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Rox hit 3 straight HRs, outlast Mets in slugfest

Arenado, Story, Desmond go back-to-back-to-back in six-run third
MLB.com

DENVER -- The Rockies caught a bug on Tuesday night.

Nolan Arenado started it. Trevor Story continued it. And Ian Desmond finished it. The trio crushed back-to-back-to-back home runs to spur Colorado to a 10-8 win over the Mets, snapping an eight-game home losing streak that began on May 30.

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DENVER -- The Rockies caught a bug on Tuesday night.

Nolan Arenado started it. Trevor Story continued it. And Ian Desmond finished it. The trio crushed back-to-back-to-back home runs to spur Colorado to a 10-8 win over the Mets, snapping an eight-game home losing streak that began on May 30.

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"Losing's no fun," Arenado said. "It can get contagious, just like winning can. Hopefully, this is the start."

Tuesday featured an outbreak of homers not seen from the Rockies in eight years. The last time Colorado hit three in a row was May 27, 2010, in the bottom of the seventh when Seth Smith, Carlos Gonzalez and Ryan Spilborghs all went deep against the D-backs.

Arenado's two-run shot and Story and Desmond's solo shots -- all off Mets starter Jason Vargas -- were part of a six-run third inning for the Rockies, who extended their lead to 8-2. It was the second time in five games that Colorado has scored six runs in an inning -- a season high. The Rockies scored six in the second inning of Saturday's 9-5 win at Texas.

Video: NYM@COL: Gonzalez jacks the Rockies' 4th homer

"We're playing well right now," Story said. "We're scoring some runs. We're not letting up either. We can be really good, and even better." 

Tuesday's homer streak ended when Gonzalez hit a comebacker to the mound. But he made up for it an inning later with an opposite-field solo homer off Hansel Robles.

"Everybody wants to hit the ball hard," Gonzalez said. "That was good to see, all the guys hitting the ball. Too bad I didn't get one then, but I got one later."

Video: NYM@COL: Black on Ottavino, offense in win over Mets

The Rockies have scored nine or more in three of their last five games and seven or more in four of their last seven games. Entering Tuesday night, the Rockies led the National League with a .286 average and were tied for first in slugging percentage at .463 over the previous 20 games, including 12 at Coors. But severe pitching issues left the Rockies 7-13.

Still, the Rockies' offense is capable of pulling the club through, with Tuesday night as evidence.

Starting pitcher German Marquez (5-7) threw 95 pitches in six innings, allowing six hits and four runs. Marquez gave up a leadoff single to Brandon Nimmo and allowed two runs in the first two innings, but was able to minimize the damage.

"That's one of the things I've been working on and understanding that once we don't let an inning get out of hand, we've got a chance," Marquez said. "In this case it was keeping our lead."

Righty Bryan Shaw relieved Marquez in the seventh but gave up a run on an RBI single by Jose Bautista to cut the lead to 10-5. The Rockies brought in Chris Rusin after Shaw loaded the bases with one out, and the lefty struck out Michael Conforto. Adam Ottavino got out of the inning after the Mets scored one more on a passed ball. Ottavino struck out the next three batters in the eighth.

Video: NYM@COL: Ottavino K's Plawecki, the side in the 8th

"The more guys you have pitching well, there's a collective, contagious, momentum-building situation," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "It doesn't happen overnight, but you need consecutive outings."

Black and his team hope that Tuesday night can be the start of a string of good games they've been looking for at home.

Video: NYM@COL: Desmond grounds an RBI single to right

"It just feels good to get this win," Gonzalez said. "We've been waiting for this for a while."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
With the bullpen struggling -- except for Ottavino -- the Rockies have needed a spark from someone else. Rusin might be that guy.

Rusin replaced Shaw with the bases loaded and one out in the seventh and fanned Conforto on three pitches before departing for Ottavino. So while Rusin has a 7.36 ERA, he has three straight scoreless outings. One of those he faced three batters, and Tuesday he needed just one to finish his work.

"It helps you lock back in, believing in yourself a lot more once you start having a little bit of success like that," Rusin said. "It builds it up, each and every time. It's been going well, so I'm just going to keep it simple."

HE SAID IT
"I'm always looking for a fastball. That's the only pitch I can hit." -- Marquez, who tied a career high with two hits and is batting .308 in 26 at-bats

Video: NYM@COL: Marquez lines an RBI single in the 3rd

UP NEXT
The Rockies will send righty Chad Bettis (5-1, 4.65 ERA) to the hill for Wednesday's game against the Mets at 6:40 p.m. MT. Bettis has struggled at home, posting a 7.76 ERA in six starts. He will face Mets righty Seth Lugo (2-2, 2.49 ERA), who will be making his fourth start of the season after entering the Mets' rotation at the end of May.

Anne Rogers is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.

Colorado Rockies

CarGo reveals why he's flip-flopped on 'C-Flap'

MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

DENVER -- Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez enthusiastically adopted the "C-Flap" -- the plastic guard that, when attached to the batting helmet, offers jaw and chin protection. But lately he has been going bare-faced.

It's a story of self-preservation, frustration, comfort and, ultimately, superstition -- with Gonzalez trying to get safety to the top of the list.

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DENVER -- Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez enthusiastically adopted the "C-Flap" -- the plastic guard that, when attached to the batting helmet, offers jaw and chin protection. But lately he has been going bare-faced.

It's a story of self-preservation, frustration, comfort and, ultimately, superstition -- with Gonzalez trying to get safety to the top of the list.

View Full Game Coverage

Up-and-in pitches have become a key part of the strategy against Gonzalez, who at times has a long swing. Last year, Gonzalez was nearly hit by a few pitches.

Then he noticed that Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant used the flap after being hit on the bill of the helmet by a pitch from Rockies right-hander German Marquez on April 22. At the end of the month as he was coming off the disabled list, Gonzalez sought out Bryant to ask about the added piece of plastic with foam cushion.

