Arenado’s 42nd home run leads Rockies past Giants 9-3
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) It’s scary to think what Colorado slugger Nolan Arenado might do if he played a full season at AT&T Park instead of a handful of games each year.
In seven games there this season, Arenado has almost as many home runs as any Giants player has at San Francisco’s waterfront ballpark.
Arenado did it again in the opening game of Colorado’s final series, hitting his NL-leading 42nd homer and breaking the major league record for extra-base hits in a season by a third baseman as the Rockies beat the Giants 9-3 on Friday night to end a three-game losing streak.
”He’s killed us,” San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. ”Just look at his numbers and you know he kills a lot of people. For some reason, we make a lot of mistakes against him.”
Arenado’s home run was his 10th against the Giants this year – the most against San Francisco by an opponent since Dale Murphy of the Atlanta Braves hit 11 in 1983 – and his sixth at AT&T Park.
By comparison, Brandon Crawford and Matt Duffy lead the Giants with seven home runs at home.
”Whenever I come to San Fran I guess I get a little more pumped up to come knowing that they’re the defending world champs,” Arenado said. ”The fans are always good, it’s always packed. I love that atmosphere and I love being in it.”
Arenado also became the first NL third baseman with 130 RBIs or more since Vinny Castilla had 131 in 2004.
”He’s 24 years old, too, that’s what’s real exciting about this guy,” Colorado manager Walt Weiss said. ”He never stops working. He wants to be great and he shows up every day trying to be great. He’s the total package.”
Corey Dickerson added his third homer in eight games for the Rockies. Carlos Gonzalez had an RBI single and winning pitcher Kyle Kendrick walked and scored as part of a five-run third inning when Colorado broke the game open.
Arenado homered off starter Chris Heston leading off the fourth, then added a two-run double in the third. That gave the Rockies slugger 88 extra-base hits, breaking Chipper Jones’ single-season record set in 1999.
Kendrick (7-13) benefited from Arenado’s big night to win for the third time since coming off the disabled list on Sept. 1.
Crawford had two hits and two RBIs for the Giants. The defending World Series champions have lost two of three since being eliminated from playoff contention.
Colorado had scored more than six runs just twice in its previous 29 road games before its uprising against Heston (12-11).
The Rockies scored seven runs with two outs, including a two-run double by Jose Reyes in the fourth, to clinch the season series between the teams.
Kendrick, who had lost twice previously to the Giants this season, made it stand up. He allowed one run over five innings and matched his season high of six strikeouts with one walk.
Dickerson’s ninth home run capped the third and put the Rockies up 6-1. Dickerson also doubled and scored on a wild pitch in the fifth.
Heston gave up eight runs and eight hits in 3 2-3 innings. He lost for the sixth time in his last 11 starts.
Giants: OF Nori Aoki will not play again this season and will instead continue his recovery from a concussion. The decision was made after Aoki met with specialist Michael Collins in Pittsburgh for a second time in an attempt to get cleared to play.
Rockies: LHP Chris Rusin (6-9) tries Saturday to win for only the second time in 11 road starts this season.
Giants: RHP Jake Peavy (7-6) has won his last four decisions, including a 7-3 victory over the Rockies on Sept. 5 when he allowed three runs over 5 2-3 innings.