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Marquez sends Rockies to historic sweep

Colorado posts .652 winning percentage while tying NL mark with 46 straight games vs. plus-.500 clubs
MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

ATLANTA -- Smelling a four-game sweep on Sunday, Rockies right-hander German Marquez never let go of the scent of the strike zone.

Pounding the zone for strikes on 64 of his 93 pitches over seven innings, Marquez minimized threats as the Rockies topped the Braves, 4-2, at SunTrust Park.

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ATLANTA -- Smelling a four-game sweep on Sunday, Rockies right-hander German Marquez never let go of the scent of the strike zone.

Pounding the zone for strikes on 64 of his 93 pitches over seven innings, Marquez minimized threats as the Rockies topped the Braves, 4-2, at SunTrust Park.

View Full Game Coverage

Marquez (11-9) switched things up on the Braves to lead the Rockies, who now return home trailing the first-place D-backs by just a half-game in the National League West standings.

The Rockies, who benefited from solo homers from Trevor Story in the second inning and DJ LeMahieu in the third off Braves starter Anibal Sanchez (6-4), finished a record-matching stretch of schedule difficulty, with 46 straight against plus-.500 clubs.

The 30-16 record (.652 winning percentage) was far better than that of the 1926 Phillies (15-21, .417 winning percentage) and the 2012 Braves (22-24, .478), the other teams to play 46 straight against teams .500 or above, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. 

It also was the Rockies' first win of a four-game series in Atlanta.

Video: COL@ATL: Story smacks a solo home run to left field

"Talking doesn't get it done, it's the way the guys are playing," said third baseman Nolan Arenado, who singled in the Rockies' third run in the third, behind a David Dahl bloop double. "Everybody's contributing -- starting pitching, bullpen, defense, offense. I think the offense can probably do a little bit better job, but we're finding a way. And our pitchers are keeping us in games."

In his previous two starts, Marquez fanned a combined 19 using the curve for all but one of his strike-three pitches, with hitters often swinging as it hit the dirt. But on Sunday, he stayed in the zone and let the Braves make the outs for him. He fanned five, limited the Braves to two runs on five hits and a walk, and got on and off the mound as quickly as he could on a hot and humid day.

"It had nothing to do with the conditions ... that's an aggressive ballclub that swings early," Marquez said in Spanish, with first-base coach Tony Diaz interpreting. "They're looking to swing early. I was loyal to my plan."

Video: COL@ATL: Marquez, Arenado discuss the 4-2 victory

Marquez yielded RBI singles to the Braves' Johan Camargo in the first and sixth innings, but he didn't face multiple baserunners at the same time beyond the first.

The Rockies' starting rotation has been among the best in a number of different categories during this difficult stretch on the schedule, but it does not have a complete game this season. Marquez seemed headed that way, but after hitting Charlie Culberson to open the seventh, he exhausted himself to end the threat, manager Bud Black said.

Video: COL@ATL: Black on the sweep, Marquez's strong start

Still, Marquez is 4-0 with a 2.70 ERA in his last six road starts and left Black impressed.

"A little bit lengthy first inning but, man, the ball-strike ratio was great," Black said. "Good use of the slider, fastball usage, good change -- he had his weapons today. He just continues to pitch steady for us."

Adam Ottavino threw a spotless eighth and, after Carlos Gonzalez's pinch-hit RBI single off Dan Winkler in the top of the ninth, Wade Davis secured his 35th save. The Rockies' bullpen gave up five runs in 12 innings over the four games, but four of them occurred at the end of Friday's 11-5 victory.

Video: COL@ATL: Davis K's Flowers to notch 35th save of year

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
LeMahieu struggled initially after returning Aug. 2 from a left oblique strain. His average for the month is .260 -- not what he is used to, considering he won the NL batting title in 2016. But the past two games provided signs that LeMahieu's bat is returning.

On Saturday, his 10th-inning leadoff shot to dead-center spearheaded a 5-3 victory, and Sunday marked just the second time LeMahieu has homered in consecutive games in his career. LeMahieu tied a career high with 11 homers (nine on the road), so he's not a fence-buster. But it sends a message that if pitchers want to bust him inside, they'd better not miss.

"I'm feeling good -- I guess it's just a byproduct," LeMahieu said. "I feel fairly locked in. I need to keep it going to help our team to win."

Video: COL@ATL: LeMahieu drills a solo home run to left

"When DJ hits a ball to straightaway center like he did last night, then pulls a ball to straightaway left, that's a good sign that the bat's getting through the zone," Black said. "He's going to get his base hits to right. He's going to get his base hits up the middle. But to elevate the ball with some power, that's a good sign."

SOUND SMART
Since June 28, Story is batting .350 with a 1.020 OPS, and he has reached base in 16 straight games. He also has a .378 batting average and .707 slugging percentage in his last 22 road contests.

Last season he struggled reading breaking balls and led the NL with 191 strikeouts. Sunday's homer, his 26th this year, was on an 0-1 breaking ball that Story pulled into the Rockies' bullpen in the left-field corner.

"Trevor has done a good job shortening his swing and recognizing pitches, and staying in the hitting area," Black said. "This is development. This is growth from Trevor from a year ago."

UP NEXT
Lefty Tyler Anderson (6-5, 4.39 ERA) has struggled in the first inning of two of his past three starts -- losses at Milwaukee and Houston. But on Tuesday (6:40 p.m. MT), he starts the opener of a three-game set against the Padres at Coors Field, where he held the Dodgers to one run and four hits over six innings on Aug. 9. San Diego will counter with left-hander Robbie Erlin (2-3, 3.33).

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, Nolan Arenado, Wade Davis, DJ LeMahieu, German Marquez, Trevor Story

Rox roll during record stretch vs. winning clubs

46th straight game vs. better-than-.500 teams ties NL mark
MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

ATLANTA -- The Rockies tied a National League record Sunday by playing their 46th straight game against a team with a better-than-.500 record. But their performance over the stretch has been more about the quality of the Rockies than that of opponents.

The series finale against the Braves tied the Rockies with the 1926 Phillies and the 2012 Braves for the most brutal NL stretch by won-loss record, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The difference, though, is the success rate. Those '26 Phils went 15-31, and the '12 Braves were 22-24. The Rockies went 30-16, following a 4-2 win on Sunday.

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ATLANTA -- The Rockies tied a National League record Sunday by playing their 46th straight game against a team with a better-than-.500 record. But their performance over the stretch has been more about the quality of the Rockies than that of opponents.

The series finale against the Braves tied the Rockies with the 1926 Phillies and the 2012 Braves for the most brutal NL stretch by won-loss record, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The difference, though, is the success rate. Those '26 Phils went 15-31, and the '12 Braves were 22-24. The Rockies went 30-16, following a 4-2 win on Sunday.

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"We're playing good baseball against good teams, and we're finding a way to win against teams who also know how to win," center fielder Charlie Blackmon said. "It's not like you're beating a team that can't win. Some teams, when they're not going good, they find a way to lose. But the teams that we've been playing find a way to win consistently."

The stat is a product of the Rockies' quirky schedule and a difficult Interleague opponent draw. The Rockies had a heavy stretch of early-season games against the Padres -- who will arrive at Coors Field on Tuesday well under .500. The NL West was matched up with the American League West, which is the most competitive division in a Junior Circuit full of teams doing the rebuilding dance.

