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Slugfest in Cincinnati

Mon., May 28, 2012

Here’s how easy it looked to hit home runs at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park on Sunday: Todd Frazier lost his grip on the bat during a swing.

The ball wound up in the seats anyway.

Frazier’s homer helped the Reds out-bash the Colorado Rockies 7-5 in a game that set a record for the 10-year-old stadium with nine home runs.

“I felt the bat slipping out of my hands,” Frazier said. “I looked at the (slow motion) and it looks like my bottom hand is off. At first, I thought it was a short popup, but then I took a couple of steps and said, ‘Oh.’ It’s a pretty interesting way to hit a home run. It was a pretty cool.”

Brandon Phillips hit a three-run homer and Mat Latos allowed five hits – all of them solo home runs.

Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez hit two of them, and Troy Tulowitzki, Michael Cuddyer and Dexter Fowler also took the Cincinnati starter deep.

Joey Votto and Jay Bruce also homered for Cincinnati.

Guillen supports struggling Bell

While the home fans are down on struggling Miami Marlins closer Heath Bell, he still has the support of manager Ozzie Guillen.

“It’s going to be very hard for us to win if Heath Bell is not our closer,” Guillen said. “It’s easier for everyone if this kid comes out and does what he has been doing in the past. We have to get him back on track, and we have to give him the confidence.”

Bell has been a target of jeers from Miami fans much of this season, thanks to an ERA of 8.47. The Marlins newcomer began Sunday tied for the major league lead with four blown saves in 11 chances, and he failed to make it through the ninth inning Friday or Saturday against the San Francisco Giants.

But Guillen’s not ready to demote Bell, who signed a $27 million, three-year contract during the Marlins’ offseason spending spree.

Clearing the bases

Center fielder Adam Jones, 26, signed his six-year, $85.5 million contract with the Baltimore Orioles that was announced Saturday. The deal includes a $2 million signing bonus and a no-trade provision. … Philadelphia pitcher Roy Halladay left his start against St. Louis after two innings due to right shoulder soreness. A team spokesman said Halladay would be re-evaluated in the next few days.



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