Rolling Arenado: MLB HR leader also gold with glove

Rockies third baseman swats 11th home run of season

Rolling Arenado: MLB HR leader also gold with glove

PHOENIX -- On a day when Nolan Arenado regained sole leadership in the Major League home run race with his 11th of the season, his manager couldn't stop praising him -- for his defense just as much as the game-changing homer in the Rockies' 6-3 victory Sunday.

This is what the Rockies see on a regular basis from their All-Star third baseman, and Walt Weiss wants more people to know it.

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Tony DeMarco is a contributor to MLB.com based in Phoenix and covered the Rockies on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arenado dazzles as Rox sweep D-backs

Arenado dazzles as Rox sweep D-backs

PHOENIX -- The Rockies probably wish they could stay at Chase Field a little longer after completing a three-game sweep with a 6-3 win over the D-backs on Sunday afternoon. It was Colorado's fifth victory in six games against the D-backs this year.

"This has been a tough place for us," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "We've had some tough losses here, so it's nice to get off well here. Hopefully, we're exorcising one of our demons."

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Tony DeMarco is a contributor to MLB.com based in Phoenix and covered the Rockies on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hoffman among top prospect perfomers Sunday

Rockies, D-backs hurlers both don't allow a run in pitchers' duel

Hoffman among top prospect perfomers Sunday

Top 100 pitchers Jeff Hoffman (No. 49) and Braden Shipley (No. 64) squared off Sunday in the final game of the four-game set between Triple-A Albuquerque and Reno, and both hurlers were electric.

Hoffman, No. 5 on the Rockies' Top 30, turned in his best start of the season for the Isotopes, firing seven scoreless innings, during which he allowed just three hits (all singles). The right-hander matched his season high with six strikeouts and did not issue a walk in the outing, his first walk-less performance of 2016, with 68 of his 99 pitches going for strikes.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rusin's return to rotation gives Rox big lift

Lefty tosses five scoreless innings in first start of season

Rusin's return to rotation gives Rox big lift

PHOENIX -- When Eddie Butler takes the mound in San Diego on Tuesday night, he will become the eighth starting pitcher used by the Rockies in only 26 games.

Injuries to Jon Gray (who has returned from an abdominal strain) and No. 1 starter Jorge De La Rosa (on the 15-day DL for a strained left groin), plus Jordan Lyles' demotion to Triple-A, have forced manager Walt Weiss to go deeper than he'd like at this point.

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Tony DeMarco is a contributor to MLB.com based in Phoenix and covered the Rockies on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gray in search of first win as he faces Padres

Gray in search of first win as he faces Padres

In the two starts made by Rockies rookie Jon Gray this season, he has been given 15 runs of support -- yet remains in search of his first Major League win. Padres veteran James Shields would love that kind of backing from his offense. For the most part, he's been sharp this season, but also has nothing to show for it.

The two right-handers will square off Monday night as the Rockies and Padres open a three-game set at Petco Park.

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AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

In historic April, Story spun unbelievable tale

'The kid keeps doing it,' Weiss says after rookie's 9th-inning heroics

In historic April, Story spun unbelievable tale

PHOENIX -- Rockies manager Walt Weiss called it a "money hit." For Trevor Story, it was the capper on an historic first month in the Major Leagues.

The situation: Story facing D-backs closer Brad Ziegler in the top of the ninth inning of a 2-2 game, two runners on and one out. Story took a sinking fastball the other way and into the right-field corner for a triple, and the Rockies were on their way to a 5-2 victory on Saturday night at Chase Field.

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Tony DeMarco is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Rockies on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rox relieved to get Blackmon back on field

'He paid immediate dividends last night,' Weiss says of CF

Rox relieved to get Blackmon back on field

PHOENIX -- The Rockies have their leadoff hitter and center fielder back. Charlie Blackmon returned from the 15-day disabled list on Friday with two hits and a run scored.

While that was overshadowed by four home runs belted by his teammates in a 9-0 rout of the D-backs, there's no understating Blackmon's long-term importance.

