Blackmon’s bat throttles Rockies to victory versus San Diego

Jun 13, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon (19) hits a solo home run in the sixth inning against the San Diego Padres at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Colorado Rockies defeated the San Diego Padres at Coors Field, 9-6 backed by timely pitching and a burst of offensive production throughout the lineup.

Ahead are takeaways from the victory.

Blackmon continues to thrive as Rockies’ leadoff hitter

There was some chatter entering the season that the Rockies should consider dropping Charlie Blackmon in the lineup to provide him with more opportunities to drive in runs.

Manager Bud Black opted to stick with Blackmon as the club’s leadoff hitter, a decision that has spurned a productive outcome.

Blackmon has been red hot at the plate since returning from a stint on the injured list with a calf strain, batting .444 (11-for-25) with seven runs, two doubles, four home runs and 10 RBIs since his return on June 7th.

Blackmon crushed his 13th home run of the season versus San Diego. The ball carried out, with a little help from the wind swirling around the ballpark, just over the fence in center field to extend Colorado’s lead to 6-3.

The home run was good for Blackmon’s third in four games. Blackmon has reached base in 24 straight games since May 1st and every game the Rockies have played at Coors Field this season.

Blackmon’s power stroke carried over to the sixth inning where he belted yet another home run to center field. The second home run represented the second multi-home run game of the season for Blackmon and the 12th of his career.

To put a cherry on top, Blackmon roped a bases-clearing single in the seventh inning to put the game out of reach, sealing a highlight-worthy performance.

Gray racks up the strikeouts

Rockies’ starting pitcher Jon Gray had another superb outing versus the Padres.

The meat of the Padres’ lineup managed to score some runs off of Gray early in the game with Fernado Tatis Jr., Manny Machado and Eric Hosmer platting a pair of runs to establish an early 2-0 lead.

Colorado’s offense bailed Gray out in the bottom of the first inning, establishing a lead that the “Gray Wolf” would hold for the duration of his outing. Following the hiccup in the first, Gray was locked in on the mound, weaving around the Padres’ lineup.

Gray departed with a line of six innings pitched, allowing four runs on nine hits while fanning 10 batters.

Gray’s 10 strikeouts represent his 14th career game with double-digit strikeouts and his second this season.

Almost as impressive as the strikeouts, was Gray’s command as he did not allow a single walk. Thursday’s start was Gray’s fourth career start with no walks and 10-plus strikeouts, a franchise record.

Ian Desmond’s batting average on the rise

Ian Desmond has been the laughing stock of the franchise from the moment he inked a lucrative five-year, $70 million contract ahead of the 2017 season. Between injuries, shaky defense and putrid offense, things have not gone according to plan since the veteran came to the Mile High City.

Despite the poor body of work he has demonstrated over the past couple of seasons, it appears as if Desmond is starting to turn a corner. The veteran spent the early part of the 2019 season struggling at the plate with his batting average hovering around .200, but as the weather has started to warm up, so has he.

After the Padres established an early lead, Desmond ripped a double in the bottom of the first inning. The knock scored two runs to establish a lead the Rockies would hold throughout the night.

The base hit extended Desmond’s hitting streak to seven games. The 33-year-old is hitting .417 (10-for-24) with three doubles and five RBIs on the current streak.

Story breaks chains, goes deep

Trevor Story’s brilliance continued in the Rockies’ series opener versus the San Diego Padres. After the Rockies established a one-run lead in the bottom of the first inning, Story added a couple of vital insurance runs in the second inning, cranking his 16th home run of the season.

The ball left Story’s bat in a hurry, tailing over the raised fence in right field to push the Rockies ahead 5-2.

Story has been on an offensive tirade all season long. The 26-year-old leads the league in runs scored with 59 while ranking within the top-10 in the National League in hits. Besides his blistering power, Story has tremendous speed and has recorded 11 stolen bases this city.

Story currently finds himself in elite territory, joining reigning National League MVP Christian Yelich as the only two players in the sport to have at least 15 home runs and 10 stolen bases.

Story’s latest bout of production marks the end of the slump he was enduring as he entered the ballgame with a .194 batting average in his last nine games.