DENVER -- Nolan Arenado completed an improbable cycle with a three-run homer off Mark Melancon in the bottom of the ninth to give the National League West-leading Rockies a 7-5 victory to complete a four-game sweep of the Giants at Coors Field."It's getting loud here -- that's the loudest it's
DENVER -- Nolan Arenado completed an improbable cycle with a three-run homer off Mark Melancon in the bottom of the ninth to give the National League West-leading Rockies a 7-5 victory to complete a four-game sweep of the Giants at Coors Field.
"It's getting loud here -- that's the loudest it's ever been," said Arenado, who was serenaded with "MVP" chants after delivering the Rockies' colorful fifth straight win. "I think the fans and people in general are starting to get the hint that we are for real."
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Arenado's cycle is the eighth in Rockies history and the third by any player at Coors Field this year, after the Padres' William Myers did it April 10 and the Nationals' Trea Turner completed the feat April 26. No current park has seen more than two cycles in a season. Also, it was the 17th cycle at Coors Field, which ties it with Fenway Park (opened in 1912) for most in a current park. By the way, all cycles involving the Rockies -- by them or their opponents -- have occurred at Coors Field.
The Giants had taken a 5-3 lead with three runs in the top of the ninth -- Hunter Pence's two-run, pinch-hit homer and Brandon Crawford's RBI double against Jake McGee, before Carlos Estevez fanned Buster Posey to end the frame.
"After Carlos struck out Posey, there was still life in the dugout," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "There was a lot of, 'Come on, let's go.' 'We can do this.'"
Melancon, who hadn't pitched in 10 days, gave up one-out singles to Raimel Tapia, Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu, whose hit drove in a run. Arenado became the Rockies second player to finish a cycle with a walk-off homer. Carlos Gonzalez did it against the Cubs on July 31, 2010.
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Before the wild ending, the day belonged to Giants lefty starter Ty Blach, a Denver native who was making his first start at Coors Field. His cheering section included his father, Randy, and his mother, Karen. Blach's 6 2/3-inning, five-strikeout effort was marred by the last of the Rockies' seven hits -- Trevor Story's seventh-inning leadoff homer, followed two batters later by Pat Valaika's pinch-hit homer.
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"It was pretty special," Blach said of his initial Denver start, "especially to do it on Father's Day. I came to so many games here with my dad and my mom."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Feeling that old, familiar pain: Often, and usually at home, Chatwood has suffered when walks lead to home runs. He escaped most of his baserunners Sunday, but two batters after walking Denard Span he watched Crawford's opposite-way fly ball -- 35-degree launch angle, 93.9 mph exit velocity -- clear the raised wall in the left-field corner.
Chatwood threw 114 pitches, gave up five hits and walked four in six innings.
"When he walked off the field when he was done, he gave up two runs in six innings," Black said.
The man with the answer: For nearly three times through the batting order, no Rockies player had an answer for Blach except for Arenado, who tripled in the first inning and singled in the fourth. After LeMahieu drew a leadoff walk in the sixth, Arenado drove a double into left-center to score LeMahieu and cut the Giants' lead to 2-1.
"Ty did a terrific job," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
"After they took that lead in the ninth inning, something special was going to happen, because we never quit." -- Tapia, who also delivered a walk-off single in Thursday night's 10-9 victory over the Giants. Tapia spoke in Spanish, with first-base coach Tony Diaz interpreting.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Rockies are 44-0 this season when leading after seven innings.
AFTER THE BALL
A first-inning replay review (after a manager's challenge) overturned a call at second, made a dazzling Rockies defensive play count, and gave Chatwood a much-needed double play. With one out and runners at first and third, Rockies second baseman LeMahieu dove opposite his momentum for Buster Posey's grounder and flipped to shortstop Story covering second. Story relayed to first to retire Posey. Originally, Crawford was ruled safe at second, but the review showed Story's foot beat Crawford's to the bag.
Giants: San Francisco makes its initial visit to SunTrust Park, the Atlanta Braves' new home. Johnny Cueto, who has won once in his last eight outings, will start for the Giants in Monday's 4:35 p.m. PT series opener. He's 2-3 with a 3.58 ERA in eight lifetime appearances against Atlanta.
Rockies: Righty German Marquez will start the opener of an important NL West series against the D-backs -- like the Rockies, a team that has exceeded early predictions -- on Tuesday at Coors at 6:4 p.m. MT.
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Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.
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**.