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Tony DeMarco is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Rockies on Saturday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Story's big night writes happy ending for Rox

Story's big night writes happy ending for Rox

PHOENIX -- Solid starting pitching dominated the early part of the Saturday night's game between the D-backs and the Rockies, but Trevor Story once again proved to be the difference in Colorado's 5-2 victory in the second game of the series at Chase Field.

Story's two-run triple in the top of the ninth inning broke the 2-2 tie that propelled his club to the win. Story finished 2-for-5 with three RBIs.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.

Tony DeMarco is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Rockies on Saturday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Foul play in press box, but was it a catch?

Foul play in press box, but was it a catch?

PHOENIX -- There was plenty of foul play in the press box at Chase Field on Friday night.

Late in the game between the Rockies and the D-backs, a foul ball made its way toward the press box behind home plate. While most reporters scattered, one man, MLB.com's D-backs beat reporter Steve Gilbert, rose to the occasion.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Story time: Rookie ties record with 10 April HRs

Rockies shortstop goes deep against D-backs

Story time: Rookie ties record with 10 April HRs

PHOENIX -- Trevor Story has powered his way into the record books.

On Friday, Story hit a two-run home run in the top of the fifth inning, his 10th of the season, to give the Rockies a 4-0 lead. The homer tied the MLB rookie record for home runs in April set by White Sox slugger Jose Abreu in 2014.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Recovering Motte joins team on road trip

Rockies reliever has no timetable for return from DL

Recovering Motte joins team on road trip

PHOENIX -- Injured reliever Jason Motte will accompany the Rockies during the upcoming road trip that started Friday in Arizona, but there is no timetable for his return from the disabled list.

Motte, who was placed on the DL with shoulder strain April 3, threw 25 pitches in a bullpen session Friday at Salt River Fields, the club's Spring Training facility, where he has been working out since the start of the regular season. He is expected to throw a bullpen session some time during the road trip through Arizona, San Diego and San Francisco and will eventually progress to throwing live batting practice sessions.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

His-Story made as Rox overpower D-backs

His-Story made as Rox overpower D-backs

PHOENIX -- The Rockies hit four home runs and got an excellent start from Tyler Chatwood to beat the D-backs, 9-0, on Friday night at Chase Field. It was the Rockies' third win over the D-backs in four tries this year.

Ryan Raburn, Nick Hundley, Trevor Story and Nolan Arenado each homered off D-backs starter Robbie Ray, and Story's two-run blast tied a rookie record for homers in April. Both Story and Arenado have 10 homers on the season.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com and covered the Rockies on Friday. Follow him Facebook.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Weiss unhappy with inconsistency of slide rule

Weiss unhappy with inconsistency of slide rule

DENVER -- An interpretation of the new rule regarding slides into second base -- one that cost his team a run in an eventual 9-8, 12-inning loss to the Pirates -- left Rockies manager Walt Weiss believing "they should just get rid of it."

In question is a slide by Pirates baserunner Josh Harrison in an attempt to break up a double play, with DJ LeMahieu the pivot man. Harrison stubbed his foot before sliding and slid over the bag with his foot above the ground. LeMahieu escaped contact, but he was unable to attempt a double play.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Blackmon activated; Barnes optioned to Triple-A

Rockies outfielder was on the disabled list with turf toe

Blackmon activated; Barnes optioned to Triple-A

PHOENIX -- The Rockies reinstated outfielder Charlie Blackmon from the 15-day disabled list and optioned outfielder Brandon Barnes to Triple-A Albuquerque before Friday night's game against the D-backs.

Blackmon, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list April 14 because of turf toe in his left foot, was back in the lineup in the leadoff spot.

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Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs-Rox finale postponed; no makeup set

DENVER -- The Pirates-Rockies game scheduled for Thursday at Coors Field was postponed well before game time because of inclement weather.

As the announcement came shortly after 11:30 a.m. MT, the scoreboard showed a temperature of 37 degrees. Intermittent light snow had fallen. Scheduled game time was 1:10 p.m. No makeup announcement was immediately made.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rox erase 7-run deficit, but fall in 12th

Rox erase 7-run deficit, but fall in 12th

DENVER -- Jordy Mercer became the last starting position player to have a hit, and it came at the right time -- a two-out RBI double in the top of the 12th to give the Pirates a 9-8 victory over the Rockies at Coors Field on Wednesday night.

