Blackmon breaks leadoff-hitter RBI record

Homer, single vs. LA give Rox's star 102 RBIs from top spot

Blackmon breaks leadoff-hitter RBI record

DENVER -- Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon wasn't sure how to act after making leadoff-batter history. It took a little help from a sold-out Coors Field crowd, and a little prodding from teammate Ian Desmond, to take his first career curtain call during the Rockies' 9-1 victory over the Dodgers on Friday night.

Blackmon's second-inning homer high into the second deck -- projected by Statcast™ at 454 feet -- gave him a Major League-record 101 RBIs from the leadoff spot, eclipsing former Angel Darin Erstad, who had 100 in 2000. Blackmon added an RBI single in the fifth to push the record to 102.

"I'd never done that before," said Blackmon, who had one RBI from the three-hole earlier this season, giving him a total of 103. "I didn't really know what to do. Ian told me to go up there. I was like, 'Go where?' And I figured out what was going on.

"That was really cool for me to have that connection there with the fans."

Blackmon's RBI single

Part of Blackmon's RBI total comes from taking advantage of solid performances from the bottom of the Rockies' lineup. But the biggest factor is his power. The homer was his 37th this season. He gives the Rockies a rare skill set at the top of the lineup.

And he is respected among the Rockies.

"He's had an unbelievable year this year," said Nolan Arenado, who also hit his 37th homer and is a National League Most Valuable Player candidate along with Blackmon. "I'm not surprised.

"The way he works, how hard he works, it's no surprise what he can do. I'm really happy for him. He's done a lot. He's been in this game a long time. He hasn't really gotten the credit he deserves, and this year he's getting it."

Blackmon, 31, doesn't revel in his performance. He's a workaday player who can push the acclaim aside and focus on what matters: The Rockies are one victory, or one Brewers loss, away from clinching the second National League Wild Card spot.

"I want to play playoff baseball," Blackmon said. "I really want that. But I'm trying my best to treat every baseball game like a regular baseball game, which is going to give me the best chance to perform well."

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