CarGo shows old form in snapping HR drought

May 16th, 2016

DENVER -- Carlos Gonzalez was certain his slump and lack of power would end. He never lost faith. And why should he, being a two-time All-Star and Silver Slugger Award winner and a former National League batting champion?

On Sunday, Gonzalez delivered two big hits in the Rockies' 4-3 comeback win that enabled them to sweep a three-game series with the Mets and win four straight games for the first time since July 9-12, 2014.

Dropped from the third to the fifth spot in the lineup, Gonzalez lined a double to break a string of 13 straight hitless at-bats. True, the ball sailed over the head of left fielder Michael Conforto, but Gonzalez made hard contact.

In the fourth, he drew a two-out walk from Jacob deGrom, a telling at-bat for Rockies manager Walt Weiss.

"The walk that he took, I thought was one of the best signs of the day from him," Weiss said, "because he got in a hitter's count, 3-1, and deGrom threw him a changeup that kind of faded off the plate. He recognized it and held up. That told me his pitch recognition's coming back and he's getting in good positions throughout the swing."

In the sixth, Gonzalez hit a two-out homer that trimmed the Mets' lead to 3-2. He drove deGrom's first-pitch slider over the wall in straightaway center. It was Gonzalez's fifth homer of the season. He had gone 24 games and 99 at-bats since April 16 without hitting a homer, his longest drought since '12.

The homer also ended a career-long stretch of 17 games without an RBI since April 24 for Gonzalez.

"It's been a rough stretch, but it's part of the game," said Gonzalez , who is batting .295. "Sometimes hitting is going to look so hard. Sometimes you're going to make it look easy. But in tough moments, you just got to continue to stay positive. I'm going to get at it. I always believe in myself."

Gonzalez uses a leg kick in his swing, and his woes at the plate were largely a matter of timing.

"It's not easy when you have a leg kick," he said. "Things have to be perfect just to be on time, because you're going to face so many different pitchers with a lot of different deliveries. Everybody's throwing hard these days, so if you're not on time, that leg kick can get you in trouble."