Arenado homers, but Rox's streak snapped

Arenado homers, but Rox's streak snapped

DENVER -- Pirates first baseman Josh Bell didn't waste time. His first two swings Friday night produced four runs. Otherwise, Bucs hitters forced Rockies rookie Jeff Hoffman into 82 excruciating pitches over three-plus innings, scoring seven runs in a 13-5 victory at Coors Field.

With their six-game winning streak, the Pirates are two games behind the National League Central-leading Brewers and are over .500 for the first time since April 10.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page.

Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Pirates on Friday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blackmon meets 2-year-old super fan

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Blackmon meets 2-year-old super fan

Charlie Blackmon finally met the "Charlie Blackmon Kid." His real name is Tommy Carlson, and he's from the Denver suburb of Parker.

The 2-year-old became an internet sensation after video of him watching Blackmon being introduced at the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard in Miami on July 11 went viral. In the video, Carlson is seen watching the television intently, screaming, "It's Charlie Blackmon! He's here! Charlie Blackmon! Yes! Charlie Blackmon!" when Blackmon was announced in the National League's starting lineup. It was pretty great:

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Hoffman loses fastball command vs. Pirates

Rookie right-hander allows seven runs on nine hits and four walks in loss

Hoffman loses fastball command vs. Pirates

DENVER -- No fastball, no chance for Rockies rookie right-hander Jeff Hoffman on Friday night.

Hoffman gave up seven runs on nine hits and four walks in three innings, plus three batters in the fourth, while grinding through 82 pitches in the 13-5 loss at Coors Field that ended a Rockies win streak at four games.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

GM Bridich believes in Rox's young starters

Colorado looking to add to bullpen, not rotation, ahead of Trade Deadline

GM Bridich believes in Rox's young starters

DENVER -- Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich's confidence has reached the hearts of the team's young starters.

Bridich explained in an interview with MLB.com Wednesday that rather than seek veteran starting pitching, he believes in his current starters, and bullpen help is the priority.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arenado hires a DJ to play set during BP

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Arenado hires a DJ to play set during BP

Nolan Arenado loves good music. So much so, according to MLB.com's Thomas Harding, he hired a DJ to come out and perform a set before the Rockies took on the Pirates Friday night.

"[We] have a little fun with it, it's kind of cool to have a DJ," said Arenado.

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Chatwood (calf strain) throws live BP Friday

Rockies will be exploring top relievers available ahead of Deadline

Chatwood (calf strain) throws live BP Friday

DENVER -- Rockies right-hander Tyler Chatwood, who suffered a right calf strain last Saturday against the Mets, threw two innings of live batting practice session on Friday. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Saturday.

Right-handed-hitting Pat Valaika and lefty-hitting Tony Wolters swung against him. Chatwood (6-11, 4.74 ERA) threw a bullpen session Wednesday -- his first since the injury -- and progressed well enough to face hitters Friday.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marquez goes for second win vs. Bucs of '17

Marquez goes for second win vs. Bucs of '17

As the Pirates and Rockies prepare for their second game of a three-game series, both of Saturday's starting pitchers are coming off outings that saw them set new strikeout career highs.

The surging Pirates, who have won six straight and enter Saturday two games behind the National League Central-leading Brewers, will send right-hander Chad Kuhl to the hill. The Bucs' right-hander fanned seven Brewers in a 4-2 win on Monday, while Rockies rookie German Marquez whiffed nine Padres during a 9-6 win, also on Monday. Kuhl and Marquez have each struck out 76 batters this year.

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Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Ringolsby: Rockies' Gray learning to be great

Young righty has makings of future ace for Rockies

Ringolsby: Rockies' Gray learning to be great

DENVER -- Rockies right-hander Jon Gray is driven to be great. He talks about becoming for the Rockies what Clayton Kershaw is for the Dodgers -- that No. 1 starter who takes the mound and allows his teammates take a deep breath and relax.

Gray has the ability to be just that. But it takes time.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rodgers goes deep again for Hartford

Rodgers goes deep again for Hartford

It's not a secret that when Touki Toussaint is right he can miss bats with the best of them.

