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CIN@NYY: Cueto hurls seven frames of two-run ball

The Rockies turn to rookie Christian Friedrich on Friday, looking to get a win streak brewing.

Colorado snapped a six-game losing streak on Wednesday, beating the Marlins, 8-4, in the series finale in Miami. Friedrich will make his fourth career start in the opener of a three-game series vs. the surging Reds in Cincinnati.

Friedrich had quality starts in his first two outings, allowing a total of two earned runs while striking out 17 against two walks. But in his last start, the left-hander was hit hard by the Mariners, giving up eight runs on nine hits in five innings.

Going into the season, the Rockies were hoping for solid performances from a relatively young rotation, but the starters have struggled lately, and it's cost the team. In Colorado's first two games of a six-game road trip, the Rockies jumped out to early leads, only to give them up.

That didn't happen on Wednesday, though, as the Rockies rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win for the first time since May 16.

In order for the Rockies -- who are last in the National League West at 16-27 -- to turn it around, they're going to have to get better and longer outings from the youngsters in the rotation.

"There's no doubt about that," manager Jim Tracy said of needing his starters to go deeper in games. "When you're reaching for [the bullpen] for three or four innings a day, I don't know how long that can last. I know that's not a formula for success, let's leave it at that. I know it's not that."

But the Rockies' bullpen combined for three scoreless innings on Wednesday, so that's a start. Still, the Rox could have their hands full with the surging Reds.

Cincinnati has won six in a row, including a four-game sweep of the Braves to begin a seven-game homestand. The Reds (25-19) are 5-0 in their last five games at Great American Ballpark, and have a half-game lead over the Cardinals in the National League Central.

Johnny Cueto gets the ball for the Reds, and the right-hander is off to the best start of his career.

Cueto is 5-1 with a 1.97 ERA in nine starts this year. He's been especially tough at Great American Ball Park, where he owns a 1.42 ERA. In his career against Colorado, Cueto is 1-1 with a 1.69 ERA in three starts.

Rockies: Pacheco streaking
Jordan Pacheco extended his hit streak to a career-high nine games with a single in the third inning on Wednesday.

The third baseman is tied with Pittsburgh's Josh Harrison for the longest active streak in the National League.

Pacheco finished Wednesday's game 1-for-4. During the streak, he's batting .333 (12-for-36) with one home run, two doubles and five RBIs.

Reds: Cozart finds swing
Zach Cozart continues to hit during Cincinnati's homestand, breaking out of a prolonged slump.

The shortstop went 2-for-4 on Thursday for his third multi-hit game in his last four contests. Cozart is 8-for-19 with two homers to start the seven-game homestand after going 2-for-26 during the previous seven-game road trip.

Manager Dusty Baker gave the rookie some advice on his swing, and it seems to be working, though Baker refuses to take credit.

"We're all here to help," Baker said on Wednesday. "He just wasn't starting soon enough. Sometimes you see certain things and you hope whatever you saw can be the thing that gets a young man back on his way. It's very discouraging to make outs, especially if you're getting pitches to hit and not hitting them. I could see the frustration on his face."

But while Cozart heats up, Jay Bruce has gone cold. The outfielder is in a 0-for-14 skid and 1-for-31.

Worth noting
• Reds first baseman Joey Votto leads the NL in doubles with 17, while Rockies outfielder Michael Cuddyer is second with 16.

• The Rockies are 80-76 all-time vs. the Reds, including a 4-3 mark in 2011. Comments