DENVER — Jon Gray hit his first career homer an estimated 467 feet — the farthest by any Rockies player this season — and pitched effectively into the sixth inning as Colorado beat the Cincinnati Reds 5-3 on a sweltering Wednesday night.
Pat Valaika had a career-high three hits, including a two-run homer and a run-scoring single with two outs in the eighth.
Gray’s two-run homer in the second was the longest among pitchers since MLB’s Statcast began tracking distances in 2015. Gray even did a hop out of the batter’s box and rounded the bases at a leisurely pace.
The right-handed Gray (2-0) was solid on the mound, going 5 2/3 innings and allowing three runs, two earned, in his second start since a broken bone in his left foot sidelined him for two months. Greg Holland threw a shaky ninth for his 28th save to help the slumping Rockies win for the third time in 14 games.
It was a scorching day in Denver and the game-time temperature read 97 degrees, which tied for the second-hottest home contest in Rockies history.
Scott Feldman (7-6) gave up four runs in five innings before being lifted for a pinch hitter.
Cruising along, Gray ran into trouble in the sixth when he allowed three straight hits, including a run-scoring single by Eugenio Suarez. After Tucker Barnhart lined a two-out single to load the bases, reliever Scott Oberg was summoned.
Pinch-hitter Adam Duvall hit a routine grounder to Gold Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado, who bobbled the ball for his third error of the season. The mistake allowed a run to score and made it 4-3. Billy Hamilton grounded out to end the threat.
Arenado atoned in the seventh, when he stepped on third and threw to first for a double play that bailed the Rockies out of a jam.
Reds: Catcher Devin Mesoraco was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left shoulder. “The good news is it doesn’t look like there’s any real structural damage,” manager Bryan Price said. … To take Mesoraco’s place, the Reds recalled RHP Ariel Hernandez from Triple-A Louisville. Hernandez pitched 1 2/3 innings and struck out three.
Rockies: 2B DJ LeMahieu (groin) was out of the lineup for a second straight game. “Doesn’t feel as good as I wish it would at this point,” LeMahieu said. “At the same time, it’s good enough to play, good enough to help our team win. I’ll be in there (Thursday) and ready to go.” … OF Gerardo Parra (strained right quad) went 0 for 2 at Triple-A Albuquerque on Tuesday during a rehab assignment.
THIS & THAT
The record for hottest home game at first pitch in Rockies history was 100 degrees on June 25, 2012, against Washington. … All-Star 1B Joey Votto hit his first triple of the season for Cincinnati. … Reds reliever Tony Cingrani threw an inning and gave up a run on his 28th birthday.
Cincinnati RHP Sal Romano (0-1, 6.00 ERA) makes his second career appearance Thursday in the fourth and final game of the series. The Rockies will send RHP Tyler Chatwood (6-9, 4.41) to the mound.