PHOENIX (The Sports Xchange) – Nolan Arenado and Carlos Gonzalez are in the middle of the National League home run race, and Rockies manager Walt Weiss is planning to let them battle it to the end.
Arenado has 41 homers and Gonzalez hit his 40th in the third inning Tuesday, a few hours after Weiss said he expected to keep both in the lineup in the final six games of the regular season.
“I don’t plan on sitting either one of them, really,” Weiss said. “They are both chasing some things, and they’ve had unbelievable seasons. And I think that competition is good for both of them. I think they are good for each other.
“Nolan is wound pretty tight. Is very intense. I think it’s helped he’s seen ‘Cargo,’ who is more carefree. I think it’s rubbed off him a little bit, and vice versa. I think they are good for each other.”
Arenado and Washington right fielder Bryce Harper are tied for the NL lead in homers, and Gonzalez is alone is third. Cincinnati third baseman Todd Frazier has 35.
Gonzalez and Arenado are the first teammates to hit 40 homers in the same season since right fielder Jermaine Dye (44) and first baseman/designated hitter Jim Thome (42) did it for the 2006 Chicago White Sox. Arenado had his major league-leading 127th RBI with a sacrifice fly Tuesday.
Gonzalez has 27 homers since the All-Star break. Injuries, including a season-ending knee surgery in August, limited him to 70 games last year.
“About a year ago, I was on crutches not being able to walk,” Gonzalez said. “Just being here talking about 40 home runs is special.”