Colorado Rockies starter Kