DENVER (AP) - Eugenio Suarez epitomized a power surge unlike any the Cincinnati Reds have generated in some 17 years.
Suarez homered twice in a game for the first time in his career, Alfredo Simon pitched seven strong innings for his first win in nearly a month, and the Reds beat the Colorado Rockies 11-4 on Thursday night.
Zack Cozart and Adam Duvall also homered for the Reds, who almost doubled their total of road wins this season (now seven) by taking three of four in the series. Jay Bruce tripled and doubled to drive in a pair of runs for Cincinnati.
Nolan Arenado, Carlos Gonzalez and Trevor Story homered for the Rockies, who completed a 2-5 homestand.
The Reds finished with 12 homers during their stay in Colorado, their most in a series since hitting 15 in a three-game set at Philadelphia in September 1999.
“Obviously, a really tough month of May for us and it was really nice to get things rolling again,” Cincinnati manager Bryan Price said. “We knew the front end of the season was probably the most challenging, especially after all the injuries in spring training and early in the season. And now to be able to get deep in the game with a couple starters, and we know as we get into June and July we’re going to have a lot of our younger guys and our guys on the DL. Things will definitely start to look up. They’re already starting to look up after these three wins here.”
Suarez triggered the Reds’ six-run fifth with his first homer of the night, a three-run shot on the first pitch from Chad Qualls, who had relieved Eddie Butler (2-3). Suarez added a solo drive off Gonzalez Germen in the sixth for his fourth RBI, tying a career best.
“May for me was really hard, a struggle,” said Suarez, who came into the game with three hits in his last 37 at-bats, dropping his average 25 points to .222. “But right now, I feel more strong in my mind. Just play the game, enjoy the game, no matter what happens.”
Simon (2-5) allowed four runs and five hits, withstanding back-to-back homers by Gonzalez and Arenado to earn his first win since beating Milwaukee on May 5. Gonzalez has homered in six of his last eight games and Arenado connected for his 17th of the season, tops in the National League.
Simon was ejected from his previous start Saturday against Milwaukee after hitting an opposing player with a pitch. After the right-hander plunked Mark Reynolds leading off the seventh this time, Story drove a 1-2 offering into the left-field bleachers for his 15th homer of the season.
Butler went four-plus innings and allowed eight runs on 11 hits, including homers by Cozart in the third and Duvall in the fourth.
Butler faced four batters in the fifth without getting an out, walking Joey Votto and allowing a run-scoring double by Bruce and an RBI single by Duvall before being relieved by Qualls.
“I just didn’t make good pitches, and when I did, they found a way to hit it,” Butler said. “They hit every mistake I threw.”
The Rockies fell to 10-15 at home this season.
“It’s just bad,” Gonzalez said. “It’s that simple. We have to start playing better at home. We’ve got to continue to play well on the road, but if we want to get somewhere, we’ve got to play well at home. That’s the bottom line.”
Reds: RHP Homer Bailey (right elbow) is scheduled to throw off a mound this weekend for the first time since he had Tommy John surgery on May 8, 2015. … 2B Brandon Phillips returned to the starting lineup after missing the previous two games with a sore left ankle. He was injured Sunday in Milwaukee when he slid into a wall while making a catch in foul territory.
Rockies: LHP Boone Logan (left shoulder inflammation) threw 20 pitches in a bullpen session. He is scheduled to throw one inning Saturday on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque. … C Nick Hundley (strained left oblique) was scheduled to catch seven innings in the first game of a doubleheader and be the DH in the second game for Albuquerque.
Reds: LHP Brandon Finnegan (1-4) seeks his first win since mid-April when he starts Friday night against Washington in the opener of a three-game series at Great American Ball Park.
Rockies: LHP Chris Rusin (1-3), who has appeared in relief and in the rotation, will be looking for his first win as a starter this season when he takes the mound Friday night at San Diego.
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