Fresh off uncommon street win, Rockies search cut up vs. Reds

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Cincinnati RedsJul 10, 2024; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Colorado Rockies outfielder Sam Hilliard (16) reacts after hitting a two-run home run in the third inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies will have the chance to split a road series Thursday afternoon when they take the field against the Cincinnati Reds in the finale of a four-game series.

The Rockies held on for a 6-5 win on Wednesday, marking just their 13th win in 46 tries away from home.

Sam Hilliard belted a pair of home runs, his first two in a Rockies uniform since returning after spending the 2023 season in Atlanta. He spent the first three months of this season with Triple-A Albuquerque before Colorado promoted him in late June.

“I love the fact that I’m back with the Rockies,” Hilliard said. “It feels like home to me. It feels really, really good. I’ve been working really hard, and it paid off (Wednesday). Hopefully, I can build off this, get some momentum, and get some opportunities to help the team win.”

Hilliard hit just three homers in 40 games with the Braves last year after collecting a total of 29 in 214 games with the Rockies from 2019-22.

Colorado starter Kyle Freeland beat the Reds on Wednesday, the Rockies’ first victory over Cincinnati in six tries this season.

Freeland allowed just two runs on eight hits and walked just one while striking out nine in 6 2/3 innings. He logged his first win of the year in his eighth start.

The Rockies will send another left-hander to the mound in the Thursday matinee, Austin Gomber (2-5, 4.47 ERA).

In his latest start, Gomber notched his first victory since May 15, tossing a season-high 99 pitches while firing seven innings of one-run ball against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday. He gave six hits and no walks while striking out three.

Gomber is 1-1 with a 4.78 ERA in eight career outings, including four starts, against the Reds.

Cincinnati counters with right-hander Hunter Greene (5-4, 3.45), fresh from his first All-Star Game selection. He was chosen as a replacement for injured Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Tyler Glasnow.

“Hopefully I have a lot more opportunities and I’ll be able to enjoy moments like this,” Greene said. “It’s exciting to be able to do it early (in my career).”

Greene was dominant in his Saturday start against the Detroit Tigers. He allowed just three hits over seven shutout innings, striking out seven and walking two.

The Reds average 3.39 runs per game in which he starts, tied for third-lowest figure among qualified starters in the majors through Tuesday’s games.

Greene is 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA in two career starts vs. the Rockies, both in Denver.

Before the Wednesday game, the Reds transferred right-hander Graham Ashcraft from his option at Triple-A Louisville to the 15-day injured list due to right elbow soreness.

Reds president of baseball operations Nick Krall said the team would wait to see how he responds to rest over the next two weeks before determining the next course of action.

Cincinnati rookie Rece Hinds had another impressive game on Wednesday. After homering in each of his first two major league outings the prior two days, he added an RBI single.

Austin Slater made his Cincinnati debut, starting in center field and going 1-for-3. He was acquired from the San Francisco Giants on Sunday in exchange for left-handed reliever Alex Young.

–Field Level Media