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Story joins slugfest, clubs HR in 1st ASG at-bat

Arenado, Blackmon held in check at the plate in NL loss
MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- Trevor Story showed the world why he was selected to represent the Rockies at the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on Tuesday night.

Down one to the American League in the seventh inning, Story stepped to the plate in his first at-bat, after coming into the game for starter Brandon Crawford in the sixth inning. He took a fastball from Charlie Morton -- then left no doubt to those in Nationals Park, launching a solo home run to the left field seats. It briefly tied the game, before the American League went on to win the Midsummer Classic, 8-6, in 10 innings.

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WASHINGTON -- Trevor Story showed the world why he was selected to represent the Rockies at the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on Tuesday night.

Down one to the American League in the seventh inning, Story stepped to the plate in his first at-bat, after coming into the game for starter Brandon Crawford in the sixth inning. He took a fastball from Charlie Morton -- then left no doubt to those in Nationals Park, launching a solo home run to the left field seats. It briefly tied the game, before the American League went on to win the Midsummer Classic, 8-6, in 10 innings.

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Story became the first shortstop to hit a game-tying home run in the All-Star Game and the first Rockies All-Star to hit a home run since Matt Holliday in 2008.

It's just another chapter to Story's recent surge, which has helped lift the Rockies to 13 wins in the last 16 games, including four in a row. Colorado is now two games behind the National League West-leading Dodgers. Since June 8, Story leads the Majors with a .378 batting average and is fourth in slugging at .704. That includes Story's walk-off home run on Sunday to complete the Rockies' sweep of the Mariners.

"Trevor's on a mission to be that consistent player that everybody wants to have on their team," Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon said Monday. "He's had a few ups and downs early in his career. Thankfully, he's such a young player that he's got lots of time for him to figure it out. But here he is so early in his career starting to put it together."

Third baseman Nolan Arenado and Blackmon have also been key in their club's surge at the end of the first half, so it was fitting that they joined Story in Washington as All-Stars.

Arenado made his fourth straight appearance and second straight start, batting second in the NL lineup. He went 0-for-2 with a walk and was replaced by the Reds' Eugenio Suarez in the top of the sixth. Arenado hasn't made much of a splash in his All-Star Game appearances -- in four games, he is 2-for-8 with one walk and three strikeouts.

Blackmon entered the game in the sixth for the Nationals' Bryce Harper and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. His big contribution came in an in-game interview with FOX announcers Joe Buck and John Smoltz, where they talked about everything from Blackmon's beard to the differences between playing in Coors Field and at Nationals Park.

Video: 2018 ASG: Blackmon talks about his beard at the ASG

"I don't consider myself superstitious, but I came into the year in 2014 with a beard, and that's the first time I made a big league roster, I made an All-Star team," Blackmon said. "And I'm a big proponent of 'if it's not broke, don't fix it.'"

Blackmon, playing in his third All-Star Game, told Buck and Smoltz that he's enjoying the All-Star festivities and soaking up the experience it has given him. In the early innings of the game, Blackmon was found in the National League dugout talking with the other All-Stars and occasionally taking out his phone to snap footage of his teammates at the plate.

"I told someone earlier that everything I do that makes me a good baseball player doesn't get done this week," Blackmon said. "There's no scouting, no routine, just strap it up and play."

Anne Rogers is a reporter for MLB.com.

Colorado Rockies, Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon, Trevor Story