Shortstop Josh Rutledge's latest home run heroics helped the Colorado Rockies snap a five-game losing streak Thursday.
Rutledge became the first rookie in franchise history to hit a home run in four consecutive games. His two-run shot in the seventh gave the Rockies a 5-2 lead, and they went on to beat the St. Louis Cardinals 8-2 to avoid getting swept in the three-game series.
The other Rockies rookies who homered in three consecutive games were Wilin Rosario this season from June 29-July 2; Troy Tulowitzki from June 21-23, 2007; and Jorge Piedra from Aug. 19-23, 2005.
Rutledge is the first major league rookie to hit a home run in four straight games since the Seattle Mariners' Casper Wells did it from Aug. 13-16, 2011. The last Rockies player to homer in four straight games was Tulowitzki from April 11-14, 2011.
In his first 18 games in the big leagues, Rutledge is hitting .375 (27-for-72) with six doubles, two triples, five homers and 14 RBI. He has a .387 on-base percentage and a .722 slugging percentage.
"It's a very short swing," manager Jim Tracy said. "He squares them up, and they come off there and they're noisy. He has stunning power for the type of player that he is."
Rutledge, who was recalled from Class AA Tulsa, where he hit .306 with 27 doubles, 13 homers and 35 RBI in 87 games, said of his three-week binge with the Rockies, "I didn't necessarily think that I would've been swinging the bat as good. But I've worked so hard, and I feel that they wouldn't have called me up if I didn't deserve to be here."
The game gets faster in the major leagues, but Rutledge, 23, has shown no signs of succumbing to the pace. He seems quite comfortable on the field.
"I just try to go out and not change my game, just slow it down," Rutledge said. "People say you come up here and get nervous, it's going to eat you alive. But what you have to do is trust your ability and trust the work you put in before the game is going to be there (during games), because you've worked your whole life to play this game. So you just have to trust in yourself; it's all about confidence."