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Birthday bash nothing new for Reynolds

MLB.com

DENVER -- There's something special about birthdays for Rockies first baseman Mark Reynolds.

In the Rockies' 12-2 win over the Dodgers on Wednesday at Coors Field, Reynolds celebrated his 33rd birthday by going 3-for-5 with a home run. It was the fourth time in seven birthdays he's played on that he has hit a home run.

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DENVER -- There's something special about birthdays for Rockies first baseman Mark Reynolds.

In the Rockies' 12-2 win over the Dodgers on Wednesday at Coors Field, Reynolds celebrated his 33rd birthday by going 3-for-5 with a home run. It was the fourth time in seven birthdays he's played on that he has hit a home run.

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Reynolds is known for lots of home runs and strikeouts in his career -- in 10 seasons he has 249 home runs and 1,614 strikeouts. His birthdays are no different.

He's gone 8-for-28 with five home runs and 15 strikeouts.

"I don't know if it's a different feeling," Reynolds said. "Maybe I'm mad because I'm older and my days are numbered. I want to do the best I can while I'm still wearing a jersey. You can't really explain. Any day you've got a big league jersey on is a great day, and you have fun with it."

Those home runs and strikeouts have not been as numerous this season. In his career, he has struck out 31.1 percent of the time, with a home run every 20.8 plate appearances. This season, he is striking out 25.4 percent of the time with a home run every 31.2 plate appearances.

In exchange for less power, Reynolds has his highest batting average (.268) since his rookie season in 2007 with the D-backs. Coming into Spring Training, he made a concerted effort to change his approach to make more contact and drop hits into the spacious Coors Field outfield.

"I just think his approach is good right now," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "He's got a lot of raw power, so when he catches it, it goes a long way. I just think he's in a good place right now. His swing path is good, the bat's in the zone a little longer than it was a couple weeks ago."

Especially with rookie shortstop Trevor Story, who is tied with teammate Nolan Arenado for the NL lead with 27 home runs, out for the regular season with a left thumb injury, other power sources could help.

Reynolds went 4-for-21 (.190) over the recent road trip against the Orioles and Mets but represents another potential right-handed power bat to replace Story's production. Reynolds is hitting .305/.381/.503 at home compared to .241/.314/.386 on the road.

"I had a rough stretch there in New York and in Baltimore," Reynolds said. "You get home, and Coors Field cures a lot of things. It's a cure for a lot of diseases. Coors Field is a great place to play. Our fans have been coming out and being awesome. It's been a really fun year, and hopefully we continue it and make some noise in October."

Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Colorado Rockies, Mark Reynolds