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Rockies start strong, blast Mets

The SportsXchange

DENVER -- For the second straight game, the Colorado Rockies built an early lead Friday and overpowered the New York Mets 10-3.

The victory was the fifth in six games for the Rockies, who scored six runs in the first two innings after scoring six in the first four Thursday on their way to a 7-4 win.

"It's a nice formula if you can do it," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "Last year, one of the things we struggled at was putting games away when we had early leads. So it's nice to see us add on runs late and for the starter to hold the lead and shut it down."

Center fielder Charlie Blackmon went 3-for-5 with a home run, two RBI and three runs scored to raise his average to .380, five points behind major-league leading Troy Tulowitzki, who went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored.

With a single in the seventh, third baseman Nolan Arenado extended his hitting streak to 22 games, tying Vinny Castilla for the third longest in franchise history. Arenado, who last year became the first rookie third baseman to win a National League Gold Glove Award, made a spectacular play to open the eighth. He caught Chris Young's grounder while crossing the base line and made a strong, accurate jump throw to easily get him.

"This guy's making a highlight play every night," Weiss said. "I've never seen anybody that accurate on the move like him where he's ranging far right and far left and he manages to get the throw off and it seems to always be chest-high."

The Rockies, who are 18-13 overall, improved to 10-4 at Coors Field, where they are averaging 7.6 runs per game. The Rockies put the game out of reach with a three-run seventh that included Blackmon's sixth homer in 108 at-bats, matching his 2014 total in 246 at-bats.

Jorge De La Rosa (3-3) gave up three runs in six innings and won his third straight start, with his ERA in those games 2.50. De La Rosa allowed eight hits and three walks, but after yielding a run in the first he held the Mets scoreless until he issued a leadoff walk in the sixth followed by right fielder Curtis Granderson's two-run homer.

"I think my command is a little better," said De La Rosa, whose three-game winning streak came after after he went 0-2 with a 9.69 ERA in his first three starts. "I'm still walking people; I walked three today. But when I need to throw a quality pitch, I've been able to."

Granderson, who entered the game hitting .141 with one homer and seven RBI in 92 at-bats, lined a two-run homer down the right-field line to cut Colorado's lead to 7-3. De La Rosa then walked first baseman Josh Satin and gave up a broken-bat bloop single to catcher Travis d'Arnaud but regrouped. He got shortstop Ruben Tejada to ground into a double play and threw a called third strike past pinch hitter Bobby Abreu, the final batter he faced.

In his 23rd career start and sixth this season, Zach Wheeler set dubious career marks for innings pitched (four) and runs allowed (seven). The Rockies pounced on him for four runs in the first and built a 6-1 lead after two innings.

Wheeler said he had trouble warming up in the bullpen but figured matters would change in the game. Instead, he said he had little idea of how his pitches would move.

"All my balls were running," Wheeler said. My two-seamer was cutting (rather than sinking. When they did hit it, they found holes. It was one of those days that I got my ground balls, but they found holes."

NOTES: Commissioner Bud Selig was at the game as part of his farewell tour to each major league ballpark. ... Rockies INF Josh Rutledge was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Monday with a viral infection. 1B-3B Ryan Wheeler was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs to take Rutledge's place on the roster. Wheeler pinch hit in the eighth and singled on Kyle Farnsworth;s first pitch... Rockies LF Carlos Gonzalez did not play but said he expected to be in the lineup Saturday. He left Thursday's game with a left index finger contusion. ... Weiss announced that RHP Jhoulys Chacin (right shoulder strain) will make his 2014 debut and start Sunday against the Mets. ... Mets 2B Daniel Murphy's streak of 28 consecutive stolen bases ended in the first when he broke for third but was thrown out by De La Rosa. Murphy's streak dated to June 9, 2013 and was the second-longest streak in club history, behind Kevin McReynolds' 33 straight stolen bases from 1987-1989.

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