DENVER (AP)Charlie Blackmon, Sam Hilliard and Ryan McMahon hit home runs, German Marquez overcame one rough inning for his first victory this season and the Colorado Rockies snapped a five-game skid by beating the Kansas City Royals 10-4 on Saturday night.
Hilliard homered for the second time in as many games, hitting a three-run drive in Colorado’s four-run third and adding a sacrifice fly in the fifth. Brendan Rodgers had a pair of hits, including an RBI double.
”It’s huge for the team,” Hilliard said after the Rockies scored 10 runs for the second straight game, though they lost 14-10 to the Royals in the series opener Friday.
”It’s good to see the bats start going in back-to-back games at home,” he added. ”I think we’re looking forward to doing more of the same tomorrow.”
Salvador Perez hit a two-run homer in the third, the only frame in which the Royals scored off Marquez (1-3), who went six innings and allowed three runs and three hits. He struck out six and walked one. In his previous six starts, Marquez was 0-3 with a 6.47 ERA.
”He was frustrated and disappointed about what happened in his first five or six starts,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. ”I think how he’s going now, that can be put behind him. Hopefully, we can see him reel off a few starts like tonight.”
Marquez said he has been working on his mechanics in recent weeks and is beginning to see some results.
”Everything was working today,” Marquez said. ”I had fastball command, the breaking ball was good. I’ve been working a lot, man, through this month and today was good. I feel happy.”
Kansas City’s Bobby Witt Jr. homered for the second time this season, a solo shot in the seventh off reliever Ashton Goudeau. Whit Merrifield had an RBI single while extending his team record by playing in his 500th consecutive game.
Royals starter Carlos Hernandez went four innings and allowed a career-high nine runs and eight hits in his first career appearance against the Rockies and his first at Coors Field.
Hernandez (0-3) walked the first batter he faced and Blackmon followed with a homer over the right-center field fence into the Rockies’ bullpen. Dom Nunez’s sacrifice fly in the second gave Colorado a 3-0 lead.
Kansas City evened it in the third before the Rockies broke through for four runs in the bottom of the inning on Hilliard’s homer and Jose Iglesias’ RBI single, going up 7-3.
Merrifield’s 500 consecutive games played is the longest active streak in the majors and the longest since Prince Fielder played in 547 straight from Sept. 14, 2010, to May 16, 2014.
”He just shows up and he’s ready to go,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said before the game. ”He’s been blessed with good health, but a lot of that is him just taking care of himself really well, too.”
Cal Ripken Jr. holds the major league record, playing in 2,632 consecutive games.
Hilliard had gone 0 for 18 over six previous games before homering on consecutive nights, including his first of the season in Friday’s loss to the Royals.
”The first homer of the year for me was a big sigh of relief, especially coming later in the year than they usually do for me,” Hilliard said. ”It felt like a lot of weight was lifted off my shoulders after I hit that. It was only pressure I was putting on myself but it’s good to feel that relief. The key for me, even on the home runs, was just trying to keep it simple, regardless of how I’m doing. If I can stick with that approach and not ride the ups and downs, I’ll be in a good spot.”
Rockies: OF Kris Bryant, sidelined since April 26th by a lower back injury, took a full batting practice session before the game. There’s no timetable yet for his return, however.
Royals LHP Daniel Lynch (2-2, 4.01 ERA) is slated to start Sunday’s series finale against Rockies LHP Austin Gomber (2-3, 4.36 ERA).
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