Closser had been benched once and Wright was on the verge of
being yanked from the rotation, but both responded with big games
on Saturday night in Colorado's 7-5 victory over the Cincinnati
Wright regrouped after a shaky start to work six innings and
Closser hit a two-run double during a six-run sixth to help the
Rockies win their season-high third straight.
"I'd say it was J.D.'s biggest hit to date," Hurdle said.
"For him it's got to start somewhere."
Closser, batting .188, was benched for two games after fanning
three times on May 14 against Arizona, and Wright was told by
Hurdle to get his act together after not winning since May 9. He
had gone 0-3 with a 6.43 ERA in his previous four starts.
"I told him we would not accept mediocrity. It's June," Hurdle
said. "So he exhibits professional resolve after a rough first
inning and gives us a strong effort."
"I knew I had to put in more good innings than bad ones,"
The Reds have lost four in a row and 13 of 16 on the road.
Colorado did most of its damage against Aaron Harang, who was
3-0 with a 2.12 ERA in his previous three starts.
Harang (4-3) was strong early, allowing only two hits through
five innings before the Rockies reached him for three straight hits
in the sixth. Desi Relaford had an RBI double and Todd Helton
followed with an RBI single.
Harang then gave up an RBI single to Garrett Atkins before
Closser drove in two runs with a double to left.
"I don't know what happened," Harang said. "I left a couple
of pitches up and they put some good wood on the ball."
Pinch-hitter Cory Sullivan greeted reliever Todd Coffey with an
RBI single, and Colorado took a 6-4 lead into the seventh.
"Aaron was breezing along, but he's not invincible,"
Cincinnati manager Dave Miley said. "They put some hits together
on him, but we had a lot of opportunities."
Joe Randa hit his sixth home run for Cincinnati, and Felipe
Lopez had three hits.
The Reds jumped on Wright early with a four-run first. Randa hit
a solo homer, Aurilia added a two-run single and Jason LaRue had an
"I almost reached my pitch count in the first inning," said
Wright, who threw 33 pitches in the inning. "I came back and threw
strikes and had quick innings after that."
Wright gave up six hits, but no runs over the next five innings
before giving way to Matt Anderson in the seventh.
LaRue has a 12-game hitting streak. ... Reds OF Ryan Freel
was given a day off after going 0-for-5 on Friday. ... Ken Griffey
Jr. was thrown out at third when rounding the bag too far in the
fifth inning after an infield single by Aurilia. ... The Rockies
placed RHP Shawn Chacon on the 15-day disabled list. ... Colorado
reinstated LHP Bobby Seay from the DL after the game.
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