DENVER (AP) — Trevor Story broke out of a slump in grand fashion.
Story tied an NL rookie record for most home runs before the All-Star break, homering twice and boosting his total to 21 while the Colorado Rockies beat the Philadelphia Phillies 11-2 on Thursday night.
Story, one of five players on the ballot for the last NL All-Star spot, had a three-run drive in the third and a solo shot in the fifth. He snapped an 0-for-17 skid that accompanied playing through a bruised middle finger and thumb suffered when he was hit in the hand by a pitch June 26 against Arizona.
“The last couple of nights, I felt good out there,” Story said. “I just haven’t had the results. You just simplify, keep working, trust your preparation in the cage and how it’s going to translate to the field.”
It translated well enough for Story to join Dave Kingman (1972) and Albert Pujols (2001) as the only NL rookies to hit 21 home runs prior to the break.
“Any time you’re with guys like that, it’s an honor. To have done what they’ve done, it’s pretty cool,” Story said.
Rockies manager Walt Weiss saw Story making strides at the plate as his hand injury improved.
“It’s good to see him swinging the bat,” Weiss said. “I felt like even though he hadn’t gotten many hits the last few games, I saw better at-bats. He really hit those two balls tonight. It’s been an unbelievable first half, quite a way to start a career.”
Mark Reynolds also homered and doubled to drive in four runs for the Rockies, helping to back Chad Bettis (7-6), who kept the Phillies in check while pitching into the seventh. DJ LeMahieu added three hits, including an RBI single in the Rockies’ five-run seventh.
Ryan Howard had a home run for the Phillies in the second, his 12th of the season and 370th of his career to tie Ralph Kiner and former Rockies first baseman Todd Helton for 78th place on the career list. Maikel Franco doubled and singled but had his home run streak snapped at four games.
The Rockies scored runs in the first three innings, starting with Nolan Arenado’s RBI double in the first off Adam Morgan (1-7). Morgan allowed six runs on nine hits in five innings and dropped to 0-7 in his last nine starts. After the game, Morgan was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
“You never like to send anybody out,” Phillies manager Peter Mackanin said. “He knows what he has to do to improve.”
Morgan was told of his demotion during a postgame meeting with his manager.
“It was a good conversation,” Morgan said. “They shot me straight. That’s all you can ask for as a player. It was good, it was the truth and I needed to hear it. My point of view right now is I can only go up from here.”
Reynolds led off the second with his ninth home run, and in the third, with LeMahieu and Carlos Gonzalez aboard, Story drove a 3-2 offering from Morgan into the left-field bleachers for his first homer of the game and a 5-1 Rockies lead.
Story put the Rockies up 6-2 in the fifth with his second homer.
Reynolds keyed Colorado’s five-run burst in the seventh with his bases-loaded double.
Bettis allowed two runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings.
GET OUT THE VOTE
With fan balloting for the final NL All-Star berth nearing a close, Story made his pitch for last-minute votes with his big night. Story leads all major league rookies in home runs (21) and RBIs (55).
Phillies: RHP Andrew Bailey (left hamstring strain) should be activated Saturday when he is eligible to be reinstated from the 15-day disabled list. … RHP Aaron Nola, who was scratched from his scheduled start Thursday to give him a breather before the All-Star break, was scheduled to throw a two-inning simulated game Saturday.
Rockies: With RHP Christian Bergman nearing a return from a strained left oblique that has sidelined him since May 20, team officials are discussing whether to insert him into the rotation or use him in long relief.
Phillies: RHP Vince Velasquez (7-2) has won his last two starts since being reinstated June 27 from the 15-day disabled list. He spent time on the DL because of a right biceps strain.
Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (5-4) is slated to make his seventh start this season at Coors Field, where he has gone 3-0 with a 5.05 ERA.
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