ARENADO BLASTS THREE HOMERS TO FUEL ROCKIES’ 18-4 VICTORY
ROCKIES 18, PADRES 4 Star third baseman goes 5-for-6 with seven runs batted in
There is a small park near Nolan Arenado‘s boyhood home in Lake Forest, Calif., where Arenado, along with his brothers and cousins, gathered to play Wiffle Ball.
They would send balls flying over trees and fences, imagining titanic homers in Game 7 of the World Series. One-upmanship was the rule of law.
Wednesday at Coors Field, Arenado had a Wiffle Ball kind of game in a Rockies hitfest. They steamrolled San Diego 18-4 to win their fourth consecutive game and finish off a three-game sweep of the Padres.
Arenado, the Rockies’ all-star third baseman and RBI machine, set career highs with three homers, five hits and 14 total bases. He tied a career high with seven RBIs, giving him a major league-high 80 runs driven in.
Arenado, however, laughed off the idea that Wednesday’s performance was as easy as it looked.
“Well, it’s 94 or 95 (mph) coming at you,” he said. “When 95 goes past your face, it’s like, ‘Wow, this is real.’ I just tried to hit the ball hard.”
Nevertheless, he wowed his teammates. “It’s unbelievable, but it didn’t seem too out of the ordinary for something he can do,” said shortstop Trevor Story, who had a season-high three hits, including his first home run since July 1. “We were all just kind of like, ‘Yep. That’s Nolan.’ But obviously it’s special.”
Right fielder Charlie Blackmon, who batted 3-for-3 and hit his 23rd homer of the season before leaving the game with leg cramps during an at-bat in the sixth inning, was impressed by Arenado’s performance.
“He just murdered those balls,” Blackmon said. “I don’t want to say it’s because he had a day off or anything, but he just looked like a different player today.”
Arenado, out of the starting lineup Tuesday for just the fourth time this season, is hitting .600 (12-for-20) with four homers and 13 RBIs the game after he begins the game on the bench.
“I was more motivated to come play today,” he said. “I really want to play today, and I was stretching earlier than I usually do.
“But I really don’t like days off. I had an 0-for-5 day (Monday) and then I had a day off, and I wasn’t very happy about that.”
Quipped manager Bud Black: “We’ll have to look at off days a little bit closer, but we don’t want to give him every other day off.”
For the record: Arenado had an RBI single in the first; an RBI single in the second; a leadoff, solo homer in the fourth; a solo shot in the fifth; and a three-run blast in the sixth. The first homer came off Padres starter Clayton Richard, who allowed a careerhigh 10 earned runs on a careerhigh 14 hits in a mere 3M innings. Arenado blasted his other two homers off reliever Kevin Quackenbush.
Arenado came to the plate in the eighth inning looking to be the 18th player in major-league history to hit four home runs in one game. He flied out to left on a 3-2 pitch from Kirby Yates but got a standing ovation when he returned to the dugout.
“Obviously, I was trying to hit a homer, which is probably why I didn’t,” he said. “That last at-bat, I couldn’t help but think about it. I thought, ‘I want to get another one.’ But (Yates) beat me, and he made a good pitch.”
On a hot July day with Coors playing like a pinball machine, Rockies starter Jon Gray played wizard for five of his six innings. He blanked the Padres until the sixth inning, when they smacked four hits off him, the big blow a three-run homer by Cory Spangenberg.
Gray broke out an excellent curveball, a pitch he used to get out of trouble in the fourth inning, when he struck out Jabari Blash with two men on base and no outs.
“The (curveball) was something we planned on throwing coming in,” Gray said. “These guys are good fastball hitters, so the curve was something we needed to show for strikes.”
Gray was thankful he didn’t have to face the Rockies’ juggernaut offense.
“It’s awesome and cool to watch,” Gray said. “When they all start hitting like that, it’s unstoppable.”
All told, the Rockies cranked out a season-high 21 hits, including a 4-for-5 day by the sizzling Gerardo Parra, who boosted his average to .364. Since his return from the disabled list, Parra is hitting .556 (20-for-36) over nine games.
Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado hits a home run during the fourth inning Wednesday at Coors Field. He belted another in the fifth inning and one more in the sixth against the San Diego Padres.
Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon, right, and right fielder Gerardo Parra also had impressive games, going a combined 7-for-8 at the plate.
Nolan Arenado gives thanks after hitting a home run during the fourth inning Wednesday at Coors Field, but he was just getting started. He hit a second home run in the fifth, and another, his 21st of the season, in the sixth.