ROOKIE TAPIA LEADS WAY AS ROCKIES WIN 5-3
ROCKIES 5, REDS 3 Rookie outfielder contributes double, triple, home run
The number of theories why the Rockies so often struggle to win outside the square state can only fit on a scroll, an unwinding list of shots in the dark, from “hangovers” to high-altitude spin rates to blood-oxygen levels and eyesight adjustments.
Their manager rejected them all Monday as the Rockies returned home in a free-fall after losing eight of their nine games across the National League West and 10 of their past 12.
“We just didn’t play well,” skipper Bud Black said before the Rockies kicked off a seven-game homestand that will take them to the all-star break. “When you don’t pitch and don’t hit, that’s a bad combo.”
Coors Field, though, is a siren, a hitters’ paradise of highway-sized outfields. And as the Rockies posted a 5-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, propelled by rookie Raimel Tapia’s near-cycle performance and Charlie Blackmon’s line-drive home run, their parachute opened.
The Rockies finally gained some ground on the idle Dodgers and Diamondbacks, improving to 6½ games back in the NL West race after their division rivals buried them in rubble over the past week. Colorado’s lineup struck out in eight at-bats against Reds starter Luis Castillo, sure, but he was dinged for nine hits.
“Regardless of how we played as of late, everybody is in a good spot,” Rockies right-hander Jeff Hoffman said. “Guys are doing their best, doing their jobs. A majority of time lately, it hasn’t worked. But we’re not changing anything. We’re putting our foot on the gas and trying to be the team we are.”
Tapia’s home run to lead off the sixth inning, a soft shot to right field, gave the Rockies a 4-3 lead. The string bean 23-
Rockies rookie left fielder Raimel Tapia is congratulated by shortstop Trevor Story after hitting his second career home run, a solo shot off the Cincinnati Reds’ Luis Castillo during the sixth inning Monday night at Coors Field to give Colorado a 4-3 lead. Tapia also doubled and tripled.