DENVER -- A couple of mornings ago, Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez said he was in a slump, not an identity crisis."Your name is always the same," he said.On Tuesday night, Gonzalez put his signature on a Zack Greinke changeup by blasting it 449 feet to dead center for his
DENVER -- A couple of mornings ago, Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez said he was in a slump, not an identity crisis.
"Your name is always the same," he said.
On Tuesday night, Gonzalez put his signature on a Zack Greinke changeup by blasting it 449 feet to dead center for his longest homer of the year during the Rockies' 4-3 victory over the D-backs at Coors Field.
Gonzalez had endured a 36 at-bat homer drought. During the Rockies' rise to the top of the National League West, he is oddly an illustration of the team's depth, as in The Rockies are doing this and 'CarGo' isn't hitting.
Nolan Arenado -- whose eighth-inning triple won the game for the Rockies -- is carrying the Rockies the way Gonzalez has in the past and is capable of doing again.
• Parra dances with CarGo's bat before homer
"Our third baseman is doing Kobe Bryant things," Gonzalez said. "He's just on a different level. It's fun to watch.
"He's carrying this team on his shoulder. We're pitching, playing great defense and everything is working. It doesn't get any better than that. Just show up and repeat, every day."
But Tuesday's 2-for-4 night was a mix of the old CarGo -- who hits Grienke no matter how he's performing -- and the new one, who is finding all kind of ways just to be a part of the Colorado frolic.
Gonzalez's homer is his fifth in 39 career at-bats against Greinke. Gonzalez is 14-for-39 (.359) with five homers and seven RBIs against him. It's as if Grienke's high-quality stuff and approach work for Gonzalez.
"He's the style of pitcher that he's going to give you strikes," Gonzalez said. "He's going to challenge you. At the same time, when he sees that he's in trouble he makes pitches that look like strikes, then they fade away.
"He was in the zone. He was throwing well."
Gonzalez also made a difficult catch in foul ground to retire Paul Goldschmidt in the first, and a diving catch of a David Peralta liner with a runner on to end the sixth.
Gonzalez is 5-for-14 with four runs, three walks and just three strikeouts during the 5-0 homestand -- good signs for a star who is hitting .224.
"Got a changeup from Greinke and hammered it, made two nice plays, almost made a third on the one Lamb ball that short-hopped him," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "I also liked the base hit against [reliever Archie] Bradley, the hard fastball that he sort of blocked and hit it the other way, that's a good sign too.
"Carlos is gonna get there for us."
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and** like his Facebook page**.