CINCINNATI -- Alexi Amarista went 251 at-bats and 656 days between home runs before hitting one on April 29. The wait wasn't quite as long this time. The drought lasted 24 at-bats and 19 days.Amarista's three-run shot Friday night broke open the game in the sixth inning. The Rockies went
CINCINNATI -- Alexi Amarista went 251 at-bats and 656 days between home runs before hitting one on April 29. The wait wasn't quite as long this time. The drought lasted 24 at-bats and 19 days.
Amarista's three-run shot Friday night broke open the game in the sixth inning. The Rockies went on to a 12-6 victory over the Reds at Great American Ball Park.
You don't expect a 5-foot-6, 160-pound guy like Amarista to go deep often. But you don't expect any ball hit like Amarista's to go out. It looked like a flyout when it left the bat.
According to Statcast™, the ball had a 40-degree launch angle with an exit velocity of 97 mph. That adds up to a nine percent hit probability. Rockies manager Bud Black says Amarista has "sneaky pull pop." Friday's shot was pulled down the right-field line.
"My mentality was really to make solid contact," Amarista said through an interpreter. "Stay in the middle of the field. He threw me a changeup. I was able to barrel it up. Fortunately for me and the team, the ball left the yard."
The game turned into a rout. But it was a 2-1 game when Amarista hit the homer. The Rockies went on to send 14 hitters to the plate and score eight runs in the inning. Amarista singled in another run in the inning, tying a career-high with four RBIs.
Amarista is getting starts every other game or so with Trevor Story on the disabled list, hitting .341 with a .924 OPS.
"I prepare every day to play -- whether it's to start or come in late in the game," Amarista said. "I'm very loyal to my routine and preparation. I'm ready to contribute anyway Bud Black uses me."
Black managed Amarista from 2012 to '15 in San Diego. He wanted Amarista when the Rockies were putting together this team.
"We just felt it was a good fit, because of his versatility," Black said. "His ability to play the middle of the diamond -- center, second and short. Go to third, go to the corner outfields, it doesn't matter. You put Alexi on the field and you feel good about the defense. Very rarely will he ever lose a game for you in the field. The bat comes in to play. I think he's done some good work in the big leagues."
John Fay is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati and covered the Rockies on Friday.