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Reynolds flexes muscles in four-hit performance

Solo shot gives first baseman team lead in homers
MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

CHICAGO -- Cubs left fielder Kyle Schwarber didn't turn around because he knew. But Rockies first baseman Mark Reynolds watched the ball leave his bat and fly onto Waveland Avenue.

Reynolds' fourth-inning solo shot was one of two homers crushed out of Wrigley Field by Rockies batters -- Charlie Blackmon's seventh-inning homer to left and onto Sheffield Avenue was the other -- in the Rockies' seventh straight victory, a 9-1 romp against the Cubs on Saturday afternoon.

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CHICAGO -- Cubs left fielder Kyle Schwarber didn't turn around because he knew. But Rockies first baseman Mark Reynolds watched the ball leave his bat and fly onto Waveland Avenue.

Reynolds' fourth-inning solo shot was one of two homers crushed out of Wrigley Field by Rockies batters -- Charlie Blackmon's seventh-inning homer to left and onto Sheffield Avenue was the other -- in the Rockies' seventh straight victory, a 9-1 romp against the Cubs on Saturday afternoon.

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"Maybe two," Reynolds said when asked how many balls he'd hit onto Waveland in an 11-year career. "But this was the first time in my life I've ever played here with the wind blowing out like it was today."

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for #ASGWorthy players on the Rockies

Neither Reynolds nor Blackmon needed the gusts behind them to homer. Reynolds crushed Eddie Butler's pitch and Blackmon did the same on a Brian Duensing delivery.

Video: COL@CHC: Blackmon crushes homer out of Wrigley Field

Both are tied for the team lead with 53 RBIs, with Reynolds having matched his total last year in 118 games (a season interrupted and later ended by separate left hand injuries). Reynolds leads the team with 17 homers and Blackmon has 15, one more than third baseman Nolan Arenado, whose three-run double in the ninth upped his RBI total to 46.

That's worth a hashtag for all three -- #ASGWorthy -- in regard to the Esurance All-Star Ballot. And Reynolds needs a second, which is a message approved by the Rockies -- #writeinreynolds.

Reynolds and Blackmon also tickled the Statcast™ sensors. Reynolds' RBI double in the two-run first left the bat at 111.5 mph, his hardest-hit ball of the season and the seventh-hardest for a Rockies player. Blackmon's homer at 107.3 mph was his hardest hit of the year and his third-hardest since Statcast™ began making such calculations in 2015.

Video: COL@CHC: Reynolds plates LeMahieu with double

"The two today were really well struck," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "Charlie's was well-hit. Mark's was crushed. I think if the wind was blowing the other way, they both would have gone out. Those balls were well hit. Charlie's having a good series. Mark had a big day today. A lot of contributors today."

Reynolds was every bit as proud of his 4-for-5 day at the plate -- he has four such games in his career. But an approach he adopted with the Cardinals in 2015, when he was signed as a backup but found regular playing time because of other injuries, has reduced strikeouts and helped his batting average -- .309 this season.

"It doesn't happen very often for me -- 11 years, you think it would be more than that," Reynolds said, noting the four hits. "I'm just sticking with my approach, sticking with what I did last year, not changing. That's big for me, not trying to yank balls out of the yard and just staying with what I'd been doing."

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.

Colorado Rockies, Charlie Blackmon, Mark Reynolds