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Saturday Rockpile: Helton's big night

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Todd Helton inched closer to 2,500 career hits last night with his best game in some time, helping the Rockies beat the Reds.

Todd Helton celebrates his second home run last night with Troy Tulowitzki.
Todd Helton celebrates his second home run last night with Troy Tulowitzki.
Dustin Bradford

Now that was some vintage Todd Helton.

He reached 2,499 career hits with a pair of three-run home runs in last night's 9-6 win over the Cincinnati Reds. It was Helton's first multi-homer game since April 26, 2011, when he hit a pair of long balls in a win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field. His six RBIs were his most in a game in more than a decade. He last drove in a half dozen runs on May 29, 2003 in a 12-5 win over the Dodgers at Coors Field.

The home runs pushed Helton's career total to 365, putting him 76th on the all-time list.

Nights like Helton had last night are rare for any player, much less one at the age of 40, it could well be the last multi-home run game of his career. Tonight or tomorrow or Monday, whenever Helton gets that 2,500th hit will be a special night as well.

We are likely less than a month away from Helton's final game. The Rockies certainly anticipated his retirement when they made September 25, the last home game of the season, Todd Helton Bobblehead Night.

Games from Helton like last night's are to be cherished, as are players like Helton in general, so take this month, likely the last of his career to appreciate what Rockies fans have had these last 17 seasons.

Links:

Todd Helton emotional after two-home run performance - Denver Post
Troy Renck talked to Helton after his big night last night. Helton said he was looking for a third home run and hit number 2,500 in his final at bat in the eighth inning.

Carlos Gonzalez begins rehab assignment Friday in Fresno - Denver Post
Before last night's game, Renck reported on the status of Carlos Gonzalez, who is itching to get back on the field.