Blackmon’s big night
ROCKIES 16, PADRES 0 Colorado’s center fielder sets NL records, driving in four runs in a blowout victory.
Coors Field fans dutifully filled in the lyrics to Charlie Blackmon’s walk-up song Saturday night, singing the stanza that ends with “to-niiiight” even after Colorado’s center fielder pulled a switcheroo. In honor of Dia de Los Rockies night, Blackmon played the Español cover instead of the British pub rock version.
The Rockies are in a groove, methodically marching toward October with everything rehearsed. Blackmon twice followed the crowd cues with game-altering hits Saturday in the Rockies’ 16-0 blowout of the
Padres in front of a sellout crowd of 48,247.
It was the Rockies’ largest shutout victory in their history, surpassing a 13-0 victory exactly 10 years ago to the day that was the first of 21 wins in their final 22 games before the World Series.
“It seems like we’re kind of pulling it together,” said Blackmon, who bolted into the National League record books. “I wouldn’t put too much into (the score). A 1-0 win would have been just as good.”
Blackmon’s double in the second keyed a five-run, nine-batter inning against ex-rox right-hander Jordan Lyles; and his three-run homer to right field in the sixth led to a benches-clearing rhubarb.
Colorado’s center fielder finished with four runs batted in, setting an NL record with 92 RBIS this season as a leadoff hitter, passing Craig Biggio’s mark of 88 in 1998.
He has settled atop the Rockies order as their best, most valuable hitter. Blackmon also collected his 81st and 82nd extra-base hits from the leadoff spot, another NL record, passing Jimmy Rollins’ mark with the Phillies in 2007.
And Colorado (82-67) moved farther ahead of the nearest NL competitors for the second wild-card spot, 3½ games ahead of the Brewers and 4½ in front of the Cardinals. Both those teams lost Saturday.
Left-hander Tyler Anderson returned to the Rockies’ rotation for his first start since June 25 — and in commanding fashion. He whipped through five no-hit innings and two more outs before Manuel Margot weakly dribbled an infield hit in front of the plate. Anderson tossed six shutout innings, allowing two hits.
Carlos Gonzalez smacked a moonshot two-run homer to the second deck in right field in the fifth and hit two other singles. Pat Valaika hit a pinch-hit grand slam to left field in the seventh. Jonathan Lucroy lined three singles and scored twice. And Nolan Arenado’s single in the second gave him 125 RBIS, making him the first Rockies player with three consecutive seasons with 125 or more RBIS. He is baseball’s first third baseman to do it.
“We had a lot of guys with good swings,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “And we had three pitchers throw extremely well to throw a three-hit shutout. That’s what stood out for me. The pitching.”
But the night belonged to Blackmon.
After Blackmon homered off Padres reliever Miguel Diaz in the sixth to extend Colorado’s lead to 10-0, Diaz pegged DJ Lemahieu in the arm with his next pitch, prompting Lemahieu to protest and the benches to clear. They never swung fists. But home-plate ump Gerry Davis ejected Diaz.
The Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon high-fives teammate DJ Lemahieu after hitting a three-run home run in the sixth inning, giving Colorado a 10-0 lead en route to a 16-0 blowout of the Padres on Saturday night at Coors Field.