A season with more false starts than sprints dragged down Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez, down from his regular perch at the cleanup spot in the order, down as low as sixth, and down into an alarming slump last week.
But in a four-game hitting streak against the Giants and Diamondbacks, through Tuesday night, Gonzalez hinted at a bust out.
“I just keep going man, no matter what. That’s all you can do,” Gonzalez said. On Tuesday, in a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the Zack Greinke and the Diamondbacks, Gonzalez slammed a 449-foot home run in the fourth inning. It was his fifth homer off Greinke, tying Jason Giambi for most career shots off the veteran right-hander.
“That’s why you work hard every day,” Gonzalez said. “You want to have success, you want to hit balls hard like that, it gives you a lot of relief. But at the same time, you have another at-bat coming, so you put it to the side. You’re still playing a baseball game.”
A hard line drive to left field in the eighth inning, when relief pitcher Archie Bradley tried to pitch around Gonzalez on the outside of the plate, is a clear sign of a better hitting approach, Colorado manager Bud Black said.
The Rockies are riding on streaking Nolan Arenado, whose game-deciding hits won two games in row Sunday and Tuesday, said the club will reach another dimension when Gonzalez gets going.
“We’re just waiting,” Arenado said. “We have a chance to take it to another level when CarGo gets going. Everyone in the league knows CarGo. They know how hot he can get. We need him. When he does get hot, our lineup will change for sure.”
Footnotes. Black would not commit to the next outing for lefty Tyler Anderson, who remains on the disabled list with left knee inflammation. Anderson pitched a successful rehab start Sunday for Triple-A Albuquerque. The location of his next start remains a question. … Outfielder Gerardo Parra (right quad strain) took batting practice Wednesday, but he remains hobbled by high-intensity running. Parra ran light sprints at Coors Field on Sunday for the first time, at about 60 percent, he said.