DENVER -- Rockies right fielder Charlie Blackmon took his hot streak to tape-measure proportions during a 10-7 victory over the Padres on Sunday afternoon at Coors Field.
Blackmon socked home runs of 464 feet for two runs in the second inning and 450 feet in the fourth to become the third player since Statcast began tracking in 2015 to hit two homers of at least 450 feet in the same game. Both homers came off rookie Padres starter Nick Margevicius
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Rockies teammate Trevor Story went 505 and 459 feet in his three-homer game against the Giants last Sept. 5 at Coors Field. Story’s final shot traveled “only” 416 feet. Jay Bruce hit homers of 459 and 457 feet for the Reds on the road against the Brewers on Sept. 20, 2015.
After playing much of the homestand in low temperatures, Blackmon basked in Sunday’s 67 degrees.
“I hit those balls pretty hard today,” Blackmon said. “I got some good pitches to hit -- and maybe a little warmer outside. Seeing the sun for the first time in a while certainly helps, too.”
Blackmon’s power supported right-hander Antonio Senzatela, who held the Padres to three runs and four hits while fanning seven in 6 2/3 innings.
During the Rockies’ 4-4 homestand against National League West opponents, Blackmon went 13-for-33 (.394) with five home runs and eight RBIs. The Rockies (19-21) open an eight-game road trip on Tuesday at Boston.
“I feel like we’re doing a pretty good job right now, especially offensively,” Blackmon said. “We’re getting a lot of hits. Great outing from Senzatela today. I feel like we’ve had some good outings, maybe rough breaks here and there for our guys. But we’re competing really well and had a chance to win a couple more games this homestand.”
Blackmon has reached base in 21 of his last 22 games, during which he is 35-for-96 (.365) with eight home runs, three triples and nine doubles.
Blackmon also extended his hit streak to 10 games, for his 16th streak that long in a career spent entirely with the Rockies. The only players in Rockies history to have more hit streaks of 10 or more games are Todd Helton (25) and Larry Walker (17).
“Charlie’s in a nice spot,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. “He’s hit his stride the last couple of weeks.”
Including Margevicius, the Rockies faced six lefty starters during the homestand. They will face Red Sox lefty Chris Sale on Tuesday. Has going left-on-left so often made Blackmon more comfortable?
“No,” he said, wryly. “I prefer my left-handers spaced out.”
1. Even youth need rest: The rotation of Raimel Tapia, David Dahl and Ian Desmond in the outfield was only partly designed to rest Desmond, who switched from first base to center field at age 33 this year. Black noted that Tapia and Dahl made the Major League Opening Day roster for the first time this year, and some of the time off is to ease into the mental grind of the Majors.
It certainly worked Sunday. Tapia had three hits, including a bloop double in the second and his fifth homer of the season, a two-run shot in the five-run seventh. Dahl doubled, singled twice and was hit by a pitch. Black also has parceled the playing time at second base. Regular Ryan McMahon doubled in a run and singled on Sunday.
“When you start the season in the big leagues and it’s a full, six-month go, there’s a physical and mental grind that doesn’t take place in the Minor Leagues,” Black said. “You can only feel it when you go through it. There’s a different pressure and expectation of being a big league player and the magnitude of that. The expectations of that can weigh on players.
“Guys want to play every day, but from our chairs, as coaches, these little days off from starting help.”
2. Hitting feels good: First baseman Daniel Murphy, who broke the game open with a pinch-hit, three-run double in the seventh, didn’t start for the second straight day. The Rockies faced lefty pitchers in all three games against the Padres, but there is another reason right-handed-hitting Mark Reynolds is getting semi-regular time.
Murphy missed 20 games with a fractured left index finger.
“As long as I have my splint on, I’m continuing to heal while I’m playing,” he said. “So there’s no detriment to me playing.”
Said Black: “'Murph’ isn’t quite where he’s going to get to … He’s got a broken finger, and he’s playing through it, but he’s healing.”
3. Fear of Arenado: Nolan Arenado entered with a .487 May batting average. Determined not to make sure he didn’t dominate, the Padres intentionally walked him twice. In the first inning, after Dahl’s double, the Padres passed him after Margevicius fell behind, 2-0. Margevicius then struck out Reynolds looking.
4. Oh’s woes: Trying to mop up with a 10-3 lead, righty Seunghwan Oh gave up four runs. Three came on a hanging breaking ball that Franmil Reyes popped over the wall.
“Balls that he wants to throw down, he’s not getting down consistently,” said Black, who is using Carlos Estevez in innings where Oh might have worked last year.
5. Senzatela’s day: Senzatela is 2-0 on Mother’s Day, with the first win coming months after his mom, Nidya, passed away from breast cancer in 2017. On Sunday, Senzatela balanced his emotions -- a trait he hopes to carry forward.
In his previous two starts, he didn’t last five innings and at times couldn’t control the urge to overthrow.
“I just got in my mind, ‘Stay quiet, and just throw a quality pitch right here,’” Senzatela said.
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb and like his Facebook page.