Amid some inconsistent hitting during a rough stretch of games, the Cincinnati Reds turned in a big day at the plate in their last contest.
They may not need to score as many runs with Bronson Arroyo on the hill.
Arroyo tries to win a career high-tying fifth consecutive start as the visiting Reds open a three-game set against the Colorado Rockies on Friday night.
Cincinnati (75-59) had collected six hits in 29 at-bats with runners in scoring position during a 1-4 stretch, and the Reds had alternated scoring six runs and one in the past four contests. The club then went 5 for 10 with runners in scoring position in a 10-0 road win over St. Louis on Wednesday.
Phillips' contributions came after his expletive-filled tirade at a Cincinnati Enquirer reporter, who commented on his .311 on-base percentage.
"That was my original lineup from the beginning - Brandon batting second - trying to put more guys on base in front of Joey (Votto) and Jay," manager Dusty Baker told MLB's official website.
The Reds, 3 1/2 games out in the NL Central, now give the ball to Arroyo (13-9, 3.42 ERA), who has posted a 2.33 ERA during his winning streak. The right-hander hasn't won five consecutive starts since June 29-July 23, 2008.
Arroyo surrendered three runs in seven-plus innings to beat Milwaukee 6-3 on Saturday.
"You know Bronson can do that sometimes and settle down," Baker said after Arroyo gave up two runs in the second inning. "The next thing you know, you're in the seventh."
Arroyo has recorded 14 2-3 scoreless innings in winning his last two starts against the Rockies, most recently throwing eight innings of four-hit ball in a 3-0 victory June 3. He had gone 0-2 with an 8.84 ERA in his first four outings at Coors Field before leading the Reds to a 3-0 victory there July 27, 2012.
One Rockies player Arroyo hasn't done well against is Troy Tulowitzki , 5 for 12 with two homers in their matchups. Tulowitzki, batting .409 in his last 12 games, has hit .424 with 11 homers and 23 RBIs in his last 18 against Cincinnati.
The Reds had dropped 12 of 13 at Colorado before recording a three-game sweep July 27-29, 2012.
The Rockies (63-72) have won four of six after taking two of three from San Francisco. Yorvit Torrealba drove in two runs and Jhoulys Chacin carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning in a 5-4 victory Wednesday.
With Thursday's off day and Tyler Chatwood penciled in for Sunday, it is uncertain if Colorado will turn to scheduled starter Jeff Manship (0-4, 6.86) or move Jorge De La Rosa's turn up from Saturday.
While Manship has dropped each of his four starts since getting called up Aug. 8, De La Rosa has compiled a 3.09 ERA in winning a season high-tying four outings in a row. The left-hander allowed three runs in five innings of a 4-3 victory at Miami on Sunday.
"He really labored," manager Walt Weiss said of De La Rosa, who owns a 3.28 ERA. "His thumb is as bad as it's been in a while. He wasn't himself. He fought to get through the innings he got through. He's dealt with hand issues all year, and he's 14-6."
De La Rosa is 1-2 with a 9.26 ERA in three career starts versus the Reds, last facing them in 2010. Ryan Ludwick is 2 for his last 14 against him.
|August 22, 2013||Jonathan Broxton||60-Day DL||Flexor mass strain, right forearm|
|August 21, 2013||Tony Cingrani||15-Day DL||Strained lower back|
|August 21, 2013||Jonathan Broxton||Day-to-Day||Left game - elbow|
|August 20, 2013||Tony Cingrani||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained lower back|
|August 08, 2013||Corky Miller||15-Day DL||Right quad contusion|
|August 07, 2013||Corky Miller||Day-to-Day||Right quad contusion|
|August 26, 2013||Dexter Fowler||Day-to-Day||Bruised left knee|
|August 25, 2013||Troy Tulowitzki||Day-to-Day||Sore ribs|
|August 23, 2013||Rafael Betancourt||15-Day DL||Right elbow sprain|
|August 19, 2013||Yorvit Torrealba||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|August 19, 2013||Yorvit Torrealba||7-Day DL||Concussion|
|August 08, 2013||Christian Friedrich||60-Day DL||Lower back inflammation|
DENVER (AP) -- Nearing the end of what could be his final season, Todd Helton showed he's still far from done.
