Rodgers calls game -- on his THIRD homer!
DENVER -- June arrived Wednesday, but in the mind of the Rockies’ Brendan Rodgers, it was still May. Heck, as far as he’s concerned, May can last all through the season.
Whatever the calendar said, Rodgers marked it with a star with three home runs -- including a two-run, 10th-inning walk-off as the Rockies beat the Marlins, 13-12, in a doubleheader nightcap to earn a split and prevent a long day from feeling longer.
“I know it’s June 1, but I’d like to take this three-homer game and put it with May, because we should’ve played yesterday,” Rodgers said of Tuesday’s rainout.
Rodgers, who batted .078 in April before sizzling at .347 in a May that just won’t end, had the right to call it whatever he wanted, given his impact. After an unexpectedly strong start, the Rockies had dropped seven consecutive series until taking two of three from the Marlins.
“I didn’t have a walk-off homer ever in my life,” said Rodgers, who with the trifecta brought his season’s homer total to five. “So I had a lot of firsts today -- first two-homer game, first three-homer game, first walk-off homer -- a lot of cool things today.”
The Rockies absorbed a 14-1 clobbering in an opener that will be remembered for not much more than Rodgers’ ninth-inning double to keep a hit streak alive. Then again, maybe outfielder Randal Grichuk’s perfect ninth on the mound is all the Rockies should remember, since not managing a hit until the final frame of Marlins starter Edward Cabrera’s six-inning, nine-strikeout performance isn’t exactly a fond recollection.
In the second game, Rodgers’ second-inning home run off Marlins starter Trevor Rogers brought his hit streak to 19 games, a club record for a second baseman and the Rockies’ longest run since Carlos González hit in 19 straight from July 18-Aug. 24, 2016. At Rodgers’ position in Rockies history, DJ LeMahieu (June 4-28, 2015) and Eric Young Sr. (July 7 to Aug. 10, 1995) had 18-game streaks.
Rodgers’ shot off Louis Head to open the bottom of the fifth was part of a five-run inning that gave the Rockies a 9-7 lead in a game that was already officially crazy.
It all set up Rodgers’ third leadoff homer, after the Marlins had gone ahead by a run in the top of the 10th. With the automatic runner at second, Rodgers pulled an 3-2 changeup from Cole Sulser into the left-field seats.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Rodgers became:
• the first MLB player with a walk-off for his third homer of a game since the Twins’ Eddie Rosario against Cleveland on June 3, 2018.
• the first NL player to accomplish the feat since the Reds’ Joey Votto against the Nationals on May 13, 2012.
• the second Rockies player to accomplish the feat since Todd Hollandsworth on April 15, 2001, against the D-backs.
Rodgers, a 2015 first-round pick who is 25 and in his second year in the regular lineup, helped pump some of the unnecessary excitement into the second game.
Starting pitcher Germán Márquez continued his year-long struggles (6.71 ERA in 2022 after an All-Star Game appearance last year) by giving up a career-high-tying three home runs (for the second time this season) among seven hits for seven runs (six earned) in five innings. But Rodgers sailed a throw over third base for an error that cost Márquez an out during the Marlins’ four-run fourth.
“I went up to him and was like, ‘Man, I’m more than sorry for that stupid error, but I’m going to do everything I can to get us back in it,’” Rodgers said. “And that’s what I did.”