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Nolan Arenado powers Colorado Rockies past San Francisco Giants

By
Dave Del Grande, The Sports Xchange
Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) reacts with Rockies first baseman Matt McBride (12). Photo by Rich Kane/UPI
Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) reacts with Rockies first baseman Matt McBride (12). Photo by Rich Kane/UPI | License Photo

SAN FRANCISCO -- Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado hopes to go down in history as the National League leader in home runs for the 2015 season.

Whether that happens or not, he's already assured himself of an even greater achievement for the record books.

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Arenado belted a double and a home run to become the all-time, single-season leader in extra-base hits among third basemen Friday night, helping the Rockies bomb the San Francisco Giants 9-3 in the opener of a three-game, season-ending series.

Left fielder Corey Dickerson also homered, and right-hander Kyle Kendrick pitched six strong innings, helping the Rockies snap a three-game losing streak and clinch the season series against the Giants for the second consecutive year.

Arenado's two extra-base hits gave him 88 for the season, one more than previous record-holder Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones amassed in 1999.

"It's humbling," Arenado said. "Chipper had it before me. It's amazing."

His home run, a solo shot in the second inning that opened the Colorado scoring, was his 10th of the season against the Giants. Only former Atlanta Braves outfielder Dale Murphy (11 in 1983) had more in a single season.

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"He's killed us," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "You look at his numbers, he's killed a lot of teams. But for some reason, we make a lot more mistakes to him."

Arenado leads the league in home runs with 42. His three RBIs increased his season total to 130.

"He just continues to add to his marvelous season," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "And he's 24 years old."

Six of Arenado's homers have come at AT&T Park. No other Giants opponent has hit as many in a single season in the 16-year history of the ballpark.

"I love the environment," he said. "When I come to San Francisco, I get a little more pumped up. They are the defending champs. I love the atmosphere."

Added Weiss, "You always want guys to produce against the division. And he's done it on the road. He's done it away from Coors Field, which is important, too."

Like Arenado, Dickerson had a double and a home run, as the Rockies lashed six extra-base hits, five of which came against Giants starter Chris Heston (12-11).

Kendrick (7-13), a pending free agent, bounced back from consecutive six-run outings with one of his best performances of the season.

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The veteran allowed five hits and just one run in six innings. He walked one and struck out six.

He also contributed to the Colorado offense with a single, a walk and two runs scored.

Shortstop Jose Reyes had a two-run double among two hits for the Rockies, who totaled nine hits.

Shortstop Brandon Crawford had a two-run double and right fielder Jarrett Parker added an RBI double for the Giants, who were eliminated from the NL West race earlier in the week.

The Giants had eight hits in the game.

Heston, the NL rookie leader in wins, lasted only two outs into the fourth inning, having already allowed eight runs on eight hits. He walked one and struck out three.

"I wanted to take a good one into the offseason," Heston said. "But I can take the whole year and try to build on it."

The big Rockies explosion against the rookie came in the third, when right fielder Carlos Gonzalez had an RBI single, Arenado a two-run double and Dickerson a two-run homer in succession, turning a tie game into a 6-1 Rockies advantage.

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The home run was Dickerson's ninth of the season.

NOTES: The Rockies have beaten the Giants in 10 of 17 meetings this season. ... Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado became the first National League third baseman to reach 130 RBIs in a season since Colorado's Vinny Castilla totaled 131 in 2004. ... The Giants (.267) and Rockies (.266) rank 1-2 in the NL in team batting average. The Giants haven't led the league in batting since 1993. ... When the Giants honor LHP Jeremy Affeldt's retirement Sunday, the Rockies will participate in it. After all, the three-time World Series champion as a member of the Giants also played a key role in the Rockies winning their only NL pennant in 2007. Colorado lost to the Boston Red Sox in the World Series that year. ... In a pregame on-field ceremony, 3B Matt Duffy was presented the Willie Mac Award, given annually to the Giants player who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of 1B Willie McCovey, one of the franchise's all-time greats.

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