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Korean outfielder rips 18th homer but Reds fall

Reds outfielder Choo Shin-soo is greeted at home plate by pitcher Mike Leake after his home run in the third inning on Sunday. (AFP-Yonhap News)
Reds outfielder Choo Shin-soo is greeted at home plate by pitcher Mike Leake after his home run in the third inning on Sunday. (AFP-Yonhap News)
DENVER (AP) ― Todd Helton doubled for his 2,500th career hit, Michael Cuddyer homered among his four hits and the Colorado Rockies overcame the loss of starting pitcher Tyler Chatwood to beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-4 on Sunday.

Helton became the 96th player in major league history to reach 2,500 hits. Cuddyer went 4 for 4 with three RBIs.

Choo Shin-soo homered and had three hits for the Reds. Chris Heisey was 4 for 4.

Helton homered twice Friday to move within one hit of the milestone but went 0 for 4 on Saturday. He flied out, struck out and walked Sunday before facing reliever Curtis Partch in the seventh inning.

Helton worked the count full before lacing a ball down the left-field line. He just beat the throw to second for his 584th career double.

He received a standing ovation from the crowd of 30,594 and tipped his helmet to the cheering fans.

The Rockies had the game in hand before Helton’s big moment after breaking it open in the fifth against Reds starter Mike Leake. DJ LeMahieu’s two-run double snapped a 2-all tie, Troy Tulowitzki walked and Cuddyer doubled to make it 5-2.

Nolan Arenado, who homered earlier, added a sacrifice fly off reliever Alfredo Simon.

Leake (11-6) allowed six runs on eight hits and struck out four in 4 1-3 innings.

Cuddyer’s 18th home run leading off the seventh gave the Rockies a 7-2 cushion.

Cincinnati scored single runs in the eighth and ninth to get within three before Rex Brothers got the final out.

Chatwood, activated from the 15-day disabled list before the game, left in the third with a bruised right thumb after he tried to catch Leake’s line drive up the middle with his bare hand. He was checked by a team trainer and initially stayed in the game.

The right-hander allowed a two-run homer to Choo, his 18th, and walked the next two batters before leaving. He was replaced by righty Adam Ottavino, who got out of the inning with some nifty defense.

With runners on first and second and two outs, Heisey reached on an infield single up the middle. Joey Votto tried to score from second but Helton, who took a relay from Tulowitzki, wheeled and threw out Votto standing up.

Ottavino (1-2) tossed three scoreless innings to get the win.

The Rockies staked Chatwood to an early 2-0 lead on an RBI double by Cuddyer in the first and a leadoff homer by Arenado in the second.

Greinke, Puig help Dodgers sweep

LOS ANGELES (AP) ― Coming off one of the best months of his career, Zack Greinke hopes he’s not peaking too early.

After all, the playoffs are looming, and that’s a place the Los Angeles Dodgers haven’t been since 2009.

“Just don’t want to waste all the good starts now,” Greinke said after allowing one run over seven innings of a 2-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Sunday.

“It’s been good the last nine, 10 starts,” he said. “Location’s been as good as it’s been for a long stretch.”

Yasiel Puig homered in the sixth to help the Dodgers complete a three-game sweep.

The NL West leaders earned their 10th sweep of the season and first against San Diego. With their fourth straight victory, they extended their roll from August, when the Dodgers went 23-6 for their most wins in a month since moving to Los Angeles in 1958.

“Our guys have grinded it out pretty good,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “We had trouble putting runs on the board (the last two games).”

Greinke (14-3) won his sixth straight start for the first time since winning nine in a row over the 2008-09 seasons. The right-hander gave up two hits, struck out seven and walked two. Greinke, who came in batting .340, also singled with two outs in the fifth.

He stole second with a head-first slide that inning.

“It was a last-minute decision,” he said. “I felt it was safer than going feet first. He didn’t put his foot or knee in front of the bag. A tight game at the moment, so I thought it was important to get to second base. It ended up working fine.”

Puig hit his 14th homer into the left-field pavilion on the first pitch he saw from Dale Thayer (2-5) with one out in the sixth, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. The sellout crowd of 52,168 cheered the 22-year-old Cuban defector on Cuban Heritage Day.

His homers are third-most on the team despite playing in just 79 games since being called up from the minors.

Paco Rodriguez, born in Miami of Cuban descent, retired both batters he faced in the eighth, extending his scoreless innings streak to 11.0 in 13 appearances since Aug. 3.

“Of course I felt good I hit a home run on Cuban Heritage Day,” Puig said through a Spanish translator. “I also felt great Paco was able to have a good outing as well.”

Minnesota 4, Texas 2

Baltimore 7, NY Yankees 3

Kansas City 5, Toronto 0

Cleveland 4, Detroit 0

Boston 7, Chicago White Sox 6

St. Louis 7, Pittsburgh 2

LA Angels 5, Milwaukee 3

Houston 2, Seattle 0

Chicago Cubs 7, Philadelphia 1

Oakland 5, Tampa Bay 1

San Francisco 8, Arizona 2

Miami 7, Atlanta 0

Washington 6, NY Mets 5