"The coaches and I looked at the schedule and were going through it and said in a way, believe it or not, it's a good thing to play teams that are over .500, that are in contention, because it will really show what we're all about," manager Bud Black said.

The performance over the stretch and how it's being viewed highlights a slight disconnect between the Rockies' self-evaluation and expectations from those outside their circle.

Wherever they go, and even at home, the Rockies' success is often met with questions emphasizing how good the opponents are and are tinged with the thought that the wins have an "upset" quality. But the Rockies counter with the attitude that they win because they're supposed to win.

Video: COL@ATL: Story smacks a solo home run to left field

"We're a confident team," said shortstop Trevor Story, who hit his 26th home run on Sunday. "We feel like we can play and beat anybody. It's been a long stretch of playing really good teams. It kind of confirms what we all believed."

And it confirms the belief that pitching, especially starting pitching, wins. The starting rotation's .216 batting average against and 7.09 hits per nine innings led the Majors over the first 45 games of the stretch. Over that time, the offense produced a .762 team OPS -- ninth in the Majors.

The Rockies entered Sunday a half-game out of first place and holding the attention of those in the know.

"I do hear from the other managers, the coaches, the broadcasters, 'Hey, you guys got a good team,'" Black said. "I think we know that. I think the guys know it, and I think people in the game are watching, and give a lot of compliments to the Rockies. It's good to hear."

No vacation
Games against the Padres have not been easy. The Rockies are 7-5 against San Diego this season but just 3-3 at Coors Field, where the clubs will open a three-game series on Tuesday.

"They've got some good players," Black said. "Position player-wise, they've got some guys that can do some damage, even though statistically it might not bear out. On the mound, they've gone through a lot of changes. They've got some pitchers on that staff that we haven't seen. We'll try to get up to speed as quickly as possible Monday and Tuesday afternoon."

Dunn on schedule
Lefty Mike Dunn, on the disabled list since July 7 with left A/C joint inflammation, will make his first rehab appearance Tuesday for Triple-A Albuquerque at El Paso. His next two appearances will come after two days off. Then he'll go with one day off before finishing his rehab assignment next Friday and Saturday. He plans to rejoin the club Sept. 3 at home against the Giants.

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

30 guys we want to see win it all

The veterans, or other inspiring players, who have yet to win a title
MLB.com @williamfleitch

One of the best subplots of the Astros' World Series championship last season was Carlos Beltran finally getting a championship ring. While Beltran wasn't a key factor for Houston, seeing the future Hall of Famer, one of the best playoff hitters of all time, win a championship in his seventh postseason was one of the more heartwarming stories in a rather heartwarming October.

Everybody loves to see a vet finally get his title. This got us to thinking: What other old-timers would we love to see win a title who haven't won one yet? Thus, this week at The Thirty, we take a look at the Carlos Beltran on each time: The veteran, or just inspiring story, who you'd most like to see win that elusive championship. Obviously, there's not much hope for some of these guys; the Orioles have already been eliminated, after all. But you never know. These are the players who never got a title … but someday should.

One of the best subplots of the Astros' World Series championship last season was Carlos Beltran finally getting a championship ring. While Beltran wasn't a key factor for Houston, seeing the future Hall of Famer, one of the best playoff hitters of all time, win a championship in his seventh postseason was one of the more heartwarming stories in a rather heartwarming October.

Everybody loves to see a vet finally get his title. This got us to thinking: What other old-timers would we love to see win a title who haven't won one yet? Thus, this week at The Thirty, we take a look at the Carlos Beltran on each time: The veteran, or just inspiring story, who you'd most like to see win that elusive championship. Obviously, there's not much hope for some of these guys; the Orioles have already been eliminated, after all. But you never know. These are the players who never got a title … but someday should.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Blue Jays
Russell Martin

The longtime catcher has been around so long he was drafted by the Expos. Martin has reached the postseason a whopping nine times, but he has never reached the World Series.

Video: TB@BAL: Jones belts a 3-run homer to left-center

Orioles
Adam Jones

We know Jones wants to stay in Baltimore, and he has earned that right … but it sure would be nice to see him in the Fall Classic someday.

Rays
Carlos Gomez

Gomez has played for four teams in the postseason, none of them the Rays.

Red Sox
Chris Sale

Sale's going to have a Hall of Fame case to make someday, and having a World Series title would be a handy little feather in his cap.

Yankees
Giancarlo Stanton

After all those years in Miami, a World Series feels like Stanton's due. His next postseason game will be his first.

AL CENTRAL

Indians
Rajai Davis

We'd like to see Davis get a chance to hit another Game 7 homer.

Royals
Blaine Boyer

Boyer has pitched for 12 seasons and for nine teams -- including Boston, St. Louis and Atlanta -- and he has still never appeared in a postseason game.

Tigers
Victor Martinez

Remember: Miguel Cabrera won a title in 2003 with the Marlins.

Video: MIN@KC: Mauer sets Twins' record with 415th double

Twins
Joe Mauer

A World Series is the one thing Mauer hasn't given the Twins.

White Sox
James Shields

Big Game James was much better in his 2008 World Series appearance for the Rays than he was in his 2014 World Series appearances for the Royals.

AL WEST

Angels
Mike Trout

Still waiting for that first postseason win. It looks like Trout will still be waiting this October.

Astros
Gerrit Cole

Well, everyone else has one.

Athletics
Fernando Rodney

It has been 12 years since Rodney was last in the World Series … but it sure would be fun to see a World Series game end with the bow and arrow.

Mariners
Nelson Cruz

Just remember not to put Cruz in right field during a clinching game.

Video: TEX@DET: Beltre ties Winfield with his 3,110th hit

Rangers
Adrian Beltre

The easiest pick on the board. We should call every beloved veteran trying to win a ring before he reaches the Hall of Fame "The Beltre."

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Video: ATL@NYM: Markakis nets 4 hits, hits key homer in 10th

Braves
Nick Markakis

Markakis has only made the postseason once (2014) in his whole career.

Marlins
Starlin Castro

Castro left the Cubs right before they won one.

Mets
Jose Bautista

Imagine that bat flip in the World Series.

Nationals
Max Scherzer

Like Sale, Scherzer could use the Hall of Fame credentials of a championship.

Phillies
Carlos Santana

So close in 2016. All players on the '11 Rangers and '16 Indians get serious consideration for this list.

NL CENTRAL

Brewers
Ryan Braun

The 2011 season was probably supposed to be the one for Braun and the Brewers.

Cardinals
Michael Wacha

Yadier Molina, Adam Wainwright and Matt Carpenter (who was a rookie in 2011) all have rings already.

Cubs
Jesse Chavez

This 11-year vet has pitched for nine teams, but never in the postseason. Also almost everybody else on the team has a ring already.

Pirates
Ivan Nova

Nova's rookie year was right after the Yankees won their most recent title.

Video: 2018 ASG: Votto crushes solo homer in the 10th inning

Reds
Joey Votto

Is Votto going to be Beltre in four years?

AL WEST

D-backs
Brad Ziegler

The good news is that Ziegler might pitch until he's 60, giving him plenty of chances.

Video: SF@LAD: Kershaw strikes out 9 over 8 terrific frames

Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw

Kershaw's career is going to feel incomplete without one.

Giants
Andrew McCutchen

Cutch could become quite the mercenary the next few years trying to find the best place to get his ring.

Padres
A.J. Ellis

Any championship team needs the Veteran Backup Catcher.

Rockies
Nolan Arenado

The best way to get the respect often denied Rockies players is to win them a championship.

Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.

Rockies stun Braves with 3 in 9th, win in 10

Desmond comes through with 2-run double; LeMahieu hits go-ahead HR
MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

ATLANTA -- The Rockies' offense didn't show up at SunTrust Park until two were out in the ninth inning Saturday night -- right on time, it turned out.

After scoring three times in the ninth to tie, DJ LeMahieu homered with one out in the 10th, and the Rockies won for the seventh time in eight games, 5-3, over the Braves.

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ATLANTA -- The Rockies' offense didn't show up at SunTrust Park until two were out in the ninth inning Saturday night -- right on time, it turned out.

After scoring three times in the ninth to tie, DJ LeMahieu homered with one out in the 10th, and the Rockies won for the seventh time in eight games, 5-3, over the Braves.

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"When those guys come through in the ninth like that, we're kind of on board after that," said a smiling LeMahieu, whose hit helped the second-place Rockies pull to a half-game behind the National League West-leading D-backs. Colorado also is a half-game out of the second NL Wild Card and a game out of that top spot.

Video: COL@ATL: Black on 5-3 win over the Braves

The Rockies will enter Sunday in position to sweep the four-game series against the Braves, who still lead the NL East by a half-game over the Phillies.

During this surge, the offense can best be described as sometime-y, but winnable.

In the previous seven games, which were highlighted by pitching that sustained the club until the offense came up with key hits, the Rockies batted .248 and exceeded four runs just three times. With runners in scoring position, the figure was .233 -- but take away an 8-for-19 performance in Friday night's 11-5 victory and that average was .146 in six contests.

Before the comeback, the Rockies managed little in the way of scoring chances and no runs in seven innings against Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz, who fanned nine.

"This is a really good club we're playing," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "They're strong. They just keep coming at you. They never quit. They're dangerous. They have some veteran guys over there that know what they're doing, which makes Folty's outing that much more impressive."

Video: COL@ATL: Desmond rips a 2-run double in the 9th

Braves lefty A.J. Minter forced Carlos Gonzalez and Nolan Arenado into grounders to start the ninth. But Trevor Story doubled and David Dahl singled. Then Ian Desmond, who drove in five runs in Friday night's victory, delivered a two-run double on a full-count fastball from Minter at the knees.

"I thought the 'Desi' at-bat was really good -- full count, there were a couple foul balls," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "That Minter has good stuff, now. He's got velocity, he's got a hard slider/cutter, and 'Desi' got a strike and put a great swing on it and ripped it into the corner."

Pinch-hitter Gerardo Parra poked an outside fastball, left-on-left, off Minter to drive in Desmond to tie the score.

"I wanted that at-bat, because I felt good," Parra said.

Video: COL@ATL: LeMahieu crushes go-ahead smash in the 10th

Then LeMahieu swatted Luke Jackson's 0-1 flat slider over the wall in dead-center for the lead, through heavy air on a rainy and humid Southern night. Even LeMahieu was surprised it disappeared over the wall, instead of into center fielder Ender Inciarte's mitt.

"I hit it as hard as I could, but I still thought [Inciarte] was going to catch it," LeMahieu said.

Gonzalez doubled and scored on Arenado's single for a two-run cushion for Wade Davis, who earned his 34th save.

Rockies righty Antonio Senzatela returned from right shoulder inflammation for his first start since Aug. 2, went five innings and had one hiccup. With runners at second and third in the third, Freddie Freeman walked with the count full, and Nick Markakis knocked a two-run single. Senzatela left after five innings and 82 pitches, with five hits, two walks and one strikeout.

Video: COL@ATL: Senzatela K's Freeman to end the 5th

The Braves scored what looked to be a key run in the eighth. They led, 2-0, when Ronald Acuna Jr. singled off Bryan Shaw to open the inning and stole second to put him in position to score on Freeman's one-out single. That meant the Rockies' rally merely tied the contest.

But no matter. The Rockies bats were there to stay.

Video: COL@ATL: Rox turn strike-'em-out, throw-'em-out DP

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Losing his grip but grasping the win: Rockies righty reliever Adam Ottavino (5-2) walked ninth-inning leadoff man Johan Camargo and knew he had a problem.

"I was a little rusty, and I couldn't really grip the ball at all tonight, honestly," said Ottavino, who had not pitched in four days.

Inciarte's sacrifice bunt was a gift out, then Kurt Suzuki flied to deep left to move Camargo to third. With two strikes to Dansby Swanson, Ottavino wanted to throw a chase pitch -- but not one that catcher Chris Iannetta would have had to chase to the backstop.

"My thinking was I wasn't going to throw a strike, either way, so I wanted something Chris could catch -- miss away, not down," said Ottavino, who watched Swanson swing wildly at a pitch in the opposite batter's box.

Video: COL@ATL: Ottavino K's Swanson to end the 9th

SOUND SMART
• The Rockies entered this series 2-46 when trailing after eight innings. One of those two was last Saturday, when Ryan McMahon knocked a three-run homer for a 3-2 victory over the Dodgers. Now the Rockies have two such wins this series. They rallied for three in the ninth inning of Thursday night's 5-3 victory.

• Saturday was the third time in the Rockies' 26-season history that they've won a road game after trailing by three or more runs going into the ninth, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. They were down 3-0 at San Francisco and won, 7-3, on Oct. 4, 2015, and trailed, 6-2, at Cincinnati on Aug. 12, 2001, before coming back to win, 7-6.

HE SAID IT
"When you get into mid-August and you're into it, it's developing. That's the great part of our sport -- it's an everyday thing. That separates us from other sports. Fans, players, people in America who are baseball fans can watch it every day unfold. For me, there's nothing better than to watch August and September baseball." -- Black, on the developing postseason chase

UP NEXT
Righty German Marquez (10-9, 4.51 ERA) figures to have much better weather when he faces the Braves and righty Anibal Sanchez (6-3, 3.07) in Sunday's series finale at SunTrust Park at 11:35 a.m. MT. It was 27 degrees at Coors Field on April 6 when he lost to the Braves in the home opener, which saw him give up seven runs on seven hits and six walks in 4 2/3 innings. Marquez has heated up -- to the tune of 5-1 with a 2.91 ERA over his past eight starts.

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, Ian Desmond, DJ LeMahieu, Antonio Senzatela

Holliday hitting well, making case for callup

Rockies could use right-handed bat, but no decision is imminent
MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

ATLANTA -- The tweet from Triple-A Albuquerque of Matt Holliday sending a home run into orbit sparked dreams for Rockies fans.

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ATLANTA -- The tweet from Triple-A Albuquerque of Matt Holliday sending a home run into orbit sparked dreams for Rockies fans.