"He said, 'I don't know why I waited until I got hit in the face to wear the mask," Gonzalez said. "So I was like, 'I haven't gotten hit in the face, so I'm going to start using it.'"

Gonzalez wasn't alone on his team. Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta began wearing it last year with the D-backs after sustaining a broken nose and fractured teeth when hit by a 93-mph fastball from the Pirates' Johnny Barbato. First baseman Ian Desmond wore one for much of the season, but hasn't recently.

"No story there," Desmond said when asked why he stopped using it.

But Gonzalez's "C-Flap" hasn't been seen much since May 30.

"I threw it on the ground and I broke it," Gonzalez said. "It was against the Giants when Gorkys Hernandez dove [for a catch with two men on base to end the fifth], when the game was close. I threw it down the first-base line and broke the thing."

At the time, Gonzalez was three games into a hot streak that continues. He entered Tuesday night's game against the Mets hitting .358 with a .411 on-base percentage and a .552 slugging percentage in his past 17 games. When he broke the guard, he went to the batter's box bare-faced -- and still kept hitting.

And, you know how that is.

"I've got it back," Gonzalez said. "But it doesn't feel comfortable again, so I've gotta get used to it.

"I wore it the first game in Philly. I went 0-for-4, so I threw it on the ground. I'll do anything for hits, whatever it takes.

"But I do have one."

Senzatela's Albuquerque return set
Righty Antonio Senzatela, who began the season in the Rockies' bullpen but was sent to Triple-A Albuquerque to build his pitch count in case he is needed for the rotation, will pitch again for the Isotopes on Saturday against Fresno, Rockies manager Bud Black said. Senzatela hasn't appeared in a game since sustaining a right groin strain on June 6. It was the second time he had sustained the injury.

One more for Estevez
Right-handed reliever Carlos Estevez checked out healthy after throwing a live batting practice session on Monday. Black said he will throw one more such session before being evaluated for a Minor League injury rehab assignment for the right elbow strain that landed him on the 60-day disabled list. 

"He exhibited a lot of effort, he turned the ball loose, he threw all his pitches, and afterwards he felt fine and today he feels good," Black said. "So that's a good sign for Carlos."

Rockies sign three Draft picks
The Rockies agreed to terms with three Draft picks on Tuesday.

Left-handed-hitting first baseman Grant Lavigne of Bedford (N.H.) High School, the 42nd-overall pick in Competitive Balance Round A, signed for $2 million. Shortstop Terrin Vavra of the University of Minnesota, a third-round pick, signed for $550,000, according to Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline. The club does not release or confirm bonus figures.

The Rockies also announced the signing of seventh-round pick Andrew Quezada, a right-handed pitcher from Cal State Fullerton.

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, Carlos Gonzalez

Arenado in All-Star 3B lead; Story gains ground

MLB.com @harding_at_mlb

DENVER -- The rewards for hard physical work and studiousness off the field are showing up on Rockies shortstop Trevor Story's stat sheet. He entered Monday night's game against the Mets leading the National League with 54 RBIs, was tied for third in home runs with 15 and was third in total bases at 143.

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

DENVER -- The rewards for hard physical work and studiousness off the field are showing up on Rockies shortstop Trevor Story's stat sheet. He entered Monday night's game against the Mets leading the National League with 54 RBIs, was tied for third in home runs with 15 and was third in total bases at 143.

VOTE: 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot

Another number reflects how well he is doing -- 315,532, as in the number of votes he had received as of Monday's Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot Update. He was fourth in the voting, up one spot from last week.

Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado has 1,124,563 votes to lead at his position, and is well on his way to earning an All-Star start. Story will have a difficult time overtaking the leader at shortstop -- the Giants' Brandon Crawford at 1,120,031 votes. Crawford is followed by the Braves' Dansby Swanson at 568,400 and the Cubs' Addison Russell at 475,091.

The outfielders with the three highest vote totals start, and the Rockies' Charlie Blackmon, at 678,831 votes, is just on the outside. Top three are the Braves' Nick Markakis (1,173,653), the Nationals' Bryce Harper (1,002,696) and the Dodgers' Matt Kemp (925,697).

Given the distance Story must overcome in voting, his best shot at appearing in the Midsummer Classic might be through peer voting for the reserves. Any notice is fine with Story.

Video: COL@TEX: Story lifts a 2-run homer to right-center

"I don't know if other people notice or not, but it's certainly something that matters to me," Story said. "That's a dream of mine, for sure."

Colorado right fielder Carlos Gonzalez campaigned hard for Story on Monday.

"The first time [Story] came up, he made history," Gonzalez said. "He hit, like, 27 home runs in a month [in April 2016, Story hit 10 home runs to tie the White Sox Jose Abreu for the MLB April rookie record]. Everybody was talking about him. He found out that it's baseball and it's not that simple. He continued to work hard. He asked questions. He's one of the closest friends I have in the clubhouse.

"I would be really upset if he doesn't get the opportunity to be in the All-Star Game. He's putting in work. He's pretty much leading or top three in every category as a shortstop. A lot of people forget about the tremendous defense he plays. I'm pulling for him. I've already voted for him as a player. On the player vote, he gets mine, so hopefully all the fans can follow me up."

Fans may cast votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- on computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online using the 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Ballot until Thursday, July 5, at 9:59 p.m. MT. On smartphones and tablets, fans can also access the ballot via the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps. Each fan can vote up to five times in any 24-hour period, for a maximum of 35 ballots cast.

Following the announcement of this year's All-Star starters, reserves and pitchers, fans should return to MLB.com and cast their 2018 Camping World MLB All-Star Final Vote for the final player on each league's roster. Then on Tuesday, July 17, while watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, fans may visit MLB.com to submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote.

The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Estevez faces hitters
Rockies right-handed reliever Carlos Estevez threw live batting practice at Coors Field on Monday, his first such outing since suffering an elbow sprain in mid-April while with Triple-A Albuquerque.