Before losing on Mercer's hit off Carlos Estevez, the Rockies overcame a 7-0 deficit -- the first time they had overcome a hole that big since Aug. 25, 2010, when they overcame 7-0 and 10-1 deficits against the Braves to win, 12-10. They couldn't finish the job Wednesday night.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver and covered the Pirates on Wednesday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Butler back with Rox, steps up out of bullpen

Right-hander fans 4 over 2 1/3 innings during first big league relief appearance

Butler back with Rox, steps up out of bullpen

DENVER -- Right-handed pitcher Eddie Butler returned to the Rockies on Wednesday night and demonstrated improved ability to finish off hitters during Colorado's 9-8, 12-inning loss to the Pirates.

Called up from Triple-A Albuquerque to replace lefty Jorge De La Rosa, who went on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a left groin strain, Butler replaced starter Jon Gray with two outs in the fourth. He immediately yielded a Starling Marte single and a Francisco Cervelli two-run double, then retired seven straight, with four strikeouts.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Resilient Rox won't go down without a fight

Colorado erases seven-run deficit vs. Pirates before falling in extras

Resilient Rox won't go down without a fight

DENVER -- Manager Walt Weiss doesn't have to worry about the Rockies' desire or ability to come back from big deficits. They've proven it twice in the past four games. Actually winning after the comeback, however, has proven elusive.

The Rockies erased their biggest deficit in seven seasons Wednesday when they gave up the game's first seven runs but forced extra innings. However, it was the Pirates' Jordy Mercer who delivered the 12th-inning RBI double to send the Rockies to a 9-8 defeat at Coors Field. It was their fifth straight loss and sixth in the last seven games.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tapia, Musgrave among top prospect performers Wednesday

Indians' No. 3 notches three extra-base hits, Rangers' No. 29 prospect strikes out 11 in one-hit shutout

Tapia, Musgrave among top prospect performers Wednesday

Bobby Bradley is on a roll right now, and his hot hitting continued on Wednesday.

Baseball's No. 90 overall prospect (Indians No. 3) helped Class A Advanced Lynchburg to a 12-6 win over Winston-Salem by going 3-for-5 with a home run, a pair of doubles and three RBIs. Bradley's three-run homer was part of a 10-run fifth inning for the Hillcats, who erased a 4-1 deficit.

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

De La Rosa lands on DL with groin strain

Rockies lefty has posted a 10.18 ERA through five starts

De La Rosa lands on DL with groin strain

DENVER -- Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a left groin strain, which should give him time to recover and unlock the mystery that has led to a 10.18 ERA through five starts. Colorado recalled righty Eddie Butler from Triple-A Albuquerque to fill his roster spot.

De La Rosa gave up four runs in three innings of Tuesday night's 9-4 loss to the Pirates, and he was pulled when he limped to first after hitting a ground ball in the third inning. He said Wednesday that the issue has existed since his first start, and he has been receiving massage treatments. Yet, he declined to link the groin issue to the poor performances or significantly lower fastball velocity this season.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rockies can't contain McCutchen, fall to Bucs

Rockies can't contain McCutchen, fall to Bucs

DENVER -- Andrew McCutchen achieved his second home run hat trick, including a crushing three-run shot in the sixth inning, and the Pirates went deep five times in a 9-4 victory over the Rockies at Coors Field on a cold, damp Tuesday night.

"It's awesome to hit one homer, but to hit three is really cool," McCutchen said after joining Hall of Famers Ralph Kiner, Willie Stargell and Roberto Clemente as the only Pirates with multiple three-homer games. "To be in that caliber of players is tremendous. It's a good day to remember and something that doesn't always happen."

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver and covered the Pirates on Monday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Amid high and lows, Story keeps level head

Rockies rookie shortstop, who posted historic first week, stuck in slump

Amid high and lows, Story keeps level head

DENVER -- Seven home runs in his first six Major League games and eight in his first 13 -- both unprecedented -- didn't make Rockies shortstop Trevor Story believe he was immune from baseball's crests and depths. So a 2-for-22 (.091) slump in the six games since his last homer won't sway him, either.