Tweet from @ABQTopes: As promised, here is video of Matt Holliday's home run from tonight.No report on if the ball has landed quite yet. pic.twitter.com/a43V0DTgSY

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Holliday, 38, the once and possibly future Rockies power hitter, waited most of this season until signing a Minor League contract with the Rockies on July 29, with an eye toward joining the team when rosters expand on Sept. 1.

In this case, Minor League stats are meaningless in comparison to the consistency of the at-bats, and the player's health, stamina for a game and bounce-back ability. If you're into numbers, he went into Saturday hitting .370 (17-for-46) and slugging .652 over 13 games, with home runs in three of his previous eight games.

"He's checking off some boxes," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "The thing that we're happy about is the physical side. Mentally, Matt's been a longtime player. You get back up to speed real quick. That didn't take long, I'm sure. But the confidence that when he faces all sorts of pitching -- there's a difference between big league pitching and Minor League pitching, but he's been able to face a lot of different styles of pitching in Triple-A -- will continue to get him closer to coming to us."

Black said reports also say he's "moving around well" at first base and in the outfield.

It all leads to an interesting thought: Should Holliday be a candidate for a callup soon, like, say, during a six-game homestand against the Padres and the Cardinals (his team from 2009-16)?

The team is in a race for the postseason and has an outfield full of left-handed hitters. First baseman Ian Desmond, who has experience in the outfield, is the only right-handed option. No decision is imminent, and the Rockies would have to consider a major roster factor.

On Saturday, the Rockies optioned infielder Pat Valaika to Albuquerque to make room for scheduled starter Antonio Senzatela. That left Garrett Hampson as the only logical option to play shortstop should Trevor Story need a day off for rest or because of a nagging injury, or have to leave a game.

The next option at short would be catcher Tony Wolters, but that would leave Chris Iannetta as the only catcher. There are few situations that are scarier for a manager than not having a backup catcher.

There is a workaround, however.

Desmond began his career at short. He played 5 1/3 innings at the position for one game last year. And Holliday played eight games at first base last season.

Story has appeared in all but one of the team's 122 games, and started all but two.

The project continues
Last year, Valaika hit .258 overall and .328 as a pinch-hitter (19-for-58). This year, he's at .150 overall and .190 (4-for-21) as a pinch-hitter. So as has been the case at several points this year, the Rockies hope regular time at Albuquerque has his bat ready for when he is needed in the Majors.

"We wanted him playing as the Minor League season concludes," Black said. "As September comes, another right-handed bat off the bench -- we need it. Last year, he proved very capable of that. This year has been a little bit different, but we still think he's capable.

"With Hampson, he's had a lot of at-bats in Triple-A. He provides a lot of versatility, infield and outfield, plus speed. He was swinging the bat well in Triple-A."

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, Matt Holliday, Pat Valaika

Rockies' nicknames for Players' Weekend

MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

For the second consecutive year, Major Leaguers will put their personalities and passions on the field when Players' Weekend takes center stage during all games from Friday, Aug. 24, through Sunday, Aug. 26.

Here are the nicknames the Rockies will wear on their backs while sporting colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth-league uniforms:

For the second consecutive year, Major Leaguers will put their personalities and passions on the field when Players' Weekend takes center stage during all games from Friday, Aug. 24, through Sunday, Aug. 26.

Here are the nicknames the Rockies will wear on their backs while sporting colorful, non-traditional uniforms featuring alternate designs inspired by youth-league uniforms:

:: Players' Weekend presented by Valspar Stain ::

Shop for Players' Weekend gear
2018 Players' Weekend nicknames
Best nickname for every team
All you need to know about Players' Weekend

Yency Almonte: "SHOWTIME"
Tyler Anderson: "MR. DUCK"

It's a fitting name for someone who pitched at the University of Oregon.

Nolan Arenado: "NADO"

Really? He promises to get better in the future. "I think so," Arenado said. "But I don't know what. Got to change something up."

But what Arenado lacks in nickname strategy, he makes up for in fashion sense. Last year, the Rockies wore a gray top with raglan sleeves (that's what uniform folk call different-color sleeves) that are best described as radiant orchid -- well shy of Rockies purple on the blue scale. This year's are black with true purple sleeves.

"I think it'll look better at home, with the white pants," Arenado said. "It'll look good. I'm definitely excited for it."

Video: Get ready, 2018 Players' Weekend is August 24-26

Chad Bettis: "LETTUCE"
Charlie Blackmon: "CHUCK NAZTY"

His Twitter and Instagram accounts, @Chuck_Nazty, have been quite popular with Rockies fans.

David Dahl: "BABY DAHL"
Wade Davis: "WADER"
Ian Desmond: "DEZ"
Mike Dunn: "DUNNER"
Kyle Freeland: "TWO ONE"
Carlos Gonzalez: "CARGO"
Jon Gray: "GRAY WOLF"
Chris Iannetta: "C I"
DJ LeMahieu: "DJ"
German Marquez: "MARQUEE"
Jake McGee: "MACCHEEZ"
Ryan McMahon: "McDOOGLE"
Harrison Musgrave: "MUSKY"
Scott Oberg: "OBIE"
Seunghwan Oh: "오승환"

It's his name in Korean, where the last name, "Oh," comes first. When he played in Korea [2005-13], that's how it was handled. But in Japan (2014-15) and in the Majors (since 2016), his surname has been in English.

Video: Rockies discuss their nicknames for Players' Weekend

Adam Ottavino: "AO"
Gerardo Parra: "EL YOLO"

It's for his beloved late grandmother, Yolanda Apalmo, who was known as "Yola" to his family and the entire neighborhood in Santa Barbara, Zulila, Venezuela. She had a bright smile and personality that Parra emulated, so folks called him "Yolo." Parra said he likes that the acronym "YOLO" stands for, "You only live once."

Chris Rusin: "RUSS"
Antonio Senzatela: "SENZE"
Bryan Shaw: "GEEK"

"I'm a techy guy, nerd kinds of things," Shaw said. "Computer stuff, video game stuff, mainly that kind of thing. I can repair stuff, to an extent."

Trevor Story: "TREV"
Pat Valaika: "BARRELS"

The nickname arose last season, when he led MLB pinch-hitters in RBIs (16), runs (12), doubles (eight) and extra-base hits (12).

Tony Wolters: "T-DUB"

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

Who's leading the crowded NL MVP Award race?

MLB.com @castrovince

Who is in the running for the National League MVP Award? The better question might be, "Who isn't?"

While the foremost members of the American League MVP Award field are fairly well established (Mike Trout is having the best Mike Trout season, Jose Ramirez is putting up one of the great seasons by a third baseman in history and Mookie Betts is the central figure of a Red Sox team for the ages) the NL field seems to evolve by the hour. There is a cluster of similarly strong statistical cases on the position player side and even some brewing discussion about pitchers who could contend for the honor.

Who is in the running for the National League MVP Award? The better question might be, "Who isn't?"

While the foremost members of the American League MVP Award field are fairly well established (Mike Trout is having the best Mike Trout season, Jose Ramirez is putting up one of the great seasons by a third baseman in history and Mookie Betts is the central figure of a Red Sox team for the ages) the NL field seems to evolve by the hour. There is a cluster of similarly strong statistical cases on the position player side and even some brewing discussion about pitchers who could contend for the honor.

