Reynolds, Blackmon fuel red-hot Rockies past Cubs
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[June 12, 2017]
CHICAGO -- Colorado Rockies
first baseman Mark Reynolds has focused on becoming more of a
well-rounded hitter instead of an all-or-nothing slugger who hits
home runs or strikes out.
But with the wind blowing out at Wrigley Field on Saturday
afternoon, Reynolds did not mind belting a home run out of the
ballpark and on to Waveland Avenue. Teammate Charlie Blackmon also
hit a home run that cleared the bleachers as the Rockies cruised to
a 9-1 win over the Chicago Cubs.
"That's the first time in my life I ever played here with the wind
blowing out like it was today," Reynolds said with a grin. "I keep
finding myself in the lineup, so I'm just trying to do my job."
Reynolds' home run traveled an estimated 447 feet, and Blackmon's
blast covered an estimated 439 feet. The offensive outburst powered
Colorado (41-23) to its seventh consecutive victory, which marks the
franchise's longest winning streak since April 9-15, 2011.
"The two (home runs) today were really well struck," Rockies manager
Bud Black said. "If the wind was blowing the other way, I think they
both would have went out."
Reynolds went 4-for-5 to notch his fourth career four-hit
performance. He drove in two runs to give him 53 RBIs on the season,
which matches his total from 2016.
Colorado has outscored opponents 50-11 during its seven-game winning
As the Rockies enjoyed loud music in the clubhouse after the win,
the Cubs quietly searched for answers. Chicago (30-31) did not
record an extra-base hit as its losing streak reached four games.
Willson Contreras finished 1-for-4 with an RBI to lead the Cubs.
"It's a tough moment," Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. "I get it. But
these are young hitters, really young hitters that are going through
a tough moment. You've got to stay with them."
Despite a strong wind blowing toward the outfield, Rockies
right-hander Jeff Hoffman (4-0) limited the Cubs to one run on four
hits in 6 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out eight, which
matched a career high. He went 19 batters without allowing a hit
between the first and seventh innings.
"I was just trusting my stuff," Hoffman said. "I felt great. I
executed a bunch of pitches, and the defense played great behind me.
That's really all I can do is go out there and let them hit it to my
Gold Glovers behind me, and let them do the work for me."
Cubs right-hander Eddie Butler (3-2) allowed three runs in five
innings to draw the loss.
Colorado opened the scoring with two runs in the first inning. DJ
LeMahieu slammed a double off the base of the wall in right-center
field to drive in Blackmon. Two batters later, Reynolds doubled to
the gap in left-center field to score LeMahieu.
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Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon (19) hits a single during
the first inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
Reynolds increased the Rockies' lead to 3-0 with a
solo shot to lead off the fourth. His blast down the left-field line
marked his team-leading 17th home run.
Blackmon made it 4-0 in the seventh when he turned on a pitch from
Cubs left-hander Brian Duensing for his 15th home run. The ball
landed on Sheffield Avenue beyond the right-field bleachers.
Chicago cut the deficit to 4-1 on Contreras' run-scoring single in
Nolan Arenado put the game out of reach with a three-run double in
the ninth inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, Arenado
hammered a line drive down the left-field line to clear the bases.
Arenado scored on a wild pitch later in the ninth to make it 8-1.
Ian Desmond added a run-scoring single to complete the rout.
"A lot of contributors today -- we had 14 hits," Black said. "All of
the starters had a knock. That's spreading it around. A team win."
NOTES: Cubs SS Addison Russell went 0-for-2 in his first start since
Tuesday. He missed three games amid allegations posted on social
media that he physically and verbally abused his wife. Russell
denied the claims. The Cubs are cooperating with the commissioner's
office as it investigates. ... Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez was held
out of the starting lineup. He pinch hit in the ninth inning and was
ruled out on the infield fly rule. ... The Cubs recalled RHP Felix
Pena from Triple-A Iowa and optioned RHP Seth Frankoff to Triple-A
Iowa. Pena allowed two runs in 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.
... Rockies SS Alexi Amarista went 1-for-5 in his first start since
May 28. ... Cubs LF Kyle Schwarber batted leadoff for the first time
in 17 games. He went 0-for-4. ... Carolina Panthers coach and former
Chicago Bears LB Ron Rivera threw the ceremonial first pitch.
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