Hilliard hits two home runs, Freeland strikes out nine batters as Colorado Rockies narrowly defeat Cincinnati Reds 6-5

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Kyle Freeland pitches in the 1st inning

Sam Hilliard hit two home runs, marking his first homer since last April, while Kyle Freeland achieved a season-high nine strikeouts as the Colorado Rockies narrowly defeated the Cincinnati Reds 6-5 on Wednesday night.

Freeland (1-3) has now allowed two or fewer earned runs in four consecutive starts, giving up two runs on eight hits with one walk over 6 2/3 innings.

Prior to this game, Colorado had lost eight consecutive matchups against the Reds, including the first five meetings this season.

“They had a good series against us in Denver and these (first) two here,” remarked Rockies manager Bud Black. “We needed to stop them. It starts with the starting pitcher. Kyle did his part. The offense did its part to give us six runs.”

Hilliard contributed a two-run homer in the third inning and a solo shot in the fifth, marking his third career multi-homer game and his first since April 24, 2023, when he hit two home runs against Miami while playing for the Braves.

“That’s the goal, to contribute and help the team find a way to win ballgames,” Hilliard said. “I’ve been working hard over the last couple of years. It feels great to be back with the Rockies. This feels like home to me.”

Jonathan India runs the bases after hitting a home run in the 3rd inning

Jonathan India, returning to the lineup as the Reds’ designated hitter after sitting out Tuesday’s game due to a bruised knee, hit a solo home run in the third inning, bringing the score to 3-1. It was his seventh homer of the season.

Despite India’s homer, the Reds struggled against Freeland, who noted their aggressive approach against fastballs early in the game.

“We noticed early on that they were strictly hunting fastballs,” Freeland explained. “So we decided to mix in more off-speed pitches and waited for them to adjust. We stuck with that approach throughout the game.”

In the sixth inning, Brenton Doyle walked and scored on Jake Cave’s double, extending the Rockies’ lead to 5-1.

Reds starter Frankie Montas (4-7) allowed five earned runs on eight hits over seven innings.

In the seventh inning, Tyler Stephenson doubled but was thrown out attempting to stretch it into a triple on a relay throw from second baseman Brendon Rodgers.


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