Jhoulys Chacin's strong outing dissolved amid a lapse in his control followed quickly by successive defensive breakdowns.
Chacin threw five scoreless innings before coming undone in the sixth, when the Reds took advantage of a couple of walks and poor defense to rally past the Colorado Rockies 4-1 Friday night. Cincinnati snapped a 10-game losing streak at Coors Field dating back to August 2008.
"I lost my focus a little bit," Chacin said. "The first five innings, I had all my pitches, my good command, everything. But when you walk the first hitter (in the sixth), that's when you pay for it. after that, that's what happened, errors and they got runs and we lost.
"It's a really bad taste when you lose a game like that," Chacin said
The Rockies were without shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who was held out Friday night to rest a sore left hip. In the fifth inning, they lost Carlos Gonzalez and manager Jim Tracy to ejection for complaining about home plate umpire Mark Carlson's strike zone.
After retiring 11 straight batters, Chacin (11-11) walked Brandon Phillips to open the sixth. With one out, Joey Votto singled, and right fielder Smith made a poor throw to Nelson, allowing Dave Sappelt to take third. Nelson retrieved the ball on the infield grass and tried to throw on the run to get Votto at second base. The throw went into right field, and Sappelt scored.
"It happens. You've just got to minimize the damage," said Nelson.
But the Rockies didn't minimize it enough.
They followed the defensive miscuses with two more walks, and scored two runs on a single by Ryan Hanigan and another on Paul Janish's single.
"You know, three walks, two base hits, a couple of errors, they put their runs up in one inning," Tracy said. "And we were 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position. But one run is not going to get you very far; that's what it boils down to."
Homer Bailey, who won for the first time in five starts since Aug. 13, allowed one run in 7 2-3 innings.
Francisco Cordero earned his 15th straight save since the All-Star break and 32nd of the season. It was the 322nd save of Cordero's career, the most by any pitcher from the Dominican Republic. He had been tied with Jose Mesa.
Gonzalez and Tracy were ejected by Carlson after Gonzalez struck out in the fifth. Neither Gonzalez nor Tracy agreed with the first two called strikes.
"I knew exactly what my player was upset about and personally I felt like he had very much a right to be upset about it," Tracy said. "There were a couple of strikes called that drastically varied, one of them away, one down. That's a tough strike zone for any hitter."
Bailey (8-7) beat the Rockies for the first time after going 0-2 with a 7.23 ERA against them in three previous starts. He allowed six hits, including Nelson's homer in the third.
Chacin worked 5 1-3 innings and threw 91 pitches in his first start since Aug. 28. He had a bout of tonsilitis and had logged 170 innings in first full season in the majors, and the Rockies want to monitor his workload. He pitched 173 innings last year, including 35 2-3 at Triple-A Colorado Springs, and before the game, Tracy said the Rockies plan to limit Chacin to 194 innings this season. He is scheduled to make three more starts.
NOTES: Rockies reliever Edgmer Escalona was reinstated from the DL, and after giving up a leadoff double to Brandon Phillips in the seventh, he retired the next three batters. ... Rockies first baseman Todd Helton was back in the lineup after missing four straight games due to back stiffness. With Tulowitzki out with a sore left hip, Helton hit cleanup for the second time this season. ... Tracy's ejection was his fourth this season. Gonzalez is the third Rockies player to be ejected this season, the others being Tulowitzki and catcher Chris Iannetta. ... Right-hander Edinson Volquez will return to the Reds rotation Sunday. He was demoted to Triple-A Louisville on July 7 after going 5-4 with a 5.93 ERA in 16 starts with the Reds. In 13 starts at Louisville, he went 4-2 with a 2.37 ERA in 13 starts. ... Alex White will make his fourth start for the Rockies and second at Coors Field since being acquired in the trade that sent Ubaldo Jimenez to the Cleveland Indians. Bronson Arroyo, who is 1-4 with a 4.05 ERA in 10 starts since the All-Star break will start for the Reds. Arroyo has allowed 37 home runs, a single-season Reds record for a right-handed pither. Left-hander Eric Milton allowed a club-record 40 homers in 2005.