That was the case on Friday, as the Braves' No. 11 prospect matched his career highs with 11 strikeouts in eight innings as he recorded his second straight double-digit strikeout performance for Class A Advanced Florida.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arenado thrives with unconventional technique

Uncommon footwork paying off at plate for Rox slugger

Arenado thrives with unconventional technique

NEW YORK -- Give it a few years, some in the Rockies' organization believe, and the Major Leagues could be a league littered with players like Nolan Arenado. Not in terms of production -- not everyone woke up Thursday fresh off a three-homer game and eyeing a third straight RBI title -- but in hitting approach and style.

Baseball is a copycat game. Do something at the plate a little differently and very well, and soon someone is bound to mirror it. Baseball people don't think it a coincidence Giants prospect Christian Arroyo resembles Buster Posey in stance and swing, or how Jose Bautista's leg kick led to Josh Donaldson's and Justin Turner's, and on and on. The next trend may come from a mechanical tweak in Arenado's load some are calling the driving force behind not just the third baseman's homers, but also his future standing as a pioneer.

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Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rox fan casually snags foul ball with his hat

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Rox fan casually snags foul ball with his hat

The Rockies kept on rolling on Wednesday, pounding out 18 runs (including three Nolan Arenado dingers) in a win over the Padres to move into sole possession of the top NL Wild Card spot. 

But things are going so well at Coors Field right now that even the fans are getting in on the highlights. Exhibit A: This man who very calmly reached over onto the dugout roof to snare a Mark Reynolds fly ball ... in his hat.

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Nolan, Nolan, Nolan: 3 HRs power Rox rout

Nolan, Nolan, Nolan: 3 HRs power Rox rout

DENVER -- Nolan Arenado was already an All-Star, but now he can stake claim to another accomplishment -- leading the Rockies to their best offensive game in five years.

Arenado slugged three home runs in an 18-4 rout of the Padres on Wednesday afternoon as the Rockies scored 18 runs for the first time since April 27, 2012. They won their fourth straight and earned their first sweep since June 18, while Arenado's five hits set a new career high. With the victory and and the D-backs' 4-3, 11-inning loss at Cincinnati, Colorado moved a half-game in front of Arizona for the top National League Wild Card position

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver and covered the Rockies on Wednesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arenado homers in 3 straight innings

Third baseman sets personal high with 5 hits, ties best with 7 RBIs in rout of Padres

Arenado homers in 3 straight innings

DENVER -- The Rockies jumped all over the Padres in the first few innings of Colorado's 18-4 win on Wednesday at Coors Field, largely thanks to Nolan Arenado.

After just his fourth day off on Tuesday, Arenado went 5-for-6 with three home runs that came in three straight innings. His first home run was part of a six-run fourth inning that also included homers from Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story, his second came in the fifth and his third blast was a three-run shot that gave the Rockies a 17-4 lead in the sixth.

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Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Colorado. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blackmon exits with cramp after 3-hit day

Blackmon exits with cramp after 3-hit day

DENVER -- Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon left the Rockies' 18-4 victory over the Padres at Coors Field on Wednesday in the middle of his at-bat in the sixth inning with dehydration-induced cramping.

Blackmon was 3-for-3 with a two-run homer -- his team-leading 23rd of the season -- in the fourth inning off Kevin Quackenbush. In the sixth, he grabbed the back of his left leg after the first and third pitches from Quackenbush -- both of which he fouled off.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rox look to strengthen 'pen depth at Deadline

Rox look to strengthen 'pen depth at Deadline

DENVER -- The Rockies' search to improve a contending club has yielded names and rumors as the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline approaches. Before Wednesday afternoon's game against the Padres, general manager Jeff Bridich didn't feed any of the speculation, but laid out his approach for the Rockies.

