With one swing of the bat, Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado gave his team a thrilling win and finished off his quest to hit a rare feat – the cycle.
Arenado’s three-run walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning rallied the Rockies to a 7-5 victory over the San Francisco Giants and completed the cycle for the Rockies slugger.
Arenado faced Mark Melancon an All-Star closer for the Giants in the ninth and sent the stunned relievers’ first pitch into the seats in left field to end Colorado’s four game sweep of the Giants who are quickly sinking into oblivion.
Teammates emptied the Colorado dugout to meet Arenado at home place following his home run in front of a frenzied crowd that was shouting, “MVP, MVP!”
Following the game, Arenado said the home run was likely one of his best moments in baseball. He added that he has hit some important home runs but one that completes a cycle and ends the game is far bigger than any one he has hit before.
Arenado is now just the fifth player in the history of Major League Baseball to complete his cycle by hitting a walk-off home run. The last player to accomplish that feat was Carlos Gonzalez, a teammate, who did in versus the Chicago Cubs July in 2010.
Arenado said he remembered when his teammate did that in 2010 and now he knows how Carlos felt at the time.
With the National League’s best overall record of 46-26 the surprising Colorado Rockies are riding a five-game winning streak overall and have won 9 straight against San Francisco.
Not since 2009 have the Rockies been 20 games over the .500 mark. Arenado told the media that fans in Denver are beginning to believe that the team is for real.
Making Arenado’s home run even more dramatic was that San Francisco took the lead in their top half of the ninth inning on a two-run home run by Hunter Pence only to see it evaporate on one swing of the bat by Arenado.
San Francisco sits in the NL West cellar and has lost six straight and 9 of its last 11.
Melancon retired the first Colorado batter he faced in the ninth, but gave up three straight singles to score one run and bring Arenado to the plate. The Rockies third baseman tripled during the first, singled during the fourth and doubled during the sixth.