DENVER -- Third baseman Nolan Arenado has had a whirlwind first week in the majors. The Rockies recalled him from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Sunday and put him in the lineup.
Arenado hit his first career homer in his second game, and Saturday night he hit a grand slam that highlighted a five-run seventh inning as the Colorado Rockies walloped the Tampa Bay Rays 9-3.
"I think Nolan showcased his skills tonight on both sides of the ball," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "It didn't take him long to get his first major-league grand slam. It takes most of us years to do that. Very impressive night."
One of the 25 career home runs Weiss hit in 4,686 at-bats was a grand slam.
Arenado's memorable homer came off reigning American League Cy Young Award winner David Price. The five runs Price allowed in the seventh were initially ruled unearned due to two errors. But a scoring change on the second error resulted in Michael Cuddyer getting a run-scoring single and all runs in the inning and the nine he allowed being earned.
Arenado's grand slam came on his 26th at-bat in the big leagues and was the Rockies' first of the season.
Price gave up 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings, his night ending after Arenado drove his 104th pitch into the stands in left-center. Arenado said he hit a hanging 1-1 cutter. Price said, "It wasn't a very good curveball."
"We all know he wasn't on his A-game," Arenado said. "We all know he's an unbelievable pitcher, and luckily he hung one.
"I was pumped to hit a home run, but I was happy we got the good lead. Obviously it was nice to hit one out and get a hit out of it, but the main thing is we got a little bigger lead, and that got me real excited."
"I just have to make better pitches, especially in those big spots," said Price, who is 1-3 with a 6.25 ERA. "That's not what I'm doing right now. It's frustrating; it is. I'm just going to continue to get my work in and get ready for that fifth day."
Troy Tulowitzki, who wasn't in the lineup Friday because he said his legs were a little weary, went 3-for-3 with three RBI. He ran cautiously on an infield hit in the seventh and left the game after that inning.
"He's fine," Weiss said, "just a chance to get him off his feet a little earlier."
Carlos Gonzalez, who went 2-for-4 and scored three runs, put the Rockies ahead 4-3 in the fifth with a solo homer off Price. It was Gonzalez who began the rally in the seventh with a two-out single up the middle. Tulowitzki then hit a hard grounder that third baseman Evan Longoria scrambled to his left to grab. But Longoria threw past first base, putting runners on second and third.
Cuddyer hit a grounder that shortstop Ben Zobrist charged but bobbled, and a hustling Cuddyer beat his throw to first. The play was initially ruled an error on Zobrist but changed to a run-scoring hit.
Jon Garland broke a two-start losing streak. He worked five innings -- failing to pitch at least six innings for the first time in six starts -- but left with the lead, thanks to Gonzalez's homer.
"He battled, got in some deep counts more than he's probably accustomed to," Weiss said. "But like he can, he found a way through it. In the end he did his job, giving us a chance to win and I'm glad he ended up getting the W. He fought hard for it."
Edgmer Escalona and Wilton Lopez each worked two scoreless innings in relief of Garland.
Arenado made a very nice defensive play in the sixth. He charged a slow roller hit by catcher Jose Molina, who doesn't run well, barehanded the ball, threw across his body and got Molina, with first baseman Cuddyer stretching far for the throw.
"Yesterday (catcher Jose) Lobaton hit one that was similar and I gloved it and I bobbled it, so I knew this grass was a little thick so I had to barehand it," Arenado said. "It's just instincts. I just tried to get the ball over there, and I just threw it, and luckily it was right at him."
Arenado, 22, drove two balls to the warning track in center field on his first two at-bats and grounded to third before hitting his grand slam that left him 8-for-26 (.308) with two doubles, two homers and seven RBI in six games.
"I tried to look for something over the middle of the plate," he said. "My at-bat before I pulled out on a curveball, pretty similar to the one I hit to center, and I rolled over to third. I just tried to stay through the ball and stay middle. And that was it."
NOTES: Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar was hit with a Garland pitch on his left hand in the second inning. He was taken to a hospital for X-rays that were negative and he is day-to-day with a bruised hand. Rays manager Joe Maddon said it would be two or three days before Escobar can play. ... Center fielder Dexter Fowler was not in Colorado's lineup. He left Friday's game in the fifth inning with a sore right hip caused by trying to avoid a collision with Rays first baseman Sean Hernandez after an unsuccessful attempt to bunt for a hit. ... Rockies pitcher Jhoulys Chacin (back strain) will start Sunday when he is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list. ... Alex Cobb, who will start Sunday for the Rays, said he last batted in high school. ... Just as they did Friday, Rays fans again made themselves heard Saturday night at Coors Field. Maddon said, "I saw a lot of the Rays merchandise in the ballpark. It's great. I think there's a vibe about us that's appealing on a national level: the way we play and the way our players project themselves. Back in the (days of) the Devil Ray, it was tough to see those hats being worn even in the Tampa Bay area."