Story, 23, has lived an action-packed first 19 games. Tuesday night's 9-4 loss to the Pirates was another first -- a day out of the starting lineup. It could be a good time to assess where Story is. However, he doesn't necessarily look at it that way, and when he does self-evaluate, he doesn't do it with the stat sheet in mind.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rockies' bats can't get Bettis off hook vs. Bucs

Rockies' bats can't get Bettis off hook vs. Bucs

DENVER -- Matt Joyce greeted Rockies reliever Scott Oberg with a three-run homer in the seventh as the Pirates earned a 6-1 victory on Monday night in a series opener that saw a 30-minute rain delay in the second inning at Coors Field.

Joyce's second homer of the season came right after Oberg -- in his first appearance of the season since being called up from Triple-A Albuquerque -- replaced Rockies starter Chad Bettis, who was charged with six hits and four runs in 6 2/3 innings.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.

Owen Perkins is a contributor to MLB.com based in Denver and covered the Pirates on Monday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Weiss, Raburn tossed for arguing strike zone

Weiss, Raburn tossed for arguing strike zone

DENVER -- Rockies manager Walt Weiss saw his fourth-inning ejection during a 6-1 loss to the Pirates on Monday night as a necessary part of his job. Left fielder Ryan Raburn thought his sixth-inning ejection was completely unnecessary.

Throughout, Colorado players groused that home-plate umpire Lance Barrett's strike zone was too generous, as evidenced by the six strikeouts looking -- five against Pirates starter Jeff Locke -- that an aggressive-swinging Rockies team absorbed. Raburn went down looking twice, and even Nolan Arenado took just the 26th strikeout looking of his career.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rockies move Rusin to rotation, option Lyles

Hundley activated from concussion DL, Garneau sent to Albuquerque

Rockies move Rusin to rotation, option Lyles

DENVER -- The Rockies moved left-hander Chris Rusin into the starting rotation after seeing him pitch 9 2/3 scoreless innings in his last three relief appearances, and optioned scuffling starter Jordan Lyles to Triple-A Albuquerque on Monday.

The Rockies also activated Nick Hundley from the seven-day concussion disabled list, optioned catcher Dustin Garneau to Albuquerque and recalled righty reliever Scott Oberg from Triple-A.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Arenado leading Rockies' charge on All-Star ballot

Arenado leading Rockies' charge on All-Star ballot

DENVER -- Third baseman Nolan Arenado said traveling last year to Cincinnati for his first All-Star Game was that much more enjoyable because he had a couple of Rockies teammates with him -- second baseman DJ LeMahieu and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki (now with the Blue Jays).

"It was awesome, and way better knowing that DJ and Tulo were there with me, because I was pretty nervous, but being with those guys and talking to them about the game was one of the best experiences of my life, for sure," Arenado said.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Relentless Rockies can't fend off Dodgers

Relentless Rockies can't fend off Dodgers

DENVER -- Chase Utley's two-out double capped a five-run ninth inning that gave the Dodgers a 12-10 victory over the Rockies and secured a series victory in a wild weekend at Coors Field.

The Dodgers had an early 7-1 lead, only to see the Rockies chip away and take a 10-7 lead with a five-run bottom of the eighth. But Rockies closer Jake McGee gave up five hits and a walk during an inning that saw him wild-pitch in the tying run, and give up a Corey Seager RBI double after the go-ahead hit by Utley.

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Parra's excellent day at plate wasted in loss

Rockies outfielder goes 4-for-5 with 4 RBIs vs. Dodgers

Parra's excellent day at plate wasted in loss

DENVER -- Rockies outfielder Gerardo Parra couldn't have thought that he would have a day like Sunday, yet finish it speaking in muffled tones.

Parra had four hits and drove in four runs. His last two RBIs came on a single toward the end of the Rockies' five-run eighth inning that gave them a three-run cushion going into the ninth. Yet, on a day when no lead was safe, that one certainly wasn't. The Dodgers scored five in the top of the ninth and walked away with a 12-10 victory at Coors Field.

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Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.