DENVER (AP) — The Colorado Rockies avoided becoming a part of history and instead moved closer to another playoff run.
Ichiro Suzuki grounded out in his first try at 3,000 hits and the Miami Marlins, despite a 504-foot home run by Giancarlo Stanton, lost to the Rockies 12-6 on Saturday night.
Charlie Blackmon homered among his four hits and drove in four runs for the Rockies, who moved within three games of the Marlins and St. Louis for the second NL wild-card spot.
Blackmon came within a double of hitting for the cycle for the first time in his career.
“I’m not going to say I wasn’t thinking about it,” Blackmon said. “But if you had asked me beforehand would you take a hit? The answer is yes every time.”
Rookie David Dahl had three hits to extend his hitting streak to 12 games and Daniel Descalso drove in three runs for Colorado, which is 15-7 since the All-Star break.
Colorado (55-55) is at .500 this late in the season for the first time since 2010, the last year they finished with a winning record.
“We got a long way to go,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. “We got a lot more games to win. But it’s been nice seeing our guys fight their way back in the mix.”
The victory was overshadowed by two big at-bats for the Marlins. In the ninth, with many in the crowd at Coors Field standing, Suzuki hit a comebacker to Scott Oberg. The 6-foot-2 pitcher reached high to get the ball before it went up the middle and, after dropping the transfer, quickly gathered it to barely throw out the speedy Suzuki.
“I was trying to turn a double play on that, but once I bobbled it, I was just trying to get the out at first base,” Oberg said. “What he’s done in his career has been an outstanding accomplishment. He’s been an inspiration to a lot of players.”
The 42-year-old Japanese star, who singled in the eighth for No. 2,999, will become the 30th player in major league history to reach 3,000 with his next hit.
Stanton provided the other highlight. His 23rd homer was the longest in the major leagues this season and the longest in Coors Field history. Suzuki batted for the All-Star Home Run Derby champion in the eighth.
Stanton connected in the fifth on an 89 mph changeup from Chad Bettis (10-6), sending a drive into the seats in left-center field for a 3-2 lead.
Hall of Fame catcher Mike Piazza held the record for the longest homer at Coors, hitting a 496-footer in 1997 when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
This was the second time Stanton crushed a ball in Denver. He hit a home run 494 feet in 2012.
Bettis shook off the home run to pitch six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits.
“He hung in there,” Weiss said. “A little rough early, but he righted the ship and got through six.”
Andrew Cashner (4-8) retired 10 straight after Dahl’s leadoff triple in the second, but faltered in Colorado’s seven-run sixth. The Rockies got five straight hits and a walk off the righty to take a 7-2 lead, and they tagged reliever Mike Dunn for three more runs.
The Rockies sent 13 batters to the plate in the inning, which ended with reliever Nefi Ogando striking out Carlos Gonzalez with the bases loaded.
Dahl’s streak is the second longest by a Rockies rookie to begin a career. Juan Pierre reached 16 in 2000. … Gonzalez also had two hits to reach 17 straight games. His is the longest current streak in the majors.
The Marlins will send LHP Adam Conley (7-6, 3.41) against Colorado’s Jon Gray (8-4, 3.77) on Sunday.
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