Six weeks from now, some uber-hot stretch by a particular player on a team sealing an October entry could make all of this moot, but for now, there are legit MVP arguments to be made in many markets. So here's one man's ranking of the NL MVP Award field, with a quick look at each guy's case.

(All stats are through Thursday.)


1. Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
.975 OPS (2nd), 162 OPS+ (1st), 157 wRC+ (1st), 5.3 bWAR (tied for 1st among position players), 5.0 fWAR (tied for 1st)
You know how many qualified NL players had a lower OPS than Carpenter's .558 mark as of May 15? Just two: Lewis Brinson (.529) and Carpenter's teammate Dexter Fowler (.551), neither of whom (spoiler alert) will be appearing on this list.

Video: WSH@STL: Carpenter rips go-ahead 3-run homer in 8th

So strictly within the context of 2018, this might be the most unlikely MVP Award case of them all. And it also might be the best. As you can see, I'm putting more emphasis on advanced offensive rate stats, but do note that Carp is leading in good old-fashioned dingers (33), too. And if storyline matters to you, he's powered the Cards back into contention in the second half.

Carpenter also makes his own salsa, which should be worth like 0.1 WAR, at least.

2. Freddie Freeman, Braves
.939 OPS (4th), 154 OPS+ (2nd), 150 wRC+ (2nd), 5.2 bWAR (3rd), 5.0 fWAR (tied for 1st)

There is nothing especially unusual about Freeman's 2018. Though his batting average has never been higher (and is tops in the NL) other more meaningful rate stats like OPS, OPS+ and wRC+ are darn near identical to his 2016 and '17 seasons (the latter of which, unfortunately, was truncated due to a broken left wrist).

Video: MIL@ATL: Freeman extends streak to 14 with a double

So it's not news that Freeman is awesome at baseball, but suddenly this season -- as a function of the Braves finally having a contending team around him -- he is a household name and prominent NL MVP Award pick. Though teammate Nick Markakis deserves some down-ballot love and Ronald Acuna Jr.'s importance becomes more pronounced by the day, Freeman probably deserves the top honor as much as anybody right now and can win it if he and Atlanta finish with a flourish.

3. Nolan Arenado, Rockies
.981 OPS (1st), 145 OPS+ (6th), 145 wRC+ (6th), 4.8 bWAR (tied for 4th), 5.0 fWAR (tied for 1st)

Arenado has finished in the top eight of the NL MVP Award voting each of the past three years, but he has never finished higher than fourth. There is a known bias against numbers accrued in Coors Field, and, anyway, Arenado wasn't helped by the fact that the Rockies' lone postseason appearance in his tenure was last year's second Wild Card slot, when his case was complicated by the historic leadoff production of teammate Charlie Blackmon (Arenado finished ahead of Blackmon but received one fewer first-place vote).

Video: COL@HOU: Arenado drills his 30th homer of the season

This year, Trevor Story's strong year could complicate things, though probably not to the degree that Blackmon did. The bigger issue might be the right shoulder injury Arenado has battled in recent days. But with the Rox deeply embroiled in the NL West race, Arenado is again a worthy candidate.

4. Javier Baez, Cubs
.896 OPS (7th), 130 OPS+ (13th), 132 wRC+ (tied for 13th), 4.8 bWAR (tied for 4th), 4.2 fWAR (tied for 5th)

Baez has been the most valuable everyday player on a first-place Cubs team, and his WAR total helps reflect the value of his defensive versatility and 19 steals.

Video: CHC@PIT: Baez makes sprawling stop in the 3rd

But Baez has a .325 on-base percentage that drags down his overall offensive profile relative to the rest of the league. The only time in the past 40 years that a position player won the MVP Award with an OBP below .350 was Andre Dawson in 1987. He, too, was a Cub, so maybe there's some cosmic symmetry there, but Baez would still appear to have his work cut out for him if the usual standards are applied here.

5. Paul Goldschmidt, D-backs
.920 OPS (6th), 137 OPS+ (9th), 145 wRC+ (5th), 4.1 bWAR (tied for 6th), 4.2 fWAR (tied for 5th)

Like Carpenter, Goldschmidt has asserted himself with an in-season surge (his OPS bottomed out at .675 on May 22), and he comes with the added pedigree of three prior top-three NL MVP Award finishes. This past year, his case fizzled when he played through a right elbow injury and had a miserable September (.555 OPS). This year, Goldy seems poised for a much more robust finish, and the D-backs could win the NL West.

Video: ARI@CIN: Goldschmidt homers in the 6th and 9th inning

Maybe Goldschmidt will finally get over the MVP Award hump, though teammate David Peralta might sap some of his vote strength.

6. (tied) Max Scherzer, Nationals; Jacob deGrom, Mets; and Aaron Nola, Phillies
Scherzer: 2.19 ERA (2nd), 0.88 WHIP (1st); deGrom: 1.81 ERA (1st), 0.97 WHIP (2nd); Nola: 2.28 ERA (3rd), 1.00 WHIP (3rd)

The stars don't always align for a pitcher to win the MVP Award, but this could be one of those years in the NL.

As you can tell from the length of this list, nobody on the position-player side is up and running away with this thing, and that could continue to be the case down the stretch. Voters are increasingly turning to WAR as a basis for their MVP Award argument, and as of this writing, these three hurlers all outpace every NL position player in bWAR (the same is true of Scherzer and deGrom in fWAR, though Nola is behind some position players -- as well as D-backs lefty Patrick Corbin -- in that FanGraphs calculation).

Video: WSH@CHC: Scherzer K's 11 over 7 shutout innings

Therefore (and without getting too deep into the statistical woods here), it is conceivable.

But unlike when Clayton Kershaw won the NL MVP Award in 2014 or Justin Verlander won the AL MVP Award in 2011, the Cy Young Award winner here is not clear-cut (both of those guys were unanimous Cy Young Award winners in those respective seasons). deGrom is outpacing Scherzer in ERA and adjusted ERA, but he has famously won just seven games. Scherzer could notch 20 wins and 300 strikeouts. Nola probably trails both of those guys in the Cy Young Award discussion, and yet, for those who place importance upon October entry, he might actually be more likely to garner MVP Award votes (the Phils don't have a legit MVP Award candidate on the position-player side).

Video: NYM@NYY: deGrom K's 12 over 6 2/3 stellar frames

So as if the position-player race for the NL MVP Award weren't confusing enough, here's another layer of complexity. Yes, a pitcher could win this MVP Award, but even if you get to the point where you're comfortable with that notion, you've still got to decide which pitcher. So I'd label it doubtful right now.

9. Lorenzo Cain, Brewers
.814 OPS (25th), 118 OPS+ (tied for 22nd), 123 wRC+ (tied for 19th), 5.3 bWAR (tied for 1st), 4.3 fWAR (4th)

Teammates Jesus Aguilar (.950 OPS, 149 OPS+) and Christian Yelich (.886 OPS, 3.6 fWAR) also have a case here. But Aguilar's WAR is dinged by his defensive positioning, and Yelich is an easy-to-underrate player who is good at pretty much everything but not superlative in any one category.

