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Blackmon homers twice, bringing '18 total to 3

MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

PHOENIX -- Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon -- the early Major League home run leader -- has served notice: The first pitch just might be his pitch. And Saturday he showed he isn't bad with the second pitch, either.

Blackmon tied Saturday's game against the D-backs by pulling Zack Greinke's first pitch of the sixth inning Saturday night for a home run to right field. With one down in the eighth, he swung wildly at Fernando Salas' first pitch, then blasted his second over the right-field wall for a 2-1 lead, which the Rockies held on to for the win.

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PHOENIX -- Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon -- the early Major League home run leader -- has served notice: The first pitch just might be his pitch. And Saturday he showed he isn't bad with the second pitch, either.

Blackmon tied Saturday's game against the D-backs by pulling Zack Greinke's first pitch of the sixth inning Saturday night for a home run to right field. With one down in the eighth, he swung wildly at Fernando Salas' first pitch, then blasted his second over the right-field wall for a 2-1 lead, which the Rockies held on to for the win.

View Full Game Coverage

On Friday, Blackmon's three-run, fourth-inning homer off Robbie Ray in an eventual 9-8 Rockies loss came on a first pitch. And his three homers, which account for all his hits in 10 at-bats, are the most of any player.

Video: COL@ARI: Blackmon launches a solo homer to right

Such ambushes as the ones for the first two homers appear to be by design. Blackmon is well known to take first pitches, even though he does well with them. Last year, when he finished with 37 homers and led the National League with a .331 batting average, he was 15-for-34 (.441) on first pitches with two homers, eight RBIs and a 1.281 OPS. The hits included three doubles and two triples.

Blackmon could be foreshadowing a new team-wide plan. Last season, the Rockies swung at the first pitch 27.2 percent of the time, which tied for 19th-most in the Majors, according to Statcast™. The MLB average was 28.6 percent. However, Colorado's .384 first-pitch batting average was second-best in the Majors (against a .348 MLB average), and the .650 slugging percentage was fifth-best (with the MLB average slugging percentage being .585).

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, Charlie Blackmon