Sitting 10 games back of first-place San Francisco after going 10-14 since the All-Star break, Colorado knows it has missed a golden opportunity to make up the difference.
"You hate to look at the past, but if we had just been OK the past week or two, this thing would really be close," Troy Tulowitzki said. "We've made it hard on ourselves, but I think one thing, you have to give credit to the people in this locker room. We haven't given in. There's still some hope."
Manager Jim Tracy still believes in his team, sending a message Sunday by wearing a black shirt with the word "October" and the Rockies' logo on it.
"A lot of different things have taken place that would say, 'There's no way. They're going to fall out,'" Tracy said. "And yet, the one thing that has been very, very consistent about this club going back to 2009, they don't know how to quit. That's what makes them beautiful. That's what I love them for."
Trying to put the past few weeks behind them, the Rockies will start fresh Monday, squaring off against the Reds in the series opener at Great American Ball Park.
Cincinnati, which finished the weekend 9 1/2 games behind the Brewers in the NL Central, will have Homer Bailey on the hill, who is looking to build off of his outing Tuesday against the Astros.
Tossing eight innings of one-run ball, Bailey walked only three and fanned four to improve to 6-5 on the season with a 4.30 ERA. The right-hander has given up two runs or fewer in three of his last four appearances.
"My last start went pretty well, so I have a little bit of momentum going," Bailey said. "I just want to continue that."
Rockies: Hammel takes hill
Jason Hammel couldn't getting into a groove and lost on Wednesday to the Phillies, giving up six runs on eight hits in five innings and falling to 6-11 on the season with a 4.88 ERA.
In three career starts against the Reds, Hammel has averaged more than seven innings but has a record of 0-1.
Colorado purchased the contract of right-handed reliever Josh Roenicke on Sunday and optioned right-hander Greg Reynolds to Triple-A Colorado Springs.
Hoping to provide relief for their recently overused bullpen, the Rockies added Roenicke, who was claimed off waivers from Toronto on June 2. He'll make his debut after going 1-4 with a 4.67 ERA in 38 Triple-A games between Colorado Springs and Las Vegas.
"We're obviously in a position, and we'll monitor it daily, where if we need length in order to put us in a position to use people down in that bullpen the way I've been using them all year, that becomes a bullet point," said Rockies manager Jim Tracy.
Reds: Phillips day to day
After colliding with center fielder Drew Stubbs in the fifth inning of Saturday's 11-4 loss, Brandon Phillips was out of the Reds' starting lineup Sunday with a sprained right ankle.
After Saturday's game, Phillips said he felt OK, and the Reds' medical staff said it was not too serious, but manager Dusty Baker decided to sit Phillips for the finale of the Reds three-game series against the Cubs.
"He's sore today, as expected," Baker said. "I don't know how much activity he's going to have."
Reds Left fielder Yonder Alonso was held out of Sunday's lineup with a sore right ankle.
Rookie Dave Sappelt, who made his debut for the Reds on Sunday, was the fourth Reds player to make his Major League debut this season.
On a tear since the All-Star break, Troy Tulowitzki is hitting .409 (38-for-93).