DENVER (AP) — Johnny Cueto doled out hugs and goodbyes to longtime teammates before departing the Cincinnati clubhouse.
Traded before the game began, Cueto was at least spared watching his now former team roughed up in a 17-7 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Sunday.
Cincinnati surrendered five home runs, including three in a 10-run third inning that allowed the Rockies to turn the game into a rout. This wasn’t nearly as pretty as the gem Cueto turned in the night before, when he held the Rockies scoreless over eight innings in his farewell performance for the Reds.
They’re going to miss games like that from Cueto, who’s a member of the Kansas City Royals after a deal in which the Reds acquired three pitching prospects.
“It’s not easy for anybody. Not when you lose a 20-game winner,” Reds manager Bryan Price said. “Or easy for these guys to lose a friend, a teammate.”
Did the timing of the trade affect the Reds?
“I try to do my best of ignoring something like this. We all anticipated this,” said Jay Bruce, who finished 3-for-5 with a double and three-run homer. “We have to be professional and do our best.”
Michael Lorenzen (3-5) was roughed up for eight runs in 2 1-3 innings. He allowed two of Colorado’s five homers.
“Just not his day,” Price said.
Cueto has been the subject of trade rumors lately and it only escalated Saturday when Lorenzen played catch in left field prior to the game, with some reading that as a sign that perhaps Cueto had been dealt. But Cueto took the mound and was magnificent.
The right-hander arrived at the park Sunday and got dressed in his Reds gear, before being informed of the deal.
As Cueto made his way out of the clubhouse, he said it was a “very emotional time for me.” He’s heading to the Royals, who have the best record in the American League, but was “very sad” to leave his teammates.
The feeling was mutual.
“He was my teammate. More than that, he is a friend,” catcher Brayan Pena said. “He and I are very close on and off the field.”
In the deal with the Royals, Cincinnati received Brandon Finnegan, John Lamb and Cody Reed. Finnegan will report to Triple-A Louisville, along with Lamb. Reed will head to Double-A Pensacola.
Staked to a big lead, Kyle Kendrick (4-11) yielded six runs in five shaky innings for his first win since June 23.
It was a big afternoon for Ben Paulsen, who finished with a career-high four hits that included a triple and two solo homers. Carlos Gonzalez also had two homers and tied his career-best with six RBIs.
Gonzalez’s bat is officially scorching. His demand may be heating up, too, as the trade deadline draws closer.
His last game at Coors Field in a Rockies uniform? He wasn’t about to ponder that scenario as the team takes off for a seven-game road swing.
“I’m trying to be the best player I can be,” said Gonzalez, who hit two homers Friday. “We still have a lot of games in front of us.”
Colorado had eight hits in the third, including back-to-back homers by Nolan Arenado and Paulsen, to turn a 4-2 deficit into a 12-4 lead. The last time the Rockies scored double-digits in an inning was April 27, 2012, when they had 11 runs against the New York Mets.
“You don’t get a lot of those days where you get to coast to the finish line,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “A good day all around.”
Bruce’s three-run shot in the third was his 198th career homer with the Reds. That tied him with Hall of Famer Barry Larkin for ninth all-time in team history.
Rockies: SS Troy Tulowitzki was given a rest day. … OF Corey Dickerson was out of the starting lineup as a precaution. He was reinstated Friday from the DL after missing time with plantar fasciitis in his left foot.