Blackmon Leads Rox Past D-Backs In Home Opener
DENVER (AP) — So maybe going 6 for 6 isn’t quite enough for his manager to award Charlie Blackmon the everyday job in centerfield.
Still, Walt Weiss did promise his platoon outfielder this much: “He’ll be in there tomorrow.”
That’s good enough for Blackmon. He tied a team record with six hits and drove in five runs, helping the Colorado Rockies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 12-2 in their home opener Friday.
Blackmon had three doubles, a two-run homer and scored four times. The only other Rockies player with six hits in a game was Andres Galarraga against Houston on July 3, 1995.
“When you get an opportunity to play, it’s really nice to come up and contribute,” said Blackmon, who’s sporting a bushy beard.
Blackmon acknowledged he’s never had that many hits in a game — on any level.
“Pretty amazing,” he said.
Carlos Gonzalez certainly thought so.
“I don’t think I ever hit 6 for 6 in my life,” Gonzalez said. “I’m happy for him. He’s proving to everybody he deserves to be in the big leagues and every day in the lineup.”
And yet Weiss’ plan is to keep platooning Blackmon with Drew Stubbs and Corey Dickerson.
Unless, of course, Blackmon has more days like this. Thanks to his big afternoon, Blackmon is hitting .563 (9 for 16).
“He had a pretty good day,” Weiss said.
Same goes for Gonzalez, who added a two-run triple and a two-run homer off the facing of the third deck as the Rockies improved to 13-9 in home openers.
That was more than enough for Juan Nicasio (1-0), who surrendered one run and four hits in seven efficient innings. His only mistake was a slider that Mark Trumbo hit for a solo homer in the fifth.
“He pitched well,” Paul Goldschmidt said. “He used his fastball a lot and he was getting ahead right there. He was locating it, moving it in and out. He was doing a good job. They made some good plays out there and we weren’t able to get enough going.”
With the loss, the Diamondbacks fell to 1-6, tying their worst start in franchise history.
“Game’s over now. You just go out tomorrow and play as hard as you can, and that’s what the guys will do,” Goldschmidt said. “We just haven’t played well enough.”
Goldschmidt did extend his hitting streak to 26 games dating to last season with an RBI single in the eighth, It’s the second-longest streak in club history, four behind the mark Luis Gonzalez set from April 11 to May 18, 1999.
Randall Delgado (0-1) gave up six runs and 10 hits in four innings.
Colorado finished with 17 hits, with Blackmon leading from the leadoff spot. A triple shy of the cycle, he lined the ball into the left-field corner in the eighth, then pulled up at second when Trumbo quickly corralled the ball.
He was tempted to go, though.
“I didn’t even know where it went when I hit it,” Blackmon said. “You know you had a good day when you hit a ball and it ends up two inches inside the line.”
Michael Cuddyer kept his hot streak going, finishing with three hits. The reigning NL batting champion has multiple hits in four of his first five games.
Arizona third baseman Martin Prado left in the sixth after cutting his left index finger tagging out Blackmon on a steal attempt. He said Blackmon’s spike caught the finger sticking out of his glove.
“It was bleeding a lot,” Prado said. “Fortunately for me, it just took a little skin off.”
As a motivator, the Rockies have stenciled the numbers one through 100 on panels above the lockers in the clubhouse. With each win, that panel is filled in with purple.
Win No. 2 was secured with Blackmon’s help. He even received a standing ovation in his last plate appearance.
“I missed it,” Blackmon said. “But I received a lot of applause when I went out to (the outfield). It was really nice.”
NOTES: Arizona 2B Aaron Hill finished 2 for 4 and is hitting .370 against Colorado in his career. It’s one of the highest marks among active players. … RHP Brandon McCarthy (0-0) will start Saturday for the Diamondbacks against Colorado and LHP Jorge De La Rosa (0-1). … LHP Boone Logan (elbow inflammation) pitched a scoreless inning on Thursday for Triple-A Colorado Springs. He could join the team Sunday.
By Pat Graham, AP Sports Writer
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