Reds hope to keep smiling in matinee vs. Rockies

( - The losing streak is over for the Cincinnati Reds.

Now they'll try to string back-to-back wins together for the first time in almost two weeks when they play the rubber match of a three-game set versus the Colorado Rockies Wednesday afternoon.

The Reds halted a season-long nine-game losing streak with Tuesday's 2-1 verdict to even this series, as Skip Schumaker's RBI double in the bottom of the ninth inning gave Cincinnati its first victory since a three-game win streak from May 12-14.

Marlon Byrd drew a leadoff walk in the decisive frame and advanced to second when Kristopher Negron directed a sacrifice bunt toward the mound. Pinch- hitting for closer Aroldis Chapman, Schumaker came through in the clutch.

"We needed a win," said Schumaker. "I don't care how it happened, we just needed to smile for once around here."

Billy Hamilton drove in the other run, while Chapman picked up the win with three strikeouts in a scoreless inning of relief for the Reds, who got seven innings out of starter Michael Lorenzen. He allowed a run on two hits with three walks and three strikeouts.

Jay Bruce finished 1-for-4 and has hit safely in eight of his last nine games, going 15-for-34 with three doubles, two home runs and three RBI.

Cincinnati aims for a series victory Wednesday and will host the Washington Nationals for three games this weekend.

Mike Leake gets the start for the Reds Wednesday and has a 2-3 record with a 4.14 earned run average in nine starts. Leake has dropped back-to-back trips to the mound and Cincinnati is winless in his past three appearances.

Leake allowed five runs in four innings of a 7-3 loss at Cleveland on Friday, one outing after getting torched for nine runs and 11 hits in five innings of an 11-2 loss to San Francisco on May 16. Leake gave up one run in three starts from April 30 to May 11.

In three career starts against the Rockies, Leake is 1-1 with a 6.46 ERA.

Colorado targets a series triumph as well and had its three-game winning streak come to an end last night. Brooks Brown served up Schumaker's big hit in the ninth inning and starter Chris Rusin pitched seven strong innings, allowing one run and four hits with five K's and four walks.

"Rusin was outstanding," said Rockies manager Walt Weiss. "Good fastball with late movement. Threw his secondary stuff for strikes. He was in control, all the way."

Rusin took the place of starter Jorge De La Rosa, who missed the start because of a laceration on his left middle finger didn't heal in time. De La Rosa is expected to throw Saturday in Philadelphia.

"It's a little sore because they had to shave my finger to get to the cut," De La Rosa said. "They want to give me extra rest."

Nick Hundley homered as part of his two hits for the Rockies.

The Rockies will visit the Phillies for three games this weekend.

Opening Day may seem like decades ago for Rockies starting pitcher Kyle Kendrick, who gets the call Wednesday afternoon. Kendrick is 0-6 in eight starts since his season debut on April 6 and previously toed the rubber in an 11-8 loss to San Francisco last Friday.

Kendrick, who fired seven shutout innings on Opening Day, allowed four runs and five hits in 6 1/3 innings versus the Giants. He was coming off a 1-0 loss at Los Angeles in which the right-hander threw seven innings of one-run ball.

In nine starts this season, Kendrick has a 1-6 record and a 6.58 earned run average. He has faced the Reds 10 times (9 starts) in his career and is 3-4 with a 4.34 ERA.

Colorado went 4-3 against Cincinnati last season and will host the Reds for three games in July.