The Rockies were represented throughout the entirety of the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard, though their two representatives had divergent experiences. Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez went 1-for-2 in a starting role, but things were a little rougher for third baseman Nolan Arenado, who came off the bench to go 0-for-3
The Rockies were represented throughout the entirety of the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard, though their two representatives had divergent experiences. Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez went 1-for-2 in a starting role, but things were a little rougher for third baseman Nolan Arenado, who came off the bench to go 0-for-3 with a strikeout, including grounding into the game-ending double play in a 4-2 loss.
Gonzalez received a starting nod after injuries sidelined Yoenis Cespedes and Dexter Fowler, who were voted in by fans. It was Gonzalez's third career All-Star appearance (2012-13), and he's started in all three games.
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The Rockies right fielder batted eighth and had a contingent of family on hand in San Diego, including his wife and children, as well as his brother and sister-in-law and their children.
"Just the fact that we get to spend time with the best players in the league, have a great time with the family, your kids," Gonzalez said, "the whole experience is great."
Gonzalez singled to center field in his first at-bat against Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels in the third inning. In the fourth, he came to the plate with the NL trailing by two runs with runners on first and second and worked Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez to a full count before rocketing a line drive directly at Astros second baseman Jose Altuve.
Arenado, meanwhile, replaced Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, who hit a first-inning homer against White Sox left-hander Chris Sale and started for the National League at third base. Arenado pinch-hit for Bryant in the fifth, grounding into a fielder's choice against the White Sox Jose Quintana before striking out against Yankees reliever Dellin Betances in the seventh.
In the ninth, Arenado came up against O's closer Zach Britton with one out and the D-backs' Paul Goldschmidt on first when he hit a grounder to Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson to start the game-ending double play. Arenado didn't appear to be running hard out of the box, and after the game he sheepishly admitted a mental error.
"In the ninth inning, I actually thought there was two outs, so I kind of fell asleep there," Arenado said.
Arenado, a California native, made his second straight All-Star appearance and received an invitation through the players vote. The 25-year-old is hitting .287 -- the same average he finished with in 2014 and 2015 -- and has 23 homers in 87 games to go with 70 RBIs. He also gave fans a quick glimpse of his defensive abilities in the seventh on a ground ball by Rangers center fielder Ian Desmond, gloving it on a short hop and throwing the Mariners' Robinson Cano out at second base.
Both players have enjoyed strong campaigns for a rebuilding Rockies team beginning to show signs of improvement. Gonzalez is hitting .318/.367/.557 with a 18 homers through 85 games and is producing at a similar level to before an injury-plagued 2014 season.
Mark Chiarelli is a reporter for MLB.com.