Arenado belts NL-leading 22nd home run
DENVER -- Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado enjoys playing the Giants. Why? Because he's really good at hitting against them.
Tuesday night was no different, as Arenado hit his National League-leading 22nd home run of the season -- a three-run shot in the fifth inning against the Giants' Chris Stratton -- in the Rockies' 8-1 win at Coors Field.
Arenado has 90 career RBIs against the Giants, the second most among active players. The Dodgers' Matt Kemp leads that group with 93. Arenado's 24 career home runs against the Giants are also second most among active players, with Kemp's 26 ranking first.
"They bring out the best in all of us," Arenado said about the Giants. "Three World Series rings, always been one of the top-tier teams in our division. I really always want to beat them, because they've beat us in the past a lot, so it feels good to contribute and help us."
Arenado's homer gave the surging Rockies, winners of five of their last six games, a 6-0 lead with no outs in the fifth. The homer broke Arenado's tie with the Nationals' Bryce Harper, who hit his 21st home run against the Red Sox on Monday.
It was Arenado's 10th homer with two strikes this year. Only Aaron Judge (12), Francisco Lindor (10) and Jesus Aguilar (10) have as many. Arenado entered Tuesday hitting .275 with two strikes, fifth best in the Majors (min. 100 plate appearances).
Arenado's homer came on the eighth pitch of his at-bat against Stratton with a full count. After Stratton had thrown four fastballs, Arenado belted a changeup a Statcast-projected 419 feet over the center-field fence.
"You have to tip your cap sometimes," Stratton said. "He took a good swing there."
Arenado and the Rockies seem to be shaking their recent doldrums. From June 15 -- the day Arenado ended a slump at a career-worst 0-for-19 -- through Tuesday, Arenado is batting .338 with 10 home runs and 26 RBIs. On Tuesday, Arenado was 2-for-4 with a homer, three RBIs and two runs scored.
"The thing about Nolan is he has a plan when the games starts, and when the game unfolds, he gets a sense of what's going on and the situation," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "It doesn't surprise me, I don't want to take it for granted. All I know is I'm glad he did it."