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Arenado HRs again, strengthens All-Star bid

Third baseman has gone deep in five of his past six games
MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

DENVER -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado's recent power surge has given way to a campaign slogan:

Tune in early. Vote often.

View Full Game Coverage

DENVER -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado's recent power surge has given way to a campaign slogan:

Tune in early. Vote often.

View Full Game Coverage

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

Arenado's two-run homer off left-hander Caleb Smith in the first inning of Sunday afternoon's 8-5 loss to the Marlins was his fifth blast in the last six games and his 18th of the season. His nine first-inning homers lead the Majors.

"I just try to have a good at-bat, try to set the tone," said Arenado, who also has 24 first-inning RBIs. "Whenever you get a knock in that first at-bat, it always feels good going into the day. I try to do the best I can, just like every other at-bat. As the game gets going, as the game is going on, it gets tougher to drive the ball just because pitchers are really good -- you're facing some high-end relievers."

Of course, the homers are part of the reason Arenado has been the runaway leader at third base on the 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot. Fans may cast votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online until Thursday, July 5, at 9:59 p.m. MT (11:59 p.m. ET.) On smartphones and tablets, fans can also access the ballot via the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps. Each fan can vote up to five times in any 24-hour period, for a maximum of 35 ballots cast.

In addition to the home runs, Arenado is among the NL leaders in batting at .318 and has 55 RBIs, to go with being the defensive standard at third base with Rawlings Gold Glove Awards in each of the past five years. Arenado has put on outstanding shows at Coors Field, where he has hit .357 (50-for-104) over 37 games this season.

In 10 games since sitting out June 14 in Philadelphia while going through a slump that would reach a career-worst 0-for-19, Arenado has hit .390 (16 for 41) with six home runs, five doubles and 18 RBIs.

Arenado had a four-game homer streak, Tuesday through Friday, which was the second longest of his career, trailing a six-game run from Sept. 1-5, 2015. Sunday's homer, also meant he has reached base in 63 of his 71 games.

"I wouldn't tell myself I'm hot right now; I don't really say those things," Arenado said. "That can change. I thought I was hot yesterday and I went 0-for-4. I just try to have good at-bats. I feel good right now. I'm slowing the game down, slowing my body down and getting my swing off. When I'm back-spinning the ball to left-center, left field for homers and outs the way I have been, that means I'm in a pretty decent spot.

"I'm sure the day off helped. Probably anger of losing and playing bad helped, too. I work hard. I hit late at night after games if I have to. Some of the hitting coaches have helped me slow it down. I don't like to be bad. I put a lot of pride in it and I try not to let it consume me, but I know I put the work in so I go into games pretty confident."

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

Colorado Rockies, Nolan Arenado