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Arenado dazzles on diving stop, throw from knee

MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

SAN FRANCISCO -- Highlight plays from Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado happen often, but each is just as exciting, even for those on the field. Arenado's third-inning dazzler during Friday night's 6-1 victory over the Giants at AT&T Park left pitcher Kyle Freeland raising both hands in amazement.

And, Arenado has a habit of amazing and maddening San Francisco fans.

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Highlight plays from Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado happen often, but each is just as exciting, even for those on the field. Arenado's third-inning dazzler during Friday night's 6-1 victory over the Giants at AT&T Park left pitcher Kyle Freeland raising both hands in amazement.

And, Arenado has a habit of amazing and maddening San Francisco fans.

View Full Game Coverage

Arenado hustled right for a grass-cutter from the Giants' Kelby Tomlinson, slid into foul ground and threw a dart from his right knee to prevent a solid-average Major League runner (in scouting parlance) from getting an infield hit to open the inning.

"You can't get anything by that guy," Freeland said. "He's incredible. He's going to wow you every single night with what he does over there. That was an incredible play on his side making that throw to first."

Such plays illustrate why #NolanBeingNolan is a hashtag, and he has a house full of awards -- including a Rawlings Gold Glove Award for each of his previous five years in the Majors.

Video: Must C Cannon: Arenado lays out, fires from his knees

And after a Derek Holland single and a Gorkys Hernandez walk, Arenado fielded Andrew McCutchen's hopper to start a third-to-first double play and hold the Giants' lead at 1-0.

To keep the good feeling going, Arenado worked a walk from Holland to open the fourth, and scored three batters later on Ian Desmond's three-run homer for a 3-1 Rockies lead.

Arenado tends to make dazzling plays everywhere, but AT&T Park is a spot that has been good for him.

The most memorable came on April 14, 2015, in the eighth inning, when Arernado dove onto the tarp roll just beyond the third-base dugout for a Gregor Blanco foul ball to make the catch. The Giants had two on and trailed by three, and Arenado's play proved a key out in a 4-1 Rockies victory. The beneficiary, pitcher Rafael Betancourt, called it "the greatest play I'd ever seen from a teammate."

Video: Must C Catch: Arenado slams into tarp, reels in out

Arenado's standout performances at AT&T Park and against the Giants aren't limited to his glove, either.

On Friday, he went 2-for-4 with a double, a walk and two runs scored. It's fitting, considering his nine homers at the park are tied with Troy Tulowitzki for the Rockies' franchise record. Against the Giants, his 78 RBIs in 90 games are third among active players. Matt Kemp has 91 and Adrian Gonzalez has 85, but they did it in 185 and 178 games, respectively.

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