Nolan celebrates 28 with homer in 3rd straight

April 17th, 2019

SAN DIEGO -- With one swing Tuesday night -- a two-run, first-inning homer in an 8-2 win over the Padres -- gave himself and the Rockies much to celebrate on his 28th birthday.

“I want to give a shoutout to the fans who came out and were cheering me on, singing me ‘Happy Birthday,’” said Arenado, who is from Lake Forest, Calif. -- not too long a drive from Petco Park.

His homer was a gift that kept giving on a night when the Rockies managed season highs for runs and hits (12):

• Arenado homered for the third straight game, after going the season’s first 15 games without one. Not so coincidentally, the Rockies have won those three games to push a rough start into the past. After an eight-game losing streak, the Rockies split a six-game National League West road trip.

“To be able to say we split a road trip, it’s not bad -- you always go home feeling pretty good,” said Arenado, whose team returns to Coors Field -- where it is 0-5 -- on Thursday to face the Phillies to open a four-game series and seven-game homestand.

• The homer gave the Rockies their first first-inning runs of the season, ending a club-record 17-game dry spell.

“We scored runs early,” Arenado said. “You always feel more comfortable when you score runs early. It gives our pitchers a little more confidence or calms them down, maybe.”

• The homer, off Padres left-hander Nick Margevicius, was Arenado’s 189th with the Rockies. He surpassed Troy Tulowtizki (2006-15) for sixth on the team’s career list. With Arenado beginning an eight-year, $260 million contract, there is plenty of time to pass others.

“It’s pretty cool,” Arenado said. “There have been a lot of good hitters to come through Colorado, and to be up there is a nice feeling. But hopefully I can move up that list a little bit more.”