Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Rox take lead in 1st AB, never trail vs. Yanks

Charlie Blackmon homered twice and Nolan Arenado claimed the Major League lead with his 21st long ball of the season, helping to lead the Rockies to an 8-4 victory over the Yankees on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.
Blackmon led off the game with a home run that struck the right-field foul pole, then went deep again in the fourth inning off Yankees starter Ivan Nova, who was hammered for six runs (five earned) and eight hits in four-plus innings. Arenado slugged a two-run shot in the sixth off Nick Goody.
"We got the offense rolling a little bit that last day in Miami and then rolled it over, especially with the power," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "We had some tough at-bats at times where we could've busted it open, but I'm never going to complain when we score eight runs and get 15 hits."
Rockies starter Chad Bettis limited New York to four runs (two earned) over six innings, tying a career high with eight strikeouts as he defeated the Bronx Bombers for the second time in a week. DJ LeMahieu contributed three hits for Colorado and has reached base in 16 consecutive games.
"We made some mistakes tonight and yeah, it does bother me," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "When you make mistakes to a team that hits the ball out of the ballpark, a lot of times you're going to lose."
Smacks from Blackmon: Coors Field isn't the only place with favorable home run conditions. Taking advantage of the short right-field porch at Yankee Stadium, the left-handed-hitting Blackmon ratcheted two home runs Tuesday. Blackmon's first homer traveled a Statcast-projected 399 feet; the second one traveled a projected 354 feet. More >
"Honestly, it's a real trap," Blackmon said of hitting leadoff home runs. "You have one good swing and then you're going to have another three hours or another five at-bats. If you're not careful you can let yourself down or the team down. So I think it's important to keep all the at-bats separate, good or bad."
Nova's slide continues: The Rockies knocked Nova around for the second time in a week, as the right-hander was unable to record an out in the fifth inning. New York's defense didn't do Nova any favors, as Carlos Beltran and Rob Refsnyder committed errors behind him, but Nova now has a 6.88 ERA over his last six starts (26 earned runs in 34 innings). The Yankees have been reluctant to make a changes to their rotation, as they believe Luis Severino has been too inconsistent at Triple-A. More >
"You've got to keep your head up and keep working," Nova said. "This is not the first time that I've gone through a stretch like that. I've just got to find a way to get through this. Hopefully the next start is the start of something different."
CarGo's rocket: In the fifth inning with his team up, 5-2, Carlos Gonzalez rocketed a double into the outfield at 118 mph, according to Statcast™, the eighth-fastest recorded hit of the season and Gonzalez's hardest hit ball this year. In all, Gonzalez went 3-for-4, improving his hitting streak to seven games and making it six times in the last 11 games that he's notched multiple hits. Since May 23, Gonzalez is batting .396.
"It just makes a different sound when you hit the ball that hard," Gonzalez said. "I knew it had a chance to make it for an extra base. Beltran had a bad read because the ball was smoked. I was glad I put myself into scoring position for the guys and scored another run."
Carlos looks lost: Beltran had a rough night in the field and on the basepaths, committing a first-inning error on Gonzalez's single and twisting awkwardly as Gonzalez's fifth-inning double sailed over his head. Girardi was displeased by Beltran's aggressive play on the bases in the fifth inning, when he attempted to tag up on an Alex Rodriguez sacrifice fly and was thrown out at second base by Ryan Raburn with the Yankees trailing by three runs.
"It's just trying to do too much," Girardi said. "You have to know who is hitting behind you. Carlos is a really smart player, but he had a bad read."
The Rockies successfully challenged a call at first base in the top of the first inning, as Arenado was initially called out on a ground ball to shortstop Didi Gregorius. After review, the call was overturned, as Arenado was ruled to have touched the base before first baseman Rob Refsnyder received Gregorius' throw.
Rockies: Hot-pitching right-hander Jon Gray (4-3, 4.55 ERA) will take the mound for the Rockies on Wednesday, looking to extend his career-high quality start streak to six games. The start will be the first time in his career that Gray faces the Yankees and just his third start versus an American League team. Game time is 11:05 a.m. MT.
Yankees: Left-hander CC Sabathia (5-4, 2.20 ERA) has been the best pitcher in baseball over his last seven starts, a trend he will look to continue on Wednesday as the Yanks complete their two-game Interleague series against the Rockies. Sabathia has compiled an 0.82 ERA in his last seven outings, permitting just four earned runs in 44 innings. Game time is 1:05 p.m. ET.

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