Helton, who turned 40 this month, homered twice and matched a decade-old career high with six RBIs to power the Colorado Rockies past the Cincinnati Reds 9-6 on Friday night.
"Two-homer games, six RBIs, that doesn't happen too often nowadays," said Helton, who has hinted at the possibility of retirement but has yet to formally announce his plans. "I've got to take it all in and enjoy it."
Jorge De La Rosa pitched six effective innings for his 15th win. Helton's 28th career multihomer game and first since 2011 left him one hit shy of 2,500.
"He's a very special player and it's a blessing to play with guys like that," De La Rosa said.
The first of Helton's two three-run homers came in the fourth off Bronson Arroyo (13-10), roughed up for six runs and nine hits over 3 1-3 innings in his shortest outing of the season. He issued a one-out walk in the first, ending a 30-inning string without one, and had his four-game winning streak snapped.
Helton homered again in the seventh off reliever Logan Ondrusek , his 11th of the season.
"The old guy can still do it. This was a special night for Todd and everyone who was here to see it," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said.
Both times, Troy Tulowitzki and Wilin Rosario hit successive singles to set the table for Helton, who also had six RBIs against the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 29, 2003.
"I've seen him do a lot of damage," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "He may not be as quick, or this or that, back might be bothering him. He's a smart hitter, plus we made some mistakes, especially the last one. It was down the middle of the plate."
Tulowitzki singled and Rosario doubled to put runners at second and third in the eighth when Helton, given a rousing ovation by the crowd, came up for his final at-bat. He worked the count full, fouling off a couple of pitches from newly recalled reliever Zach Duke before finally striking out.
Helton said he appreciated the warm reception and acknowledged he thought about hitting one more out of the park.
"I was thinking three three-run homers in a game would have been really cool," Helton said with a smile. "It didn't work out, but that's all right. We can save it for another day."
De La Rosa (15-6) allowed three runs and eight hits to win his fifth consecutive start. He improved to 9-1 with a 2.73 ERA in 13 home starts this season.
The Rockies were trailing 2-1 when Tulowitzki and Rosario singled to start the fourth. Helton followed by driving Arroyo's offering into the seats in the second deck above the right-field scoreboard.
"Even in his older years, he's still quick enough to get to the ball on the inner half sometimes, and you can see his wheels turning," Arroyo said. "Sometimes he can guess right. And he's been a guy over the years that's definitely been a challenge for me to get out. It was a 1-0 changeup. He could have popped up to short but he squared it up, broke the game open a bit."
Nolan Arenado and Charlie Blackmon followed with singles and both scored when Charlie Culberson 's line-drive double to left sailed over the head of Ryan Ludwick , who appeared to misjudge the flight of the ball.
Arroyo retired De La Rosa on a grounder for the first out of the inning and was relieved by Alfredo Simon .
The Rockies also touched up Arroyo for a run in the first when rookie Corey Dickerson led off with a triple and scored on D.J. LeMahieu's double.
The Reds tied it in the second on the first of Ryan Hanigan 's two RBI singles. He also singled home Todd Frazier , aboard on a leadoff double, in the fourth.
Ludwick hit a two-out solo homer in the fourth. In the sixth, with the Rockies in front by three, Hanigan was hit by a pitch and pinch-hitter Cesar Izturis doubled to put runners at second and third with one out. But De La Rosa got Shin-Soo Choo on a grounder and struck out Brandon Phillips , the last batter he faced.
Helton hammered a 1-0 offering from Ondrusek in the seventh for his second three-run shot.
Phillips hit a two-run single off reliever Jeff Francis in the ninth, and Devin Mesoraco had a sacrifice fly.
NOTES: The Rockies finished with 19 hits, one shy of their season high. ... Before the game, the Reds recalled Duke from Triple-A Louisville to add a left-hander to their bullpen. RHP Nick Christiani was optioned to Louisville to make room. ... Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez (sprained finger) is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment this weekend and could be activated from the 15-day DL next week. ... RHP Juan Nicasio (8-6) is set to pitch the second game of the series against Reds RHP Greg Reynolds (0-2). ... Injured Rockies closer Rafael Betancourt has told club officials that he plans to undergo Tommy John surgery to repair the torn ligament in his pitching elbow. He faces at least a yearlong rehab.