Rockies-Reds Preview

The Colorado Rockies finally found some quality pitching to complement their continued home run barrage.

That could spell trouble for Cincinnati ahead of Monday night's series opener at Great American Ballpark, considering the Reds have had troubles keeping opponents inside the park.

Colorado (7-5) has won four of five after taking two of three on the road from the Chicago Cubs, who had lost only once in their first nine games. The Rockies limited Chicago to 15 hits in the series after the Cubs came in averaging 9.2 per contest. Tyler Chatwood's seven innings Sunday powered the Rockies to their first shutout in a 2-0 victory - two days after Chad Bettis threw six scoreless innings in a 6-1 win.

Colorado posted a 7.20 ERA before the series.

"Overall, it was a big team win and series win, and that was our focus coming in," Chatwood told MLB's official website.

Nolan Arenado's fifth and sixth home runs were all the offense Colorado needed. The Rockies' 23 homers are tied with Baltimore for the most in baseball, and they're on pace for 46 this month, which would surpass the franchise record of 41 for April, set in 2001.

Arenado has hit .412 with four homers and 11 RBIs in his last nine matchups with the Reds.

Carlos Gonzalez's career-high 21-game hitting streak dating back to last season came to an end Sunday, though he's still batting .367 and has four multihomer games in his last 15 meetings with Cincinnati.

The Reds (6-6) have allowed 20 home runs, tied for the second-most, including 10 in their last three contests. They surrendered 48 runs in losing five of six in road series against the Cubs and St. Louis.

Cincinnati tweaked its rotation ahead of this three-game set, pushing Alfredo Simon back to Tuesday, while Dan Straily (0-0, 3.24 ERA) joins the rotation in the opener. Rookie Tim Melville has been banished to the bullpen after giving up seven earned runs over as many innings in his first two starts.

Straily, claimed off waivers from San Diego on April 2, has logged 8 1-3 innings over three relief appearances. He's 0-3 with a 6.26 ERA in his last nine starts.

Colorado's Jordan Lyles (0-1, 11.25) struggled in two starts at Coors Field, allowing five earned runs both times against San Diego and San Francisco. He has issued five walks over eight innings.

Lyles was in position for a win Wednesday against the Giants but manager Walt Weiss pulled him one out shy of qualifying in an eventual 10-6 victory.

Billy Hamilton is expected to rejoin Cincinnati's lineup after missing two games to rest his surgically repaired shoulder. He's hitting .185 through 11 games.

Zack Cozart has been playing well atop the order, improving his batting average to .483 with a 2-for-4 day in Sunday's 4-3 loss to the Cardinals. He has hit safely in all eight of his starts.

The Rockies have won 12 of the last 18 meetings while batting .307 and averaging 6.5 runs.