DENVER -- The Reds lineup did something Sunday afternoon it hasn't done quite often enough this season: It picked up the slack and helped out a starting pitcher on a day he wasn't very effective.
Unfortunately for the Reds, left-hander Aroldis Chapman had an out-of-character performance as well. And after his ninth-inning meltdown helped blow a four-run lead, former Red Drew Stubbs handed Cincinnati a 10-9 loss with a three-run, walk-off home run.
"I don't think I can put it into words, to be honest with you," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "The fact that I have to do this [interview] right now is very difficult as you can imagine. … I'm not angry at anybody, but it's just very difficult. A very, very difficult loss to take."
The Reds' two-run rally in the top of the ninth made it a non-save situation, but Price elected to bring in Chapman since his closer was up and ready.
Four consecutive walks later, Chapman left with the score 9-6, bringing on right-hander J.J. Hoover. Hoover got two outs, with a sacrifice fly and a lineout, before Stubbs drove a curveball over the left-center fence to cap off the comeback in Game 1 of the doubleheader.
"I'm not a firm believer in closers coming in in save only situations," Price said. "We had him hot already. Of course, the concern with a doubleheader is trying not to use up you're entire bullpen in the first game. We did a pretty good job of that, but in the end, we didn't. Things didn't work out very well today."
Mat Latos labored for five innings and trailed early, but the Reds stormed back to be in position to win.
Cincinnati came in batting just .226 since the All-Star break and last in the Majors in runs scored in the second half. Meanwhile the rotation had a 3.11 ERA in that time but only a 10-11 record.
But the offense was there for Latos this time.
Latos, who came 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in his previous three starts, lasted only five innings with 97 pitches. He gave up three runs and eight hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. Seven of the hits, including a Charlie Blackmon home run, and all three walks came with two outs.
"It was a grind today," Latos said. "Threw a lot of pitches, more than I'd liked to. I taxed the bullpen, which isn't something I like to do. This game is funny. It's just the way it goes."
Colorado emerged with a 3-0 lead through two innings against Latos. In the first inning, Latos gave up back-to-back one-out doubles with Corey Dickerson's hit to left field scoring Stubbs. Following a 24-minute rain delay, there was a two-out RBI single by Nolan Arenado. With two outs in the second inning and a 0-2 count, Latos hung a breaking ball to Blackmon and gave up a solo homer to right field.
The Reds were no-hit for three innings by Rockies starter Jordan Lyles before perking up in the fourth. The team's first hit was a Jay Bruce two-run homer to right field -- his 13th of the season -- that snapped his 0-for-12 skid. The big hit of the top of the fifth inning came when Zack Cozart hit a one-out single to center field that scored Chris Heisey and Billy Hamilton.
Against Franklin Morales in the top of the sixth, Kris Negron led off with a homer to left field -- his fourth of the season. Pinch-hitter Ryan Ludwick added a sacrifice fly to left field and stretched Cincinnati's lead to four runs.
Hitting-haven Coors Field rarely makes leads comfortable. In the seventh against Reds reliever Sam LeCure, Dickerson hit a 2-0 fastball for a leadoff homer to center field. The Rockies tacked on another run in the frame on a sacrifice fly to make it 7-5, before the Reds added two more in the ninth against Rockies reliever Rex Brothers.
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. Cody Ulm is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.