Series: Game 2 of 2

Series tied 1-1 (as of 5/4)

Game 1: Wednesday, May 3
Game 2: Thursday, May 4

Reds 7

(20-9, 10-5 away)

Rockies 1

(16-13, 6-8 home)

    8:35 PM ET, May 4, 2006

    Coors Field, Denver, Colorado 

    123456789 R H E
    CIN 040001020 7 11 1
    COL 010000000 1 7 0

    W: A. Harang (5-1)

    L: J. Fogg (2-2)

    Harang records fifth straight as Reds blast Rockies

    DENVER (AP) -- Aaron Harang isn't known as a power pitcher and he sure has no reputation for hitting.

    He overpowered the Rockies on Thursday night, striking out a career-high 12 batters, scattering seven hits and walking two in 8 1-3 innings as the Cincinnati Reds beat Colorado 7-1.

    He took over the NL strikeout lead from Pedro Martinez with 45.

    "That's a shocker to me," Harang said. "I never considered myself to be a guy that's going to try and overpower you. I'm just trying to hit my spots."

    Speaking of hitting, equally dismaying to Harang (5-1) and the Reds were his two clean singles, which gave him four hits this season, double what he had last year when he was 2-for-74 at the plate.

    "I'm just very pleased with the way he swung the bat," Reds manager Jerry Narron joked.

    Unfortunately, Harang broke his lucky bat in two with a grounder to first base in the eighth.

    Adam Dunn and Jason LaRue homered to stake the Reds to an early lead on a cold, damp night in the Rockies.

    LaRue's three-run shot was his first home run of the season and came during a four-run second inning. Dunn led off the fifth with his 11th homer, a 454-foot shot into the second deck above the Rockies' bullpen in right-center.

    Both came off right-hander Josh Fogg (2-2), who allowed five earned runs on eight hits in 6 1-3 innings.

    Fogg also surrendered the first of Austin Kearns' RBI singles, which opened the scoring. Kearns' run-scoring single off Tom Martin in the eighth made it 6-1 and Chris Denorfia followed with an RBI double.

    The Rockies got on the board in the bottom of the second when Danny Ardoin's groundout to short scored Brad Hawpe, who singled leading off and advanced to third on Eli Marrero's double.

    But that was all they managed off Harang, who has teamed with newcomer Bronson Arroyo (5-0) to form the best tandem in baseball so far.

    "He's a big boy, strong man and a good pitcher," Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. "He gave up a couple of hits early, but he got stronger as the game went on. He didn't do anything we didn't expect, but he did it very well. He was able to work his fastball on both sides of the plate and spin it for a strike down and away to right-handers. He broke bats with his slider, a combination of things. He stayed away from the barrel."

    Since Harang's loss on opening day, he and Arroyo are a combined 10-0 and have led the Reds to an NL-best 20-9 start.

    "That gives us two pretty good pitchers that we have a chance to match up against anybody with," Narron said. "We were really pleased with the way Harang threw last year and knew if he could make any improvement at all this year we'd have one of the better pitchers in baseball, and right now he is."

    Narron wanted Harang to finish up but he only had a dozen pitches left on his limit when he took the mound for the ninth and Marrero worked an eight-pitch leadoff walk.

    "So that killed my pitch count right there," said Harang, who gave way to Rick White for the final two outs after striking out Choo Freeman on his 121st pitch.

    Rockies first baseman Todd Helton was in the dugout for the first time in two weeks, since an intestinal infection sent him to the hospital and onto the disabled list. Helton is due to come off the 15-day DL on Friday night against Houston. The Rockies went 8-6 in his absence.

    "Todd is our rock. He is the guy we look to in the lineup. We did well without him, but our lineup can only be better with him," Cory Sullivan said.

    The Reds don't know when they'll get Ken Griffey Jr. back in their lineup. He underwent an MRI on his injured right knee Thursday but results weren't ready. He went on the DL on April 15.

    Game notes

    Harang's previous best was 10 strikeouts, accomplished five times. ... Reds INF Rich Aurilia (strained groin) went on the 15-day DL and was replaced on the roster by INF Ray Olmedo, who was recalled from Triple-A Louisville. ... Rockies closer Brian Fuentes was absent Thursday night and will also miss Friday night's series opener against Houston. He and his wife are expected to finalize the adoption of a child. ... The Reds are 5-0 on Fridays. ... The last Reds pitcher to get two hits in a game was Ramon Ortiz on July 8, 2005.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press