Reynolds wins first game for Rockies
Hot-hitting Hawpe homers in second straight game
DENVER -- Handed a five-run lead after one inning on Saturday night, Rockies rookie pitcher Greg Reynolds raised his standards. Then he had to lower them.
"Right when I was going back onto the field, I told myself throwing a zero up right there was big ... obviously, that didn't happen," said Reynolds, who walked the leadoff man and had given up two runs on three hits and a walk with just one out in the second inning.
But Reynolds escaped the inning with a line-drive double play and came up with enough big pitches in six innings to earn his first Major League victory. The Rockies' 7-2 win over the Brewers at Coors Field in front of 37,283 was their fourth in a row, matching the longest winning streak of the season.
Reynolds (1-3) had given up 12 runs (10 earned) in 10 2/3 innings over his previous two outings. But by using his sinking fastball to frustrate hitters on Saturday, he gave the Rockies what they expected when they made him their top pick in 2006 out of Stanford.
"I think it [the first victory] was a little overdue for me and my expectations," said Reynolds, who left after hitting the leadoff man in the seventh, but was backed by scoreless relief work from Jorge De La Rosa, Jason Grilli and Taylor Buchholz. "It was everything I thought it would be. I'm really happy about it."
Brad Hawpe homered in his second straight game off the disabled list, with Saturday's shot being a first-inning grand slam off Dave Bush (2-6). Chris Iannetta followed with a solo shot for a 5-0 lead. Then young players made major contributions.
Reynolds, who forced Bush to line out to him to start the double play to end the second, held the Brewers to four hits and had a couple more big escapes. He gave up no runs after J.J. Hardy's leadoff double in the fifth, and forced a double play to end the sixth.
"Confidence is always important," manager Clint Hurdle said. "He's got a lot of want to. He's got a nice little package of pitches -- a sinker, he can go upstairs with the four-seamer, the breaking ball, the changeup. The one big inning that's been getting in his way, he was able to stay away from that. That's a good sign."
Ian Stewart, called up because of multiple injuries, launched a third-deck home run in the fifth and made two standout defensive plays. Omar Quintanilla, another emergency callup, combined with Stewart on the sixth-inning double play.
Now, the Rockies are just 24-38 and they realize it'll take some time to pull out of their early-season hole. One of this team's hallmarks is conservative emotion, but the Rockies also know crazy runs happen.
So, with a quick-fire offense and getting contributions from young players -- two elements that helped get the team into the World Series last year -- are the Rockies onto something special?
"It's the same thing as when we were losing," said Hawpe, who was slumping before suffering a hamstring injury but now is up to six home runs and 23 RBIs. "We didn't want to say, 'Ah, man, this is terrible.' When we're winning, we don't want to say, 'Ah, man, this is great.'
"That being said, we want to continue to win. We want to have that confident feeling, the knowledge that we've got a better-than-average chance to win the game that day. It'll be nice to run that out for a few weeks."
The first inning marked the first grand slam and the first back-to-back homers for the Rockies this season. The Rockies believe their ready to make such production more common.
"Even when we were struggling, we were still confident in what we were doing," said Iannetta, who added an RBI single in the eighth.
Stewart's homer, his first of the season, sailed higher than the right-field foul pole for the 27th third-deck homer since Coors opened in 1995. Brewers manager Ned Yost argued that it should have been called foul.
"I thought I had a good view of it," Yost said. "It's a tough call but I thought it was foul. It wasn't blatant. ... I don't think anybody [knows] because the ball was hit so high."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.