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McMahon’s three homers dazzle, but Rockies fall to DBacks in extra innings

This was the Ryan McMahon the Rockies had always hoped to see. On Tuesday against the Diamondbacks, McMahon hammered three home runs and tied the franchise record with 14 total bases in a game, but it wasn’t enough as the Rockies were overcome in extra innings to lose 10-8 and fall into the NL West basement.

With the game delayed 51 minutes by rain and snow, and a temperature of 39 degrees at first pitch, the 10,240 in attendance felt like they were at a football game. The scoring looked like it, too.

“I was pretty cold, I’m not going to lie,” McMahon said. “I felt good about my approach and I felt good about the way I was getting my swing off tonight.”

McMahon led off the game’s scoring in the second inning with a 415-foot home run to right, and catcher Dom Nunez had one of his own only two batters later. The Rockies took a 3-0 lead on McMahon’s second homer — a 420-foot shot to center — and things looked good for the home team.

Starting pitcher German Marquez held the Diamondbacks down for the first four innings, but left after surrendering three runs in six innings. After Yency Almonte came in for relief and gave up two more runs, the Rockies’ lead had turned into a 5-3 deficit.

Enter McMahon, who homered again to right to get the Rockies close, and centerfielder Sam Hilliard hit a 455-foot bomb to right in the bottom of the ninth to send it to extras. After 10th and 12th innings that saw the teams trade runs, in the 13th, Arizona touched up Colorado reliever Ben Bowden for a trio of runs that ended up as the difference-makers.

Though disappointed with the loss, McMahon took his 4-for-6, three-homer, four-RBI night in stride. “This is a very humbling game. It’s a hard game. Right when you think you have it figured out, it likes to humble you. I like where I’m at mentally, and the focus I’m giving my at-bats.”

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NEXT UP: Rockies (1-4, 5th in NL West) vs. Diamondbacks (2-3, T-3rd, NL West) | Wednesday, Apr. 7 at 6:40 p.m. | COL: Antonio Senzatela (0-1, 18.90 ERA) vs ARZ: Madison Bumgarner (0-0, 13.50 ERA).

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NOTES

• Ryan McMahon’s three home runs flew for a combined 1,247 feet into the cold Colorado air on Tuesday. Through five games, McMahon leads the Rockies in batting average (.444), hits (8), runs (6), RBI (7) and OPS (1.667).

• Josh Fuentes, who missed Sunday’s game with a sore left wrist, entered Tuesday’s game as a pinch-hitter and drove in a run in extra innings.

• Charlie Blackmon is off to a poor start in 2021. Blackmon is only 2-for-19 on the season (.105), though those two hits are of the extra-base variety: a double and a home run.

• Despite nine hits and five home runs on the night, the Rockies are still ranked only 26th in the league in on-base percentage at .269.

• Colorado governor Jared Polis said on Tuesday that he expected that July 13th’s All-Star Game, which was awarded to Colorado after Major League Baseball pulled the game from Atlanta in protest of recent voting laws passed there, to be played in a “fully packed stadium,” a sign that the state’s COVID-19 epidemic may be stemmed by vaccinations by then. Denver last hosted the All-Star Game in 1998.

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THE FINAL WORD

“It was really a crazy game, especially when you get into the man-on-second in extra innings rule.” — Rockies manager Bud Black, on the “California tiebreaker” that Major League Baseball instituted last season.

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INJURY WATCH

• Kyle Freeland (strained left shoulder) was placed on the 10-day IL on Apr. 1. He is expected back in early May.
• Brendan Rodgers (strained right hamstring) was placed on the 10-day IL on Apr. 1.
• Scott Oberg (blood clots) had surgery prior to the end of Spring Training. He was placed on the 60-day IL on Mar. 27 and his season is in doubt.

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STARTING LINEUP

LF Raimel Tapia
2B Garrett Hampson
SS Trevor Story
RF Charlie Blackmon
1B C.J. Cron
3B Ryan McMahon
CF Sam Hilliard
C Dom Nunez
SP German Marquez

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Shawn Drotar is the host of “The Fan Late Night with Shawn Drotar;” weeknights from 10:00 p.m. to midnight — only on 104.3 The Fan. Follow him on Twitter at @sdrotar.