McMahon’s wild throw home.
That made it 5-0 until the Reds batted in the sixth and scored five more runs. The first scored on a fielder’s choice, then four more crossed when Aquino launched his grand slam that made it 10-0,
Chase Anderson started for the Reds, he of the 0-2 record, 27.00 earned run average and a .455 batting average for opponents.
He pitched 2 2/3 innings and went to full counts on five of the 10 batters he faced. But he gave up no runs and no hits, escaping damage from four walks.
Derek Law, Ian Gibaut, Dauri Moreta and Hunter Strickland held the Rockies to no runs and four hits over the final 6 1/3 innings. Law pitched two innings and gave up three hits and a walk, but no runs and was credited with the victory.
India extended his hitting streak to 16 games and his on-base streak to 19 games in the first game, but after going 0-for-2 in the second game, he fouled a pitch of his left hand to had leave the game, ending both streaks.
The Reds needed only nine hits to score 10 runs, with Friedl, Senzel and Lopez contributing two each.
About the Author