Deadline priorities

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tapia makes catch running up hill in Minors

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Tapia makes catch running up hill in Minors

Raimel Tapia played very well for the Rockies when he was called up earlier in 2017 to cover for the injured Gerardo Parra, hitting .314 with a .480 slugging percentage. Once Parra returned, though, Tapia's roster spot was in jeopardy, and on Tuesday, he returned to Triple-A.

If Tapia's defense in his first game back in Albuquerque on Wednesday offers any indication, however, it doesn't seem like he wants to remain there for very long. With the Isotopes clinging to a one-run lead in the top of the sixth inning, Tacoma's Tyler O'Neill sent a long drive toward Tapia's way.

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Parra goes back to basics to reclaim swing

Parra goes back to basics to reclaim swing

DENVER -- After struggling through a left ankle injury and some bad hitting habits last year, Rockies outfielder Gerardo Parra cleared his mind and didn't search too hard for solutions.

There is no shortage of advice for a hitter, and hitting .253 the way he did in 102 games last year will attract much of it. But Parra, who could point to the high-ankle sprain he sustained last June as the source of a lot of the problems, decided not to overthink it. Some simple keys, with hitting coach Duane Espy and assistant hitting coach Jeff Salazar helping, have led to an improved performance.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rockies outslug Padres for third straight win

Rockies outslug Padres for third straight win

DENVER -- Mark Reynolds and Carlos Gonzalez ended long droughts, and Antonio Senzatela won in his first start in nearly four weeks, as the Rockies won their third straight, 9-7, over the Padres at Coors Field on Tuesday night.

Reynolds' first-inning homer off Padres starter Dinelson Lamet (3-4) was his 20th of the season but his first in 56 at-bats. Gonzalez ended an 11 at-bat hitless streak with a two-run double in the fifth, and added an RBI single in the sixth.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bettis fires 2 2/3 innings in 2nd rehab outing

Bettis fires 2 2/3 innings in 2nd rehab outing

Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis continued his road to recovery from testicular cancer Tuesday with his second Minor League rehab appearance.

Bettis pitched 2 2/3 innings for Double-A Hartford, holding the Bowie Baysox to one run, a solo homer, and three hits. He struck out three batters and walked one on 46 pitches (29 strikes).

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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

CarGo seeks yet another second-half surge

Outfielder eyes return to form for Rockies' stretch run

CarGo seeks yet another second-half surge

DENVER -- As bad as things have been at times for Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez this season -- and in his world, they couldn't really be much worse -- he has never lost his smile. He has never doubted his ability. Gonzalez has welcomed each new day as his opportunity to regain his stature as one of the game's elite players.

Gonzalez has, after all, been here, done this and survived.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dahl happy with progress in rehab

Rockies outfielder: 'I feel better than I thought I would'

Dahl happy with progress in rehab

DENVER -- Rockies outfielder David Dahl, on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Albuquerque for a rib injury that has kept him out of the Majors all season, feels like he is on a faster-than-expected track back to Denver.

"I feel better than I thought I would," Dahl said Tuesday by phone from Albuquerque, where he was scheduled to start the first game of a doubleheader against Tacoma. "I'm seeing the ball pretty well. But I'm still a tick late on fastballs and kind of off anticipating how breaking balls are going to break. I can see the spin, but where it's going to end up is something I'm working on getting back fully.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rox overcome miscue, turn crucial double play

Reliever Lyles buckles down to preserve lead in seventh

Rox overcome miscue, turn crucial double play

DENVER -- The seventh inning of the Rockies 9-7 win over the Padres on Tuesday night was quite an adventure for reliever Jordan Lyles.

Lyles entered the previous inning, replacing Chris Rusin and induced a first-pitch groundout to end the sixth, but started the seventh by giving up Carlos Asuaje's first Major League home run. Then he walked Wil Myers to bring the tying run to the plate.

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Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tapia optioned to make room for Senzatela

Tapia optioned to make room for Senzatela

DENVER -- Antonio Senzatela was called up Tuesday to start the second game in a three-game set vs. the Padres, and the Rockies optioned Raimel Tapia to Albuquerque to make room on the roster, again giving them four bench players and eight relievers.

