Rockies rally behind McMahon's 4 RBIs

June 16th, 2021

DENVER -- There’s hot, as in 98 degrees at first pitch at Coors Field on Tuesday night. Then there’s hot.

McMahon tripled in a run in the fourth inning, launched his 16th homer of the season for two runs in the sixth and completed his four-RBI night with a sacrifice fly in the seventh as the Rockies won, 8-4.

It was the second straight night that the game-time temperature at Coors Field read 98 degrees -- the first time in Rockies history they started consecutive games with temps that high. In a park where the Rockies often sizzle -- 22-14, as opposed to 5-27 on the road -- McMahon was hottest of all.

Over the past five games, McMahon has displayed his power-hitting bat to the tune of three home runs, a double and a triple. The power profile is part of McMahon’s argument for inclusion in the July 13 All-Star Game at Coors Field.

Overall, McMahon’s hitting had dipped over the past week-plus. His 3-for-3 night Tuesday -- with the hits off Padres starter Yu Darvish -- was his first multihit game since June 6.

“In Cincinnati, I felt better, felt like I was doing what I’d been trying to do,” said McMahon, who homered twice over the weekend vs. the Reds. “Before that, I was kind of out of whack, kind of grinding through those days.”

tripled off lefty reliever Tim Hill to lead off the seventh inning, and doubled for a 5-4 lead. That was one of his two doubles for Tapia as he ran his hitting streak to 12 games to tie a career high.

In his final plate appearance, McMahon didn’t manage the double, which would have completed the 19th cycle at Coors Field (nine by the Rockies), but he extended the lead to two runs with a sacrifice fly to center on a ball that matched his homer as his hardest-hit ball, 104.9 mph exit velocity.

“I’d be lying if I wasn’t sitting in the dugout saying … ‘Five more feet left and I’d have probably gotten a double,’” McMahon said.

McMahon’s finesse on the earlier at-bats was as notable as his power.

In the second inning he waited out Darvish’s cartoonishly challenging 67.6 mph curve for a single. “I don’t know how I did it,” McMahon said.

He tripled on an 0-2 cutter, and the homer came on a full-count slider to tie the game, 4-4.

Each of the extra-base hits off Darvish came with him slightly choking up on the bat.

“If you can handle the barrel of the bat and manipulate it by choking up a little bit, good things will happen,” manager Bud Black said. “‘Mac’s learning.”

Hitting lexicon such as “shortening up” is talked about so much with the Rockies, who go back and forth between a home atmosphere often hostile to breaking pitches and road conditions dramatically different than those they face at home. McMahon even said he has gone to a shorter bat.

“You’re going to laugh -- 34 inches last year, it’s 33.75 inches this year,” he said. “I’ve been choking up a bit, so …”

A half-inch here or there, properly applied, can make a world of difference.