Blackmon providing high-energy spark for Rox

Blackmon providing high-energy spark for Rox

DENVER -- Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon isn't sure why, but he feels vivacious at a time many players are out of gas.

"The last few days, I just haven't been super-tired," said Blackmon, whose energy was evident during the early innings of the surging Rockies' 7-3 victory over the Dodgers on Tuesday night at Coors Field. "Physically, I was just feeling better."

Blackmon drew a third-inning walk, as part of a concerted effort to drive up Dodgers starter Brandon McCarthy's pitch count, and scored on Carlos Gonzalez's grounder. Blackmon came up with the bases loaded and forced in the third run of a four-run fourth inning when McCarthy's replacement, Luis Avilan, hit him on the right shoulder.

Blackmon, who later singled and scored and finished 1-for-3 with a walk and the hit batsman/RBI, has provided stubborn leadoff at-bats that have helped the Rockies win 10 of their last 12 games to climb to .500 (53-53) and to at least National League Wild Card contention.

During a 5-2 road trip that ended Sunday, Blackmon went 9-for-25 (.360). He was 7-for-17 (.412) as the Rockies took 3-of-4 from the contending Mets over the weekend.

It's not as if Blackmon can pinpoint why he feels good. He has played in 93 games. He missed 13 in May with turf toe in his left foot, but has played in every game that he didn't spend on the disabled list. The Rockies were off Monday, which had to help, but he was spry throughout the road trip, even when the weather was sweltering during a three-game series at Baltimore.

"You have good-body days and bad-body days," Blackmon said. "Your energy level ebbs and flows as the season goes on. You feel like you hit a wall for a couple of days, and then you break through and feel pretty good. Last series I felt better than the week before."

Back on July 18, Blackmon didn't feel good.

"I feel awful," he said then, adding that his approach was "just try not to strike out."

Of course, Blackmon said that after the 10th game of a 14-game hit streak.

Blackmon, who is hitting .305 with a .368 on-base percentage, was the ignitor for the kinetic chain at the top of the lineup Tuesday.

No. 2 hitter DJ LeMahieu went 1-for-3 to run his season batting average to .320, and scored once. Carlos Gonzalez went 3-for-5 while extending his hit steak to 14 games, which tied Blackmon for the Rockies' longest this season. Gonzalez drove in four runs -- two on fielder's-choice grounders during the early-innings grind against McCarthy (three-plus innings, three runs on three hits and five walks), and two on a two-run double once the hits started coming.

"[Blackmon is] my favorite guy to hit behind, because he doesn't have an empty at-bat, ever," LeMahieu said. "He sees a lot of pitches, makes hard contact and sets up the rest of our lineup -- not just me."

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for 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.