"Everything is a big step in this situation," said Estevez, who went 8-7 with a 5.36 ERA in 98 appearances 2016-17, and whose absence is felt as the Rockies' bullpen has struggled. "Talking about rehab, that's a big step right there. Finally getting hitters after two months, it's huge."

The Rockies will soon determine when he begins an injury rehab assignment.

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

Rockies hurt by HR ball, drop opener to Mets

MLB.com

DENVER -- Rockies starting pitcher Tyler Anderson couldn't match Mets starter Jacob deGrom on Monday night, and the Rockies watched a two-run deficit turn to 10 in their 12-2 series-opening loss.

Anderson gave up two home runs -- one an inside-the-park homer to Brandon Nimmo on the third pitch of the game -- and the Rockies bullpen gave up nine runs in the team's eighth straight loss at home. Manager Bud Black, whose team is 4-12 in June, doesn't plan to make any drastic changes.

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DENVER -- Rockies starting pitcher Tyler Anderson couldn't match Mets starter Jacob deGrom on Monday night, and the Rockies watched a two-run deficit turn to 10 in their 12-2 series-opening loss.

Anderson gave up two home runs -- one an inside-the-park homer to Brandon Nimmo on the third pitch of the game -- and the Rockies bullpen gave up nine runs in the team's eighth straight loss at home. Manager Bud Black, whose team is 4-12 in June, doesn't plan to make any drastic changes.

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"This group is pretty much the group that we're going to have going forward," Black said. "So for them to gain confidence, they're going to have to put a zero up and pitch well, and just sort of build on that. That's where this has got to go with all the guys that are here as veteran relievers."

Before the bullpen struggled, Anderson pitched a 5 1/3 innings and allowed three runs, including homers to Nimmo and Wilmer Flores. When Anderson left, the Rockies were down 3-1.

Video: NYM@COL: CarGo lays out for a diving catch in right

"I felt like in terms of execution, which is what I try to look at, it was pretty good," Anderson said. "The pitches they hit, I executed pretty well, they just put a good swing on it."

deGrom continued his stellar run, allowing five hits in eight innings, walking one and striking out seven. deGrom's 1.51 ERA is the best in the NL, and he lived up to his reputation on Monday.

"He has those numbers for a reason," shortstop Trevor Story said. "He has a lot of good stuff. He shut us down tonight."

Video: NYM@COL: Anderson strikes out Cabrera swinging in 1st

Harrison Musgrave and Jeff Hoffman are the two young pitchers on the veteran-filled staff; both began the season in the Minors before coming to Denver. On Monday, Musgrave relieved Anderson and got out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth inning, but then gave up a run in the seventh on Nimmo's second homer of the game. Veteran reliever Jake McGee gave up a two-run shot to Devin Mesoraco in the eighth, and Hoffman walked in two runs and gave up five in total while managing one out in the ninth.

"We have each other's back and we're always there to try to help them out," McGee said. "Especially these guys, Musgrave and Hoffman … it takes a little bit of adjustment up here. But once you get the hang of it, especially with a veteran bullpen, when it feels like it turns around it's going to stay turned around."

Video: Parra's run-scoring double

Last year, the pitching was good enough to help the Rockies to their first postseason appearance in seven seasons: 4.51 staff ERA, 4.59 starter ERA and 4.40 bullpen ERA. At home, the Rockies had a 4.93 ERA. Although those numbers might seem inflated, they're nothing compared to this year.

The overall staff's ERA (5.02) is last in the NL. The home ERA is 6.13 -- not only last in the NL, but the next-to-last is the Reds' 5.01. The bullpen's ERA is also last in the NL at 5.49.

Injuries have not helped the staff, either. Right-handed pitcher Scott Oberg was pitching well before going on the 10-day disabled list with lower back problems. Lefty Mike Dunn is also on the 10-day DL with upper back issues. Carlos Estevez (right elbow) and Zac Rosscup (middle finger wart) are working their way back from the 60-day DL. And Antonio Senzatela was optioned to Triple-A, but he's had two occurrences of a right groin strain in Albuquerque.

For all those ugly numbers, though, the Rockies players are fairly confident that the pitching will turn around.

"It's hard to stay even-keeled, but at the same time as long as everyone's together, everyone's on the same page, we're going to get out of the funk," McGee said. "For how close our clubhouse is, we're going to get out of it. Once we get out of it we're going to be stronger than we were before."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
With a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning, the Mets escaped the inning on a controversial double play Black wasn't too happy about.

Video: NYM@COL: Black ejected after Story ruled out in 4th

First-base umpire Bill Welke called Story out for running outside of the baseline, and Black was ejected after arguing with Welke.

"I didn't think Trevor was three feet out of the baseline," Black said.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
The Rockies would rather have third baseman Nolan Arenado's breathtaking plays occur during wins, but you take what you can get. And Arenado gave the Coors crowd something spectacular in the fifth, right after Black was ejected.

Video: NYM@COL: Arenado makes a great throw to turn 2

Amed Rosario and Nimmo opened the inning with singles off Anderson, then Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-hopper toward third. On a play when many third basemen would have either stepped on the bag or thrown to first, Arenado pulled off a slick double play. He rolled to his right, then used his quick release to fire to first and beat Cabrera.

The previous inning, Arenado had a barehand pickup on Michael Conforto's roller, then went left, took a spin toward the outfield, and threw to first to retire Mesoraco.

Video: NYM@COL: Arenado charges for a great barehanded stop

UP NEXT
The challenge for Rockies righty German Marquez (4-7, 5.13 ERA) -- who will face the Mets and lefty Jason Vargas (2-5, 7.39) in the 6:40 p.m. MT game -- is to keep the ball in the park. In 16 innings over his last three starts, he has given up seven home runs. Marquez also must improve a 7.71 ERA in seven home starts.

