|Colorado Rockies' Todd Helton (17) is congratulated by third base coach Rich Dauer (25) after Helton hit a two-run home run against the Cincinnati Reds in the second inning of a baseball game, Friday, May 25, 2012, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman)|
Helton HRs, Rockies end Reds' streak with 6-3 win
Helton had a two-run homer -- his first since April 29 -- and a run-scoring single off Johnny Cueto (5-2), who gave up a career-high 11 hits in only 4 2-3 innings. Troy Tulowitzki had three hits, including an RBI single in the ninth.
Rookie left-hander Christian Friedrich (2-1) went five innings against an offense that had been on a home run tear -- 10 in the last four games. Joey Votto had four hits for the Reds, including a pair of doubles.
Rafael Betancourt pitched a perfect ninth for his eighth save in nine chances, closing out only the Rockies' fifth win in their last 20 games.
Votto had three of his hits off Friedrich, who gave up seven hits and three runs while fanning six. Todd Frazier doubled home a pair of runs.
Friedrich's short stint put more pressure on the Rockies' bullpen, which has pitched the second-most innings in the NL. Colorado's rotation has a 5.55 ERA that is worst in the league.
Five relievers blanked the Reds on a pair of hits. The Reds failed to hit a homer and stranded six runners in scoring position overall.
Cueto's uncharacteristically sloppy outing ended the Reds' surge into first place in the NL Central. The rotation had been solid, putting together six straight quality starts on the homestand.
The beat-up Rockies opened the series with more injuries. Catcher Ramon Hernandez went on the 15-day disabled list before the game with a sprained left hand that has bothered him for several days. Right fielder Michael Cuddyer -- one of Colorado's hottest hitters -- was a late scratch from the lineup because of a stiff neck.
The mix-and-match lineup held its own against Cueto, who came in with a 1.97 ERA but gave up five runs. Every Rockies starter had at least one hit in a 13-hit night overall.
Helton hit a two-run homer in the second, and Eric Young singled home another run in the third for a 3-0 lead.
After the Reds put together four hits to tie it in the third, Helton's RBI single helped the Rockies pull back ahead 5-3 in the fifth.
NOTES: Right-hander Mike Leake tries to win his second straight start on Saturday against Colorado's Jeremy Guthrie. ... The Rockies called up C Wil Nieves from Triple-A to take Hernandez's spot. The Rockies are Nieves' fifth major league club. ... Friedrich singled in the fourth off Cueto for his first big league hit. ... It was the third time Votto had four hits in a game this season. ... RF Jay Bruce was out of the Reds' lineup, getting a day to regroup from a deep slump. He's hitless in his last 14 at-bats and 1 for 31 overall. ... 3B Scott Rolen, who went on the DL on May 12 with a sore left shoulder, hasn't tried to hit yet. He said his shoulder is feeling better.
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