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Wolters blasts first homer on career day

MLB.com

DENVER -- Tony Wolters' defense at catcher has been excellent all season, especially for a recently converted infielder. But Saturday's 11-6 win over the D-backs was his day to shine with the bat.

Wolters drove in a game-high four runs and tied a team-high with three hits, most notably his first career homer. He sent a 3-1 fastball up over the plate from Shelby Miller deep into the right-field seats, a no-doubt two-run shot.

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DENVER -- Tony Wolters' defense at catcher has been excellent all season, especially for a recently converted infielder. But Saturday's 11-6 win over the D-backs was his day to shine with the bat.

Wolters drove in a game-high four runs and tied a team-high with three hits, most notably his first career homer. He sent a 3-1 fastball up over the plate from Shelby Miller deep into the right-field seats, a no-doubt two-run shot.

Full Game Coverage

"I've always hit a home run where I'm sprinting and see it go out halfway to second base," Wolters said. "I've never hit the first-base coach's hand when I'm going running through. It almost pushed me off first. I didn't expect it to be so firm."

The excitement continued for the rookie as his teammates in the dugout made a big deal of congratulating Brandon Barnes for scoring on the homer and initially giving Wolters the silent treatment.

"You just go in there and you know what they're doing," Wolters said. "But you kind of act it off. You get some water, and then all of a sudden you get water right to the face. It's cool. We're having fun. We give each other a hard time, and that's just how it is."

Wolters has struggled at the plate this season. His three-hit day raised his batting average from .194 to .217.

Even beyond the home run, Wolters had a flawless day at the plate by driving in two runs on a double to left field with a hit-and-run on, knocking a single to second base and executing a sacrifice bunt.

"I've just been trying to clean up my swing and get my barrel in the swing longer," Wolters said. "When I make contact, that's when I impact the game and help the team out. Hit-and-runs, bunting, I just need to put the bat on the ball. That's as simple as I can get."

Video: ARI@COL: Wolter gets two-run double on review

Wolters ranks seventh among Major League catchers with 1.9 percent strikes called more than the average backstop, according to Baseball Prospectus. Should Wolters continue to see his bat improve, he could earn more playing time from the Rockies' starting catcher, Nick Hundley.

"I mix it up pretty good," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Hundley brings a lot to the table, too. Tony's done a nice job."

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

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

Colorado Rockies, Tony Wolters