Since he was recalled on June 6, Tapia mostly filled in for the injured Gerardo Parra and Ian Desmond, hitting .356 (32-for-90).

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Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blackmon Rox' Heart and Hustle Award winner

Blackmon Rox' Heart and Hustle Award winner

The Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association revealed the 30 preliminary winners of the 2017 Heart and Hustle Award on Tuesday. The honor is the only one voted on by former players, and is bestowed each year upon the active player who most represents a passion for the game of baseball, and best embodies the values, spirit and tradition of the game.

Past winners of the Heart and Hustle Award include David Eckstein (2005), Hall of Famer Craig Biggio (2006, 2007), Grady Sizemore (2008), Albert Pujols (2009), Roy Halladay (2010), Torii Hunter (2011), Mike Trout (2012), Dustin Pedroia (2013), Josh Harrison (2014), Anthony Rizzo (2015) and Todd Frazier (2016).

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Manny Randhawa is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @MannyOnMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rockies' early charge holds up vs. Padres

Rockies' early charge holds up vs. Padres

DENVER -- Charlie Blackmon opened the bottom of the first with a homer off the face of the third deck and right-hander German Marquez tied a career high with nine strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings as the Rockies defeated the Padres, 9-6, Monday night at Coors Field to pull to a half-game behind the D-backs for the first National League Wild Card.

Blackmon's 22nd homer of the season came off Padres starter Luis Perdomo (4-5), who yielded seven runs (five earned) on six hits and three walks in 2 1/3 innings. Trevor Story drove in three runs and Gerardo Parra added his eighth homer of the season, a solo shot in the seventh, to help the Rockies to their second straight victory -- something that hadn't happened since a six-game streak from June 14-20.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Story reinvigorated since All-Star break

Story reinvigorated since All-Star break

DENVER -- The weeks heading into the All-Star break likely could not have been worse for Trevor Story at the plate.

From the beginning of the Rockies' eight-game losing streak on June 21 until the break, Story hit .190/.230/.259. He had 11 hits in 58 at-bats, struck out 27 times compared to two walks and saw his OPS drop 60 points.

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Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bullpen struggles demonstrate Rockies' need

Bullpen struggles demonstrate Rockies' need

DENVER -- Iffy eighth-inning relief pitching in the Rockies' 9-6 victory over the Padres on Monday night may have interjected excitement in what had been a lopsided game. More importantly, it may have illustrated the Rockies' biggest need heading into the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.

The excitement didn't hurt, because the Rockies made it to the ninth with the lead, and that's usually enough. Greg Holland struck out two in a scoreless, one-hit ninth for his Majors-leading 29th save -- in 30 attempts. But there were some hairy turns before Holland took the ball.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Holland's slider paying big dividends for Rox

Closer has been just as effective since returning from Tommy John surgery

Holland's slider paying big dividends for Rox

Indians star Francisco Lindor faced some of baseball's best pitchers during Cleveland's run to the World Series last fall, but he'd never seen a pitcher quite like the one staring back at him in the eighth inning of the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.

The man on the mound, clad in Rockies pinstripes, had his arms raised high like he was about to throw a football. Then he lifted his leg, planted and let his back side collapse toward first base. The object in his hand shot out at Lindor, seemingly traveling in the opposite direction as the pitcher's body. Straight as an arrow, the pitch had to be a fastball at Lindor's knees -- until suddenly it wasn't. Greg Holland's patented slider took a nosedive at the last second, and Lindor was left flailing.

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Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rox shuffle Senzatela back into rotation

Rox shuffle Senzatela back into rotation

DENVER -- The Rockies will continue to juggle their rotation as manager Bud Black tries to limit his young starters' innings. The latest shift will see Antonio Senzatela put back in the mix.

Senzatela will return from Triple-A Albuquerque to start Tuesday against the Padres, Black said. The rookie right-hander made one start with the Isotopes, throwing 60 pitches in 3 1/3 innings while giving up one run on four hits. He'd made two relief appearances after being bumped from the rotation June 22 to conserve his arm.

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Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.