In the increasingly influential community of nerds (and I use the term lovingly), Cain's case seems to have the most traction. You can see here how he fares in the WAR tallies, and he's among the league leaders in average (.301), on-base percentage (.391) and steals (21), in addition to leading in defensive runs saved (17). But Cain's .423 slugging percentage would be the lowest for an MVP Award winner since the 1970s. How much should defensive value, which is so difficult to quantify correctly, matter in the MVP Award vote? Hard to say.

Video: Must C Catch: Cain robs HR to protect 1-0 lead in 7th

10. Eugenio Suarez, Reds
.930 OPS (5th), 147 OPS+ (5th), 145 wRC+ (tied for 5th), 3.8 bWAR (8th), 3.6 fWAR (tied for 9th)

This guy has been the best of the non-contending position players in the Senior Circuit (though that's actually a small pool, given how many NL teams are very much mathematically alive). While voters have finally softened the once-prominent stance that the MVP Award must come from a playoff club, Suarez has not attained the Trout-like transcendence required to overcome his club's well-south-of-.500 standing. Still, he's positioned himself in the conversation for a top-10 finish with a well-rounded campaign, as reflected in his rank in several key categories.

Video: CIN@WSH: Suarez launches a towering solo HR to left

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns, listen to his podcast and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.

Desmond, Blackmon triple Rockies to victory

Freeland K's 9 across 6 strong innings, picks up win
MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

ATLANTA -- Ian Desmond's game-breaking third-inning triple and Charlie Blackmon's Braves-breaking two-run triple in the sixth -- key hits in the Rockies' 11-5 victory over the Braves at SunTrust Park on Friday night -- were efficient in leading the way for Colorado.

Both players had been struggling. Desmond stepped to the plate in a 3-for-32 rut. Blackmon was in a 7-for-35 rut with 10 strikeouts, including two earlier Friday. But their hits led the Rockies to their sixth victory in the last seven games and kept them breathing down the necks of the National League West-leading D-backs. The Rockies' run total was their highest since an 11-10 victory at Arizona on July 20.

View Full Game Coverage

ATLANTA -- Ian Desmond's game-breaking third-inning triple and Charlie Blackmon's Braves-breaking two-run triple in the sixth -- key hits in the Rockies' 11-5 victory over the Braves at SunTrust Park on Friday night -- were efficient in leading the way for Colorado.

Both players had been struggling. Desmond stepped to the plate in a 3-for-32 rut. Blackmon was in a 7-for-35 rut with 10 strikeouts, including two earlier Friday. But their hits led the Rockies to their sixth victory in the last seven games and kept them breathing down the necks of the National League West-leading D-backs. The Rockies' run total was their highest since an 11-10 victory at Arizona on July 20.

View Full Game Coverage

"There are times when you see it to a point where you've gotta take a day off or a couple days off," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "We did it with Charlie yesterday and talked through a couple things. With 'Desi,' same thing, a couple days off over the last couple weeks, a couple different discussions.

"But you know eventually these guys will rise to the occasion when needed."

Even more, there was a no-big-deal feel to their hits.

Desmond pointed into the dugout but barely smiled after his line drive to the left-center gap off Braves starter Sean Newcomb (10-6). Blackmon, whose triple bounced past first base, simply loosened his shin guard and handed it to third-base coach Stu Cole, all while catching his breath after a headfirst slide. The runners ahead of those hits just walked to the dugout and touched Black's hand. There was little in the way of celebration.

The Rockies have never won the NL West and have never been to the postseason two straight years. But having gone last year, even for just one game, is the only history the Rockies have found worth drawing upon.

"Last year's experience definitely has prepared us," Blackmon said. "We've snuck in. We've been the Wild Card team. We've had to play good baseball to get to that point. We know what good baseball looks like, and we know what bad baseball is like, too.

"There are no easy wins, but I'm proud of the way our guys did it tonight."

The Rockies plan to win games behind guys who expect to do it again because they have done it before.

It's why they signed Desmond -- who added a two-run single off Kolby Allard in the eighth -- for five years and $70 million before last season and stuck with him during long struggles this year. It's why the Rockies signed Blackmon to a six-year extension worth at least $108 million and haven't hit the panic button, even though he is nowhere close to his NL batting champion form of last season. The Rockies are mixing a veteran lineup with young pitching.

Video: COL@ATL: Desmond drives in 5, including 3-run triple

"This time of year, you want to be playing good baseball," Desmond said. "And we are. We believe in what we can do and that's a good feeling at this point."

Speaking of that young pitching, second-year lefty Kyle Freeland (11-7) continued his stalwart behavior on the mound by holding the Braves to one run on three hits while striking out nine. Freeland has fanned 19 in 13 innings over his last two starts and the Rockies are 9-2 in his last 11 outings.

Video: COL@ATL: Freeland K's 9 over 6 dominant frames

FREELAND TRYING TO UPDATE ROCKIES HISTORY
Freeland's hot streak could land him in a favorable place in the Rockies' record book. His most recent performance dropped his season ERA to 2.96. In the tortured history of Rockies pitching, the only full-season ERA better than Freeland for a pitcher who qualified for the league ERA title was the 2.88 mark of Ubaldo Jimenez in 2010.

In his last 12 starts, Freeland has a 2.20 ERA, with eight quality starts.

"I started to pitch well about four or five starts into the season, and I've just tried to hold that feeling, keep on going with that and see how long I can ride it out," Freeland said.

Giving up a run in the first inning is customary for the Rockies. Nick Markakis' one-out sacrifice fly for a 1-0 Braves lead drove the team's first-inning ERA to 7.67 on the year. But as a staff that has been solid much of the season has proven, that becomes less relevant if there is little or no scoring beyond the first.

Video: COL@ATL: Markakis plates Acuna Jr. in the 1st

Freeland made some big pitches. After walking Tyler Flowers to open the second, Freeland buzzed through the bottom of the Braves' order. After Ozzie Albies' infield hit with one out in the third -- with the Rockies leading, 3-1 -- he forced a Freddie Freeman double-play grounder.

"He executes his pitches pretty much every pitch," said shortstop Trevor Story, who also had three hits -- along with Blackmon, Desmond and DJ LeMahieu.

No runner reached scoring position for the rest of the time Freeland was in the game, and the Rockies built their lead.

HE SAID IT
"That's the first time I have gone first-to-home since high school. It's been a while and I spent quite a bit of energy right there. Looking back on it, it was worth it to be able to open up the gates a little bit." -- Freeland, who bunted for a single before scoring from first on Blackmon's triple

UP NEXT
In his last start, on Aug. 2, Rockies righty Antonio Senzatela (4-3, 4.56 ERA) held the Cardinals to one run and five hits in six innings but shortly thereafter went to the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. Senzatela returns to the rotation to face the Braves and righty Mike Foltynewicz (10-7, 2.86) at SunTrust Park on Saturday at 5:10 p.m. MT. Because of a conflict with a Denver Broncos preseason football game, the Rockies' game will be carried on KHOW AM 630 radio.

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, Ian Desmond

Longest home runs for every MLB team

Statcast measures farthest blast since 2015 for all 30 clubs
MLB.com

Ever since Babe Ruth launched Major League Baseball into the live-ball era with his awe-inspiring home runs, wowed fans have been asking: "How far did that ball go?"

Teams had their own methods for estimating home run distance for nearly a century. But now, the launch of Statcast™ has given us a whole new tool to answer the question, thanks to the tracking technology at every MLB ballpark.

