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So the Story goes, extending streak in Rox's win

Tapia also doubles twice, Blackmon homers as Rockies take series from Nats
@harding_at_mlb
April 24, 2019

DENVER -- The multiple front-burner and emerging stories attached to the Rockies’ current surge threaten to overshadow Trevor Story’s 13-game hit streak and dependable production. But whether at night or, as was the case Wednesday, in the broad blue-sky daylight, Story’s work deserves notice. He launched a triple during his

DENVER -- The multiple front-burner and emerging stories attached to the Rockies’ current surge threaten to overshadow Trevor Story’s 13-game hit streak and dependable production.

But whether at night or, as was the case Wednesday, in the broad blue-sky daylight, Story’s work deserves notice. He launched a triple during his team’s four-run third inning and doubled during a two-run fourth to help ignite the Rockies to a 9-5 win over the Nationals, their eighth victory in 10 games.

“You go through times where you’re feeling really good and there are times when you’re not feeling so great, but you’re really just trying to compete,” said Story, whose 2-for-4 performance came from the No. 2 spot in the batting order -- an intriguing aspect during a performance the Rockies hope they can repeat, often.

Several other stories made the day special.

Raimel Tapia, who homered in his previous three games (one inside the park), doubled twice -- once for three runs. Charlie Blackmon homered -- one of six runs and nine hits against Nats starter Anibal Sanchez -- for the third time in this 5-2 homestand. Nolan Arenado homered for his 1,000th hit on Monday and has dotted the week with fine defensive plays -- such as his barehanded grab and throw to beat Jake Noll to end the eighth.

Additionally, Daniel Murphy went 1-for-4 with a walk in his return from a fractured left index finger that occurred in the season’s second game. Righty German Marquez held the Nats to three runs and eight hits while striking out eight over seven innings, and he has a 2.14 ERA in his last three starts.

But behind all that is a Story worth celebrating.

The 2-for-4 performance Wednesday put Story at 13-for-27 (.481) during this streak -- the longest currently in the Majors. Even more, he has hit in 15 of his last 16 (21-for-63, .333). He didn’t homer Wednesday but leads the team with five, and he didn’t steal a base but entered the day leading the National League with six.

“He just continues to get better,” said Blackmon, himself the owner of an eight-game hit streak. “He hits the ball hard. He hits for power. He scares guys. He runs the bases well. He’s playing really good baseball right now. I’d like to see him keep doing it.”

Story said he entertained the idea of a cycle. Why not? The 18 that have occurred at Coors Field since it opened in 1995 are more than any park, active or not, in Major League history.

“A little bit, when you get those first two out of the way right away,” Story said. “I know the chances are slim. I’m not trying to be picky up there. I’m trying to hit the ball hard.”

Story’s completeness could allow manager Bud Black to execute a lineup construction that has been in his mind since Spring Training.

For several games, Black put Arenado second, between Blackmon and Murphy. But Arenado had always been a cleanup or No. 3 hitter, and before the start of the season, Black abandoned the idea of him hitting second. The idea had merit because Arenado figured out how to hit for power and reduce strikeouts.

But Story appears to be reaching Arenado’s proficiency, as evidenced by his .292/.361/.500 slash line. He leads the team with 27 strikeouts, but he has struck out just 14 times in the last 14 games.

“I’m seeing better at-bats -- the quality of the at-bats over time, the leveling out of strikeouts, and the walks and the importance of condensing the strike zone, having strike zone control,” Black said. “It doesn’t happen overnight. Usually, it takes years. He’s doing a really good job. I’m really proud of him.

“You could see him second moving forward. The left-right-left-right strategically helps us in relations to bullpen moves on the other side.”

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.