DENVER -- Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez swatted a three-run homer off the Astros' Bud Norris in his first at-bat Thursday night at Coors Field to set a team record by going deep in his fourth straight at-bat. Gonzalez hit home runs in his final three at-bats in Wednesday night's 13-5 victory over the Astros. On Thursday, Gonzalez came up after Dexter Fowler walked and Marco Scutaro singled. Gonzalez tied a Major League record for homers in consecutive plate appearances, which has been done 22 times. Also, it tied the Major League record for consecutive at-bats with a homer. It was the 38th time that feat has been accomplished.
Albert Pujols was the last to accomplish both of those feats April 16-17, 2006. In 2010, Gonzalez won the National League batting crown and he had a 15-game hitting streak last year. However, he said this is the best he has felt. "I've had some great numbers before, but right now I'm not even thinking about it and there are a lot of things going well," said Gonzalez, who went 3-for-4 in the Rockies' 11-5 win. "Hopefully I can continue." In his second plate appearance, Norris walked Gonzalez intentionally after a 2-0 count, which prevented him from breaking the plate-appearance record. Gonzalez doubled in his following at-bat, against David Carpenter in the fourth, which ended the bid for the homer record in consecutive at-bats but put him close to another record. But when he popped out in the sixth against Brandon Lyon, he fell one extra-base hit shy of former Rockies star Larry Walker's mark of extra-base hits in five straight at-bats in 1996. Rockies manager Jim Tracy said he didn't know the magnitude of Gonzalez's homer streak until after the game but said, "I can promise you I wasn't going to give him the take sign if he got to 3-0." Five other Rockies had homered in three straight at-bats -- Andres Galarraga on June 25, 1995, at San Diego; Walker on April 5, 1997, at Montreal; Todd Hollandsworth on April 15, 2001, against Atlanta; Jose Ortiz on Aug. 17, 2001, against the Marlins; and Jeff Baker on Sept. 17, 2007, at Arizona and Sept. 18 against San Francisco. The homer was Gonzalez's 14th and it extended his season RBI total to 44. He also lifted his NL-leading slugging percentage to .653.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.