Anne Rogers is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.

Colorado Rockies

Davis blows fourth save of year in tough loss

MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- The Rockies' bullpen troubles continued to be exposed in a frustrating, 13-12 loss to the Rangers on Sunday at Globe Life Park.

Closer Wade Davis had a three-run lead to work with in the ninth, but he struggled to locate his pitches once he entered the game.

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ARLINGTON -- The Rockies' bullpen troubles continued to be exposed in a frustrating, 13-12 loss to the Rangers on Sunday at Globe Life Park.

Closer Wade Davis had a three-run lead to work with in the ninth, but he struggled to locate his pitches once he entered the game.

View Full Game Coverage

Davis walked four and allowed two hits in the inning, and the Rangers scored four runs off him. Texas handed Davis his fourth blown save of the season after Jose Trevino dropped a walk-off two-run single over the head of Trevor Story.

Video: Must C Comeback: Trevino walks it off on Father's Day

"Looks as though his release point was way off," manager Bud Black said of Davis. "We can't underestimate what happened today, for sure. So, we'll address that."

Davis, on the other hand, didn't point to anything in particular.

"It was definitely something," Davis said. "It wasn't right. I've never done that before. So, I can't be more frustrated with myself right now."

Davis also said that he plans on reviewing game footage of his outing.

"Maybe I'll check a couple things out," he said. "Missed up in the zone today, so I'll definitely check that out."

The loss marked the 21st time this season that the Rockies have lost a game in which they had a lead at some point. Entering the day, only the Orioles (23) and Royals (22) had lost more such games.

Video: COL@TEX: LeMahieu smacks a leadoff home run to left

"We'll address a number of things," Black said. "We've had a couple discussions already, as a group and individually. We gotta keep fighting through it."

After the Rockies built an early five-run lead, the bullpen trio of Jake McGee, Bryan Shaw and Davis allowed seven runs, three hits and six walks.

"It's a combination of everything," Black said. "It's confidence, it's mental, it's some mechanics, it's trying to do too much with the ball. It's not trusting your stuff. There's a lot of things that go into this."

Video: COL@TEX: Gray strikes out Guzman, the side in the 3rd

Colorado tried to overcome a rough sixth inning from right-handed starter Jon Gray, who had arguably been pitching his best start of the season through five. He retired the first 10 batters he faced and had struck out eight. However, Gray allowed five runs to the Rangers in the inning.

Gray allowed a sacrifice bunt and three hits, including a three-run home run to Jurickson Profar that put the Rangers ahead, 6-5.

Gray said his biggest mistake on the day was the slider he threw to Profar on the homer.

"I think it's as simple as one pitch," Gray said. "That's all I want to take back from today, is one pitch. If I can locate that pitch somewhere else, then I have a good outing."

Video: COL@TEX: Profar hammers a go-ahead 3-run home run

Entering his start, Gray's 5.68 ERA ranked third-worst in the Majors among qualifiers, ahead of only Lucas Giolito (7.19 ERA) and Luis Castillo (5.77 ERA). Gray had been struggling even worse in his last six starts, going 2-3 with a 7.98 ERA.

With the loss, the Rockies have now lost three straight series. Colorado is 4-12 in its past 16 games.

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Nolan Arenado's RBI single in the seventh gave the Rockies a 7-6 lead at the time. It was his second hit of the day and his fifth of the series. Coming into the three-game Interleague set, Arenado was mired in an 0-for-19 slump, the longest hitless streak of his career.

Video: COL@TEX: Arenado lines a go-ahead RBI single to left

SOUND SMART
The last time the Rockies lost a game despite holding a three-run lead in the ninth was on Aug. 31, 2016, against the Dodgers. Sunday's loss was also the fourth time since 2015 that the Rockies have lost such a game.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Story's two-run homer in the ninth was his 15th of the season. Story, who is from Irving, Texas, and lived about 15 minutes from Globe Life Park, was an avid Rangers fan growing up. The home run was his first at Globe Life Park.

Video: COL@TEX: Story lifts a 2-run homer to right-center

HE SAID IT
"Having our team come back so many times and us letting them down has really gotten old, so, this better change," -- Davis, on the bullpen allowing another come-from-behind win

UP NEXT
The Rockies return home to open a four-game series against the Mets on Monday at Coors Field. Colorado has struggled this season at home, where it holds an 11-19 record. The Rockies are tied with the Reds for the fewest home wins in the National League. Left-handed pitcher Tyler Anderson (4-1, 4.88 ERA) will face righty Jacob deGrom (4-2, 1.55 ERA) at 6:40 p.m. MT.

Wesley Dotson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington.

Colorado Rockies, Nolan Arenado, Jon Gray

Patterson makes Pipeline Team of the Week

MLB.com @JimCallisMLB

MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any Minor Leaguer currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible.

The Pirates made Will Craig a first-round pick (No. 22 overall) in 2016 because he had one of the more potent college bats available. But his offensive production didn't stand out in his first two years as a pro, when he batted a combined .274/.386/.368 with eight homers in 186 games, and he hit just .217/.327/.380 with three homers in the first five weeks in Double-A this season.

MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any Minor Leaguer currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible.

The Pirates made Will Craig a first-round pick (No. 22 overall) in 2016 because he had one of the more potent college bats available. But his offensive production didn't stand out in his first two years as a pro, when he batted a combined .274/.386/.368 with eight homers in 186 games, and he hit just .217/.327/.380 with three homers in the first five weeks in Double-A this season.

2018 Prospect Teams of the Week

Since then, however, Craig has looked like the hitter Pittsburgh thought it was drafting. Since May 11, he's batting .299/.354/.581 with eight homers in 31 games. He led all Minor Leaguers with five homers, 12 runs and a 1.261 slugging percentage during the previous seven days, earning MLB Pipeline Prospect Team of the Week recognition for the second time in five weeks. He went deep five times in six contests and in the one game where he didn't leave the park, he went 3-for-3 with a walk.