Ever since Babe Ruth launched Major League Baseball into the live-ball era with his awe-inspiring home runs, wowed fans have been asking: "How far did that ball go?"

Teams had their own methods for estimating home run distance for nearly a century. But now, the launch of Statcast™ has given us a whole new tool to answer the question, thanks to the tracking technology at every MLB ballpark.

Here is a look at the longest homers hit by each of the 30 MLB clubs since Statcast™ began tracking home run distances at the start of the 2015 season.

American League East

Blue Jays: Josh Donaldson, April 23, 2015, vs. BAL; Sept. 17, 2017, at MIN
Distance: 481 feet (Watch them: HR No. 1; HR No. 2)
Both of these big flies were demolished. The first, with a 112.5-mph exit velocity, Donaldson launched into the second deck at the Rogers Centre. He hit the second even harder, at 113.5 mph, reaching the upper tank at Minnesota's Target Field. Full Blue Jays leaderboard

Orioles: Jonathan Schoop, Aug. 26, 2015, at KC
Distance: 484 feet (Watch it)
The Orioles have had their share of big sluggers in recent years, but it's Schoop who holds this title. One of baseball's best sluggers at second base, he jumped on this Johnny Cueto pitch that tailed in off the inside corner and kept it just fair down the left-field line at Kauffman Stadium. Full Orioles leaderboard

Rays: J.P. Arencibia, Sept. 7, 2015, at DET; C.J. Cron, Aug. 18, 2018, at BOS
Distance: 464 feet (Watch them: Arencibia's; Cron's)
Arencibia played only 24 games for Tampa Bay -- all in 2015, his final MLB season -- but he had no shortage of power. The opposing pitcher for this home run, the Tigers' Randy Wolf, was also in his final season. Nonetheless, they combined for an entry in the Rays' Statcast™ record book.

Arencibia got company when Cron showed off some light-tower power at Fenway Park in the dog days of August 2018. Cron crushed a 112.9 mph, 33-degree, 464-foot moonshot off David Price way over the Green Monster and over Lansdowne Street. Full Rays leaderboard

Red Sox: Hanley Ramirez, April 29, 2017, vs. CHC
Distance: 469 feet (Watch it)
Before this, Ramirez was tied with David Ortiz for the longest Red Sox homer, at 468 feet. But here, facing former Boston hurler John Lackey at Fenway Park, he took that honor all for himself. Ramirez drilled a center-cut two-seamer way over the Green Monster for a monstrous solo shot. Full Red Sox leaderboard

Yankees: Aaron Judge, June 11, 2017, vs. BAL
Distance: 495 feet (Watch it)
Judge became a sensation in 2017 because of feats like this one. The AL Rookie of the Year cleared the left-field bleachers at Yankee Stadium with a 118.6 mph, 495-foot homer. It was the longest homer of 2017 and tied Judge for the second-longest big fly in Statcast™ history. Full Yankees leaderboard

AL Central

Indians: Mike Napoli, Sept. 9, 2016 vs. MIN
Distance: 463 feet (Watch it)
The Party at Napoli's reached the highest deck at Target Field on this September night, as this blast helped the first baseman reach a career-high 93 RBIs on the season. Napoli had also hit a 464-foot ball in foul territory the night before at Progressive Field.

"That's good for bragging rights," Napoli's teammate, Rajai Davis, told MLB.com. "That's an awesome, great feeling. I don't think I've ever hit the ball that far in batting practice. He's doing it in games. That's awesome. We can all admire that." Full Indians leaderboard

Royals: Brandon Moss, July 1, 2017, vs. MIN
Distance: 477 feet (Watch it)
Moss left his mark during his lone season in Kansas City, golfing this pitch to help spur a four-run comeback for the home side against the rival Twins. Moss would retire the following spring, but his power clearly remained in his bat until the end. Full Royals leaderboard

Tigers: J.D. Martinez, July 21, 2015, vs. SEA
Distance: 467 feet (Watch it)
Not to be outdone by Nelson Cruz's 455-foot shot in the top half of the third inning, Martinez one-upped Seattle's slugger in the bottom half with this impressive blast to straightaway center at cavernous Comerica Park. The dinger impressed just about everyone in the ballpark, except perhaps the slugger who hit it.

"It all means the same to me," Martinez told MLB.com about his big fly. "I don't care. People get caught up on [distance]. To me, I really pay no mind. I just hit it, and I just hope it gets out." Full Tigers leaderboard

Twins: Kennys Vargas, June 20, 2017, vs. CWS
Distance: 483 feet (Watch it)
There really wasn't any doubt about this homer as soon as Vargas' bat met this pitch from White Sox starter Derek Holland with a scorching 114.1-mph exit velocity. Vargas' shot climbed high above the bullpen in left-center at Target Field for one of four 450-plus foot homers the first baseman hit in less than 800 at-bats in a Twins uniform. Full Twins leaderboard

Video: CWS@MIN: Vargas crushes a 483-foot home run

White Sox: Avisail Garcia, April 3, 2018, vs. TOR
Distance: 481 feet (Watch it)
Garcia was coming off a terrific 2017 campaign in which he finished second in the AL batting race with a .330 average, but he showed he could be much more than a slap hitter with this prodigious blast at Rogers Centre. Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ's slider caught too much of the plate, and Garcia punished it with a blistering 116.7-mph exit velocity.

"It was a pretty impressive blast, just from standing in the dugout and watching it," White Sox manager Rick Renteria told MLB.com. "Anybody who is a fan of baseball must have been impressed by that shot." Full White Sox leaderboard

AL West

Angels: Mike Trout, July 8, 2015, vs. COL
Distance: 477 feet (Watch it)
Trout's second homer of the night travelled deep to straightaway center field, landing halfway up the bleachers at Coors Field. Better yet, Trout's solo blast tied the ballgame and led to an eventual 3-2 win for the Angels. Full Angels leaderboard

Astros: George Springer, May 31, 2017, vs. MIN
Distance: 473 feet (Watch it)
Springer's blast capped a two-homer day against the Twins, part of a massive series for the eventual World Series champions in which they set a franchise record for runs scored in a three-game series.

"That's all I've got," Springer said of the homer. "That's about all I can hit it." Full Astros leaderboard

Athletics: Matt Olson, Sept. 15, 2017, vs. PHI
Distance: 483 feet (Watch it)
Olson's sky-high blast at Citizens Bank Park came at the peak of an incredibly powerful rookie season in which he crushed 24 homers in just 189 at-bats for Oakland. Phillies starter Mark Leiter Jr. knew he was in trouble as soon as Olson connected; all there was left to do was wait and see where the slugger's blast would eventually land. Full A's leaderboard

Mariners: Nelson Cruz, Sept. 24, 2016, vs. MIN
Distance: 493 feet (Watch it)
Few players in the game can crush a baseball like Cruz, and the Boomstick found the third deck at Target Field with this neck-craning blast. Cruz's shot remains among the longest homer hit outside the thin air of Coors Field, and it came one night after he had launched a different 454-foot homer for Seattle. Full Mariners leaderboard

Video: SEA@MIN: Cruz crushes 493-ft homer

Rangers: Nomar Mazara, May 25, 2016, vs. LAA
Distance: 491 feet (Watch it)
The rookie Mazara raised his profile substantially with this towering drive to the upper deck at Globe Life Park, turning on and punishing an offspeed pitch from Angels starter Hector Santiago.

"That was loud," said Rangers catcher Bobby Wilson of Mazara's dinger. "You need earplugs for that one." Full Rangers leaderboard

National League East

Braves: Freddie Freeman, June 13, 2015, vs. NYM
Distance: 464 feet (Watch it)
Atlanta's most consistent slugger got a hold of this first-inning fastball from Mets ace Jacob deGrom, pulling it high and deep onto the right-center-field bridge at Citi Field. Full Braves leaderboard

Marlins: Giancarlo Stanton, Aug. 6, 2016, vs. COL
Distance: 504 feet (Watch it)
This is it -- the longest home run since Statcast™ started tracking in 2015, and the only one projected at more than 500 feet. The 504-foot distance may have been aided by the thin air at Coors Field, but Stanton has shown plenty of times that he doesn't need any help to clear the fence. Full Marlins leaderboard

Video: Must C Crushed: Stanton connects on 504-foot home run

Mets: Yoenis Cespedes, April 24, 2018 vs. STL
Distance: 463 feet (Watch it)
Cespedes was off to a tough start to the 2018 season, batting .195 with an MLB-most 37 strikeouts entering this Tuesday night matchup in St. Louis. But with a pair of runners on in the fifth, New York's big slugger proved his power was still very much intact. Cespedes tied up the Cardinals with this moonshot that landed next to the "Big Mac Land" seating section in left field, surpassing Justin Ruggiano's 461-foot homer from Aug. 23, 2016, which also came at Busch Stadium. Full Mets leaderboard

Nationals: Michael A. Taylor, Aug. 20, 2015, vs. COL
Distance: 493 feet (Watch it)
Rockies starter Yohan Flande was cruising against the Nationals until Taylor gave his club a humongous game-tying lift on this blast to left-center. Taylor's dinger may have received an assist from the friendly Coors Field environment, but his 110.1-mph exit velocity was no joke. Taylor's ideal 26-degree launch angle also helped this ball go a long way. Full Nationals leaderboard

Phillies: Maikel Franco, July 10, 2016, vs. COL
Distance: 471 feet (Watch it)
Rockies reliever Jason Motte attempted to go up and in on Franco with a fastball, but the Phillies third baseman was ready for the challenge. Franco turned quickly on the pitch, pulling it into the high altitude at Coors Field for a long line-drive homer. Full Phillies leaderboard

NL Central

Brewers: Domingo Santana, July 26, 2017, vs. WSH
Distance: 476 feet (Watch it)
Nationals Park has housed plenty of its own sluggers, from Bryce Harper to Anthony Rendon to Ryan Zimmerman. But it was the visiting Santana who etched his name atop the ballpark's list of longest home runs on this summer evening. Santana turned on an inside fastball from Gio Gonzalez and crushed it over the visitors' bullpen, high into the left-field concourse. Full Brewers leaderboard

Cardinals: Marcell Ozuna, April 3, 2018, vs. MIL
Distance: 479 feet (Watch it)
Ozuna's first Cardinals home run also established him atop his new team's home run distance leaderboard. Facing Brewers starter Chase Anderson, Ozuna connected with a 117.2-mph exit velocity and sent Anderson's offering deep to left-center -- also setting a new Statcast™ mark for the longest homer at Miller Park. Full Cardinals leaderboard

Cubs: Kris Bryant, Sept. 6, 2015, vs. ARI
Distance: 495 feet (Watch it)
Wrigley Field can become a launching pad when the wind blows out toward the bleachers, but even as a rookie, Bryant proved he didn't need much help launching prolific blasts. This one bounced off the new scoreboard in left field -- fittingly right next to Bryant's own picture -- to further build Bryant's prestige with the North Siders. Full Cubs leaderboard

Video: ARI@CHC: Statcast™ on Bryant's blast off scoreboard

Pirates: Pedro Alvarez, Oct. 4, 2015, vs. CIN
Distance: 479 feet (Watch it)
Pittsburgh's hulking slugger decided the right-field seats at PNC Park weren't enough on the final day of the 2015 regular season, instead clearing the bleachers completely and depositing this ball into the Allegheny River. Alvarez simply demolished the pitch, connecting with a 115.4-mph exit velocity and uppercutting with an ideal 29-degree launch angle. Full Pirates leaderboard

Reds: Eugenio Suarez, June 2, 2016, vs. COL
Distance: 465 feet (Watch it)
Listed at just 5-foot-11 and 213 pounds, Suarez struck a blow for undersized infielders with this massive shot to left-center at Coors Field. This was actually Suarez's second homer of the game, capping an impressive evening for the third baseman. Full Reds leaderboard

NL West

D-backs: Jake Lamb, April 29, 2017, vs. COL
Distance: 481 feet (Watch it)
In the days before the humidor, balls flew out of Chase Field. What's surprising about Lamb's blast isn't where it was hit, but the opposing pitcher he victimized. The Rockies' Tyler Anderson is a left-hander, and southpaws overall had been extremely effective against Lamb. But in this at-bat, the platoon disadvantage didn't bother Lamb at all. Full D-backs leaderboard

Dodgers: Joc Pederson, June 2, 2015, at COL
Distance: 477 feet (Watch it)
Considering the Rockies are in their division, it's no surprise that the Dodgers hit their longest homer at Coors Field: a majestic blast by Pederson way up into the center-field bleachers. It came in a series in which Pederson crushed four home runs -- one in each game. Full Dodgers leaderboard

Giants: Brandon Belt, May 22, 2015, at COL
Distance: 475 feet (Watch it)
Another NL West club, another entry from the friendly environment of Coors Field. Belt jumped on a hanging changeup and launched it far into the third deck in right field. This type of blast has been a rarity for the Giants, who hit the second-fewest homers of 420-plus feet (74) from 2015-17, ahead of only the Braves. Full Giants leaderboard

Padres: Franchy Cordero, April 20, 2018 at ARI
Distance: 489 feet (Watch it)
Franchy absolutely crushed this one. The D-backs' Matt Koch grooved Cordero a fastball, and Cordero hammered it 116.3 mph all the way up the scoreboard in dead center at Chase Field, instantly establishing a new longest home run of the 2018 season and a Padres Statcast™ record. He obliterated the team's previous best of 465 feet, which had been set by Melvin Upton Jr. in June of 2016. Cordero's blast is also the longest hit at Chase Field since Statcast™'s introduction in 2015, and the 10th-longest hit by anyone in baseball since 2015. Full Padres leaderboard

Video: SD@ARI: Cordero crushes 489-ft. HR at 116.3 mph

Rockies: Mark Reynolds, July 21, 2016, vs. ATL
Distance: 484 feet (Watch it)
Yes, the Rockies' longest home run came at home. Reynolds, the powerful veteran, got ahead in the count 2-0 against a rookie left-hander, Hunter Cervenka, who fired a fastball over the middle of the plate. Reynolds demolished it at 108.8 mph, sending a drive most of the way up the bleachers beyond the left-center-field wall. Full Rockies leaderboard

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.

Andrew Simon is a research analyst for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSimonMLB.