SAN DIEGO -- Ian Desmond would love to take his turn as a hot hitter in the Rockies' lineup.Desmond, playing catch-up after missing most of April with a fractured left hand, swatted a seventh-inning grand slam off Jose Torres to provide four insurance runs in a 10-1 victory over the
SAN DIEGO -- Ian Desmond would love to take his turn as a hot hitter in the Rockies' lineup.
Desmond, playing catch-up after missing most of April with a fractured left hand, swatted a seventh-inning grand slam off Jose Torres to provide four insurance runs in a 10-1 victory over the Padres at Petco Park on Saturday.
The slam, Desmond's first since April 20, 2014, while playing for the Nationals against the Marlins in Miami, was Desmond's third homer. The other two homers this year came at Petco -- both off righty Jered Weaver on May 3.
Grand slams mean 40% off pizza
"I don't feel like I'm exactly at my best," said Desmond, who is hitting .272 through 31 games. "But it's all about keeping above water until you get hot. That's what I feel like I've been doing, and the guys have been doing a great job of stepping up and driving in runs that I haven't been able to."
Nolan Arenado earlier knocked his 14th homer, which ties him with Mark Reynolds for the team lead. Charlie Blackmon has 13 homers and 47 RBIs. The Rockies signed Desmond, a versatile defender who is playing left field and first base, to lengthen the lineup.
The Rockies inked the 31-year-old for five years and $70 million over the winter, knowing he's capable of slow periods, but also torrid ones.
In 98 games from last year's All-Star break to now, Desmond has hit .248 with 10 home runs and 48 RBIs. But in 161 games from the All-Star break of 2015 until the All-Star break last year, he hit .296 with 34 homers and 93 RBIs -- in other words, one heck of a year.
The Rockies see Desmond finding hits with an inside-out approach, but the ability to pull a ball into the left-field seats makes him a key lineup component.
"He wants to solidify himself," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "He's a guy who has been here a short period of time. Those things help."
Even in a new place, Desmond hopes to experience familiar winning. He has been part of division winners three of the past five seasons, two with the Nationals and last year with the Rangers. The Rockies have been battling with the Dodgers and surging D-backs all season in the National League West.
"It's been good," he said. "It's only going to get better."
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and** like his Facebook page**.