Below is the PTOW for games of June 11-17:

C: Francisco Mejia, Columbus Clippers (Triple-A)
(Indians No. 1 prospect/MLB No. 11)
.556/.556/1.056, 4 G, 18 AB, 3 R, 10 H, 3 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2 SO

Though the Indians called up Mejia last Monday and sent him down Tuesday without using him in a game, he didn't let that bother him. Baseball's top catching prospect uncharacteristically has struggled at the plate for most of the season, not crossing the Mendoza Line for good until June 3, but he looked like his normal self last week by collecting multiple hits in each of the four games he played and slamming at least one extra-base hit in each of them. A career .293/.349/.447 hitter in the Minors before 2018, he's now batting .243/.294/.395 with six homers in 54 contests.

Watch: Mejia launches grand slam

1B: Will Craig, Altoona Curve (Double-A)
(Pirates No. 17 prospect)
.522/.607/1.261, 6 G, 23 AB, 12 R, 12 H, 2 2B, 5 HR, 12 RBI, 4 BB, 4 SO

Craig's surge has boosted his season line to .263/.342/.493 with 11 homers in 61 games. He has tapped into his raw power as he has hit more balls in the air (he has cut his groundout/airout ratio in half from 1.2 in 2017 to 0.6 this year) and gotten more aggressive (his strikeout rate has risen from 20 to 26 percent).

Watch: Craig goes yard

2B: Nick Senzel, Louisville Bats (Triple-A)
(Reds No. 1 prospect/MLB No. 5)
.406/.424/.625, 7 G, 32 AB, 4 R, 13 H, 4 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 1 BB, 8 SO, 1 SB

After missing most of May while dealing with vertigo, Senzel has shown why he's considered one of the best pure hitters in the Minors by batting .381/.429/.556 in June. He had a stretch of seven straight multihit games snapped on Sunday, yet he still doubled and extended his on-base streak to 17 straight contests. He's hitting .302/.372/.478 with four homers in 40 games while also learning to play second base.

Watch: Senzel makes sweet snag

3B: Nolan Jones, Lake County Captains (low Class A)
(Indians No. 5 prospect)
.500/.538/.833, 6 G, 24 AB, 3 R, 12 H, 2 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 6 SO

After leading the short-season New York-Penn League in OPS (.912), extra-base hits (25) and walks (43) as a 19-year-old last summer, Jones has gotten better each month in 2018. He has improved his OPS from .684 in April to .803 in May to 1.034 thus far in June. After five multihit games and two homers last week, he's batting .276/.395/.442 with eight homers in 55 contests.

SS: Antoni Flores, DSL Red Sox 2 (Rookie)
(Red Sox No. 17 prospect)
.476/.577/.762, 6 G, 21 AB, 6 R, 10 H, 3 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 5 BB, 5 SO

Signed for $1.4 million out of Venezuela last summer, Flores is living up to the reports that he had a nice right-handed swing and an advanced approach. After going 0-for-4 in his first pro game, he has reached base safely in each of his 11 contests since and is hitting .378/.472/.556 with more walks (eight) than strikeouts (sixth) in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League. He had the best game of his young career on Sunday, going 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles, two runs scored and three driven in.

OF: Jo Adell, Inland Empire 66ers (high Class A)
(Angels No. 1 prospect/MLB No. 53)
.536/.581/1.036, 7 G, 28 AB, 9 R, 15 H, 2 2B, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 2 BB, 3 SO, 3 SB

Though questions about Adell's ability to make consistent contact against quality pitching swirled around the 2017 Draft, that didn't stop the Angels from selecting him 10th overall, and he has answered them in pro ball. He hit .325/.376/.532 between two Rookie ball stops in his pro debut and is batting .318/.373/.617 with 14 homers and 11 steals in 50 games split evenly between two Class A clubs this year. He makes the PTOW for the second time in the last five weeks after registering four games with at least three hits in the past seven days, homering and driving in two runs in each of those contests.

Watch: Adell launches lead-off homer

OF: Tyler Krieger, Akron RubberDucks (Double-A)
(Indians No. 25 prospect)
.421/.522/.895, 6 G, 19 AB, 7 R, 8 H, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 2 SO, 5 SB

Like his fellow Indians prospects Mejia and Jones, Krieger started slowly this spring. Making the transition from second base to the outfield, he was hovering below the Mendoza Line as recently as June 6 but raised his OPS 60 points on Sunday by going 5-for-5 with two homers and two steals. He topped all Minor Leaguers with five swipes last week and is hitting .229/.305/.338 with five homers and 11 steals in 58 games.

Watch: Krieger homers twice

OF: Jordan Patterson, Albuquerque Isotopes (Triple-A)
(Rockies No. 20 prospect)
.455/.556/.1000, 6 G, 22 AB, 8 R, 10 H, 3 2B, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 2 BB, 6 SO, 1 SB

Patterson went 8-for-18 with the Rockies in 2016 but hasn't been back to Colorado since, and he's taking out his frustration on Triple-A pitchers. He smacked a career-high 26 homers at that level last year and already has 14 this season, including two as part of a four-RBI game on Thursday. He hit safely in all six of his games last week and had an extra-base knock in five of them, raising his season line to .275/.376/.544 in 57 contests.

Watch: Patterson rips homer

LHP: Max Fried, Gwinnett Stripers (Triple-A)
(Braves No. 7 prospect/MLB No. 75)
1-0, 1.29 ERA, 1 GS, 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 11 SO, 0.43 WHIP

After his worst start of the year on June 7, Fried bounced back and fanned 11 on Wednesday, throwing 66 of 99 pitches for strikes while permitting just one run and three hits in seven innings. He opened the season in Double-A, has made two trips to Atlanta and has spent most of the spring in Triple-A, posting a combined 3.83 ERA and 58/24 K/BB ratio in 54 innings.

Watch: Fried notches 11th strikeout

RHP: Keegan Thompson, Myrtle Beach Pelicans (high Class A)
(Cubs No. 18 prospect)
0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 GS, 7 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 SO, 0.00 WHIP

Thompson retired all 21 batters he faced on Friday, striking out eight and throwing 60 of 84 pitches for strikes, only to see his bullpen blow the game by giving up four runs in the eighth inning. More efficient than overpowering, he has logged a 3.19 ERA and a 61/13 K/BB ratio in 67 2/3 innings this year, ranking first in the Carolina League in WHIP (0.92) and third in opponent average (.202).

Watch: Thompson goes 7 perfect frames

RP: Riley Ferrell, Corpus Christi Hooks (Double-A)
(Astros No. 19 prospect)
1-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 G, 2 SV, 5 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R ,0 ER, 1 BB, 9 SO, 0.53 WHIP

Ferrell hasn't allowed an earned run since May 14 and added three scoreless appearances last week while striking out nine of the 21 batters he faced and improving to 6-for-6 in save opportunities. He now has a 2.08 ERA in 19 games, with 29 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings and a .184 opponent average.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Recalling Galarraga's moonshot grand slam

On May 16, 2015, Miguel Cabrera reached a personal milestone by belting the 400th homer of his illustrious career. While it was a terrific feat, it meant even more to Cabrera because No. 400 also made him baseball's all-time home run leader among Venezuelan players. The man he passed was his childhood hero, Andres Galarraga, who turned 57 on Monday.

Throughout 19 years in the Majors, Galarraga paved the way for future Venezuelan sluggers by crushing 399 long balls for seven different teams. It didn't matter where he played because the ballpark could rarely contain Galarraga's pure power.

Bettis recreates childhood photo in Arlington

This has been a pretty fun weekend for Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis. A product of Lubbock, Texas, where he went to high school and college before starting his professional career, the starter fell behind 5-0 to the Rangers in the first inning on Friday, but fought his way into the sixth and helped the Rockies win, 9-5

Winning any game is great, but this was special for Bettis since it brought a warm childhood memory full circle.

Rox botch early lead, collapse under Texas rally

MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Left-hander Kyle Freeland came into Saturday's start against the Rangers as the Rockies' best pitcher of late.

And for six innings, he completely shut down the Rangers lineup as he worked with a lead for most of the afternoon.

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ARLINGTON -- Left-hander Kyle Freeland came into Saturday's start against the Rangers as the Rockies' best pitcher of late.

And for six innings, he completely shut down the Rangers lineup as he worked with a lead for most of the afternoon.

View Full Game Coverage

But Freeland couldn't hold on to two runs of support in the seventh. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre put the Rangers on top for good in the eighth with a two-run triple to hand the Rockies a 5-2 loss at Globe Life Park.

With runners on the corners and the game tied at 2 in the eighth, Beltre drilled a ball off reliever Harrison Musgrave and over the head of right fielder Carlos Gonzalez, who initially seemed to have a play on the ball.

But the ball carried over his head and caromed off the right-field wall, scoring the go-ahead runs in Delino DeShields and Jurickson Profar. Later in the inning, Rougned Odor tacked on another run when he hit a sacrifice fly to score Ryan Rua.

Gonzalez said Beltre's triple looked like a home run right off the bat.

"I tried to do as much as possible, but I mean, there's not much you can do," Gonzalez said. "It hit the top of the wall. I guess we can say we got lucky it didn't go over the fence, but it ended up being a two-run triple."

Video: COL@TEX: Beltre drills a go-ahead 2-run triple in 8th

The Rangers tied the game in the seventh, when Freeland allowed a two-out RBI single to Jose Trevino that dribbled just past Nolan Arenado's reaching glove and into left. It was Trevino's first Major League hit and RBI.

Still, Freeland, who scattered eight hits and struck out three across seven innings, said he thought he was successful in limiting the damage for most of the afternoon.

With no outs in the sixth and runners on first and second for the Rangers, Freeland got Profar to line into a double play to shortstop Trevor Story.

Story stepped onto second base to double off Shin-Soo Choo. Beltre later grounded out to Story to end the inning. The double play helped preserve a 2-0 lead at the time for Freeland.

Video: TEX@COL: Story catches line drive, doubles off Choo

Freeland also held the Rangers scoreless in the first after throwing 27 pitches in the inning.

"I think I did a pretty good job last year of getting out of jams with minimal damage or no damage at all," Freeland said. "But it's something that you really gotta focus on when you're out there; not letting anything snowball on you. It's definitely something I continue to work on and continue to strive for." 

Video: COL@TEX: Freeland tosses 7 innings of 2-run ball

Manager Bud Black said he's also seen Freeland make strides in limiting the damage.

"I think there's a confidence now to utilize a couple different pitches," Black said. "Whether it's the fastball command, whether it's the breaking ball, or the change, he's making pitches. He's keeping the ball down and limiting mistakes, especially with runners on base. We're seeing growth before our eyes."

Entering Saturday, Freeland had been 6-3 with a 2.93 ERA over his past nine outings. His six wins since April 24 were tied for first in the National League. 

Video: CO@TEX: LeMahieu makes sliding stop, gets the out

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Rockies failed to add on to their 2-0 lead after loading the bases in the top of the seventh. Ian Desmond led off the inning with a single and Tom Murphy followed with a double, but Gonzalez flew out to center.

Gonzalez said he took a big swing and just missed on driving a ball deep.

"I took a good hack," Gonzalez said. "Missed it. I think that's what killed us today."

Chris Iannetta followed with a walk to load the bases, but Noel Cuevas popped out and DJ LeMahieu grounded out to end the inning.

"We had bases loaded with one out and we couldn't execute," Gonzalez said. "Didn't take advantage of it. And that's what baseball does to you sometimes. You don't score and they end up scoring two runs and tie the game."

Video: COL@TEX: Black talks Freeland's outing, 5-2 loss

HE SAID IT
"As soon as you don't end up scoring runs, the next thing you know, leadoff triple. So, that's what really killed us." -- Gonzalez, on the Rockies not capitalizing on a bases-loaded opportunity in the seventh

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
With one out in the fifth and the Rockies leading, 1-0, Gonzalez was initially called safe on an infield single after first-base umpire Alan Porter ruled that Gonzalez beat a throw from Odor. Rangers manager Jeff Banister challenged the play, and the call was overturned. The Rockies were held scoreless in the inning.

Video: TEX@COL: Odor nabs Gonzalez after overturned call

UP NEXT
Right-hander Jon Gray pitches in the Rockies' series finale against the Rangers at 1:05 p.m. MT on Sunday at Globe Life Park. Gray is 2-3 with a 7.98 ERA in his past six starts. He struck out 10 in his last start against the Phillies on Tuesday. It was the 11th time in Gray's career and third time this season that he has struck out 10 or more in a start. Gray will face right-hander Yovani Gallardo.

Wesley Dotson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington.

Colorado Rockies, Kyle Freeland, Carlos Gonzalez

Rox hope mechanical changes improve 'pen

Dunn to throw BP session Sunday; Ottavino unavailable Saturday
MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Coming into a three-game Interleague series against the Rangers this weekend, the Rockies had lost 10 of their last 13 games, and a struggling bullpen had attributed to that skid.

Colorado's relievers held an 8.29 ERA during that span, but the bullpen found success in the Rockies' 9-5 win on Friday.

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ARLINGTON -- Coming into a three-game Interleague series against the Rangers this weekend, the Rockies had lost 10 of their last 13 games, and a struggling bullpen had attributed to that skid.

Colorado's relievers held an 8.29 ERA during that span, but the bullpen found success in the Rockies' 9-5 win on Friday.

View Full Game Coverage

After starter Chad Bettis allowed five runs on six hits, Colorado's bullpen held the Rangers hitless in 3 1/3 innings of relief and did not allow a run to score for the remainder of the game.

Harrison Musgrave struck out three in 1 1/3 innings, Adam Ottavino struck out two in the eighth -- his first appearance since returning from the disabled list Thursday -- and Wade Davis allowed just one walk in the ninth.

Manager Bud Black said he was pleased with the bullpen's performance on Friday. He added that pitching coach Steve Foster has made some mechanical changes with Chris Rusin, who has an 8.22 ERA in his last seven games, and Bryan Shaw, who has a 12.66 ERA in his last 11 outings.

Black said those changes should lead to more improvement.

"There are some pitching mechanic changes in place that I think take time to show the proof of that," Black said. "I think that's going to show up. There's been a mental shift as well, in the bullpen. A mind shift, and I think that will show up, too, in the weeks to come."

Dunn to throw bullpen session
Left-handed reliever Mike Dunn -- who was placed on the disabled list on June 8 with a rhomboid strain in his upper back -- is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Sunday.

Dunn is progressing faster than expected, but Black said there is still no timetable for his return. Black said the club will likely send Dunn on a rehab assignment before he returns to the bullpen.

Ottavino unavailable Saturday
Ottavino was unavailable for Saturday's game against the Rangers. Ottavino threw 29 pitches in his return to the mound on Friday, but Black said he had regular arm soreness Saturday morning.

Ottavino, who went on the disabled list with a sore oblique on May 28, leads the club with a 0.92 ERA and 0.65 WHIP in 29 1/3 innings this season.

Rockies beat
• According to the Elias Sports Bureau, prior to Friday's 9-5 win, the last time the Rockies won after trailing by five or more runs at the end of the first inning was Sept. 24, 2006, against the Braves. It was also the first time the Rockies won such a game on the road.

• Since 2011, Carlos Gonzalez holds the highest batting average among all National League players at .331 (143-for-432) in Interleague Play. Charlie Blackmon ranks second at .322 (124-for-385).

• The Rockies' 23 road wins rank first in the National League and third in the Majors. Colorado's .590 win percentage on the road is .223 points higher than its .367 win percentage at home (11-19). That's the highest road/home winning percentage disparity in the Majors.

Wesley Dotson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington.

Colorado Rockies, Wade Davis, Harrison Musgrave, Adam Ottavino

Lambert spins a gem for Hartford

MLB.com @wboor

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Saturday.

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Saturday.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Nick Senzel's offensive barrage continued with another multihit performance in Triple-A Louisville's 7-4 loss to Toledo.

The Reds' No. 1 prospect (No. 5 overall) has two or more hits in seven straight games after going 2-for-5 on Saturday.

Not only did Senzel collect a pair of hits, he also hit his fourth homer of the season, a three-run blast in the fifth inning. The 22-year-old has been scorching hot of late, hitting .485 (16-for-33) over the past seven games. Overall, Senzel is slashing .305/.377/.481 through 39 games.

Other top prospect performances from Saturday's action:

• Two of the Giants top prospects helped lead Class A Augusta to a win over Asheville as Heliot Ramos (Giants' No. 3, No. 54 overall) and Jacob Gonzalez (Giants' No. 10) combined for seven hits. Ramos, who has been heating up after a slow start, extended his hitting streak to five games with a 4-for-5 night, while Gonzalez finished 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI.

• No. 69 overall prospect Stephen Gonsalves (Twins' No. 2) got back on the right track with a scoreless start for Triple-A Rochester. Gonsalves, who gave up nine runs in his last start and had surrendered 17 runs over his past three outings, put the struggles behind him as he cruised through 5 2/3 innings. The left-hander did walk three, but struck out five and yielded just one hit.

Gonsalves notches fifth strikeout

• No. 74 overall prospect Yordan Alvarez (Astros' No. 4) immediately made his presence felt in his return to the Double-A Corpus Christi lineup. In his first game back in the lineup, the 20-year-old hit a pair of homers before the game was called due to rain in the fifth inning. Alvarez hit two-run blasts in both the first and third innings.

• No. 94 overall prospect Peter Lambert (Rockies' No. 3) has given up one earned run in three straight starts after doing so once again for Double-A Hartford. Lambert, who has a 2.40 ERA through 13 starts, walked one, struck out six and surrendered five hits.

Brewers No. 18 prospect Kodi Medeiros has given up one earned run or less in three of his past four starts after his latest gem with Double-A Biloxi. The lefty was stuck with a no-decision as the Shuckers topped Mississippi in 10 innings, but Medeiros certainly did his part with five scoreless frames. The 22-year-old walked four, struck out seven and gave up five hits.

• Brewers No. 24 prospect Carlos Rodriguez's career is off to a fast start in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League. The 17-year-old has multiple hits in eight of the 11 games he's played in, including four in a row after his 3-for-6, three-RBI performance against the Cardinals. Rodriguez has posted back-to-back three-RBI games and is slashing .440/.472/.500.

Indians No. 16 prospect Sam Hentges spun his second straight scoreless start for Class A Advanced Lynchburg. The Hillcats ultimately lost to the Keys, but Hentges did his part over 6 2/3 innings. The lefty threw 58 of his 89 pitches for strikes, walked three, struck out six and gave up four hits.

Pirates No. 13 prospect Oneil Cruz did it all for Class A West Virginia in a win over Delmarva. Cruz matched his season high with four hits, a trio of which went for extra bases. The 19-year-old, who also drove in a trio of runs, collected two triples and a double as he pushed his average to .304 through 62 games.

Rays No. 19 prospect Ronaldo Hernandez put together his second two-homer game of the season as Class A Bowling Green topped Lake County. Hernandez, who has 10 homers after finishing 3-for-4, hit a solo shot in the fourth and then followed that up with a two-run blast in the sixth.

• A pair of Royals' prospects helped lead Class A Lexington to a win over Rome as Seuly Matias (No. 3) and MJ Melendez (No. 4) each went deep. Melendez, who finished 2-for-4, hit his 10th homer of the season in the sixth inning, while Matias, who leads the Minors with 22 homers, went yard for the second day in a row.

Matias goes deep

White Sox No. 30 prospect Jimmy Lambert put together his best start of the season, despite taking a loss for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem. Lambert, a fifth-round pick from 2016, needed just 88 pitches (66 strikes) to carve his way through eight innings of one-run ball. The right-hander walked one and gave up five hits, but the bullpen gave up the decisive run to Wilmington in the ninth.

William Boor is a reporter for MLB Pipeline. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.

Story enjoying homecoming series in Arlington

Shortstop grew up an avid Rangers fan in nearby Irving, Texas
MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- The first series that Rockies shortstop Trevor Story circled on his calendar during the 2016 season was a four-game road set against the Rangers.

Story grew up in Irving, Texas, and was an avid Rangers fan. Irving is about 30 minutes west of Dallas. Story was looking forward to playing against his childhood team for the first time, but he missed his chance on playing in the series after suffering a torn ligament in his left thumb a couple of weeks prior to the series.

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ARLINGTON -- The first series that Rockies shortstop Trevor Story circled on his calendar during the 2016 season was a four-game road set against the Rangers.

Story grew up in Irving, Texas, and was an avid Rangers fan. Irving is about 30 minutes west of Dallas. Story was looking forward to playing against his childhood team for the first time, but he missed his chance on playing in the series after suffering a torn ligament in his left thumb a couple of weeks prior to the series.

View Full Game Coverage

Now, Story will finally have an opportunity to play at Globe Life Park, where the Rockies open a three-game Interleague series against the Rangers on Friday.

"It's special," said Story, who graduated from Irving High School. "I grew up coming to this park, watching the Rangers. They were my team when I was younger. Very exciting, lots of emotions for sure. It was tough I couldn't play in '16, but I'm looking forward to this."

Story's favorite Rangers player growing up was Michael Young, who was a seven-time All-Star with Texas.

"I loved Michael Young," he said. "He was my guy, playing short."

Video: COL@PHI: Story, Desmond combine for a double play

Story will enter the series as one of the Rockies' hottest hitters. He entered Friday batting .441 (15-for-34) with three homers and nine RBIs during his eight-game hitting streak. He also led the National League with 50 RBIs and was tied for fourth with 14 home runs.

"Trevor Story's name is getting out there now amongst baseball people," manager Bud Black said. "In the circles behind the cage, conversations with other coaches and managers that I have. He's becoming a guy that people are noticing, and it's deserving."

Story will have a large group of family, friends and former coaches in the stands on Friday, including his parents, who still live in Irving.

Rockies beat
• Right-hander Chad Bettis is a native of Lubbock and played his college career at Texas Tech. He will be making his second career start against the Rangers. He allowed five runs on nine hits in five innings in his first start against Texas on August 11, 2016.

Bettis' parents will be in attendance when he makes his start against the Rangers on Friday.

Video: ARI@COL: Bettis whiffs Goldy to strand a pair

Black said he was excited for Story and Bettis to play in front of family and friends in their home state.

"Isn't that great? I love it so much when guys are able to do that," Black said. "I think it's a special time for Trevor and Chad to come back. For Chad, to come back to his home state. For Trevor, to where he was raised, where he played youth baseball. I think it's cool."

Charlie Blackmon has a .323 career batting average in Interleague play, which ranks sixth among all active players. Carlos Gonzalez ranks 12th with a .315 average.

Gonzalez has batted .292 (7-for-24) in six Interleague games as a designated hitter. His 24 at-bats as a designated hitter ranks highest among active Rockies. Gonzalez received the day off on Friday after going 0-for-3 against the Phillies on Thursday.

Wesley Dotson is an associate reporter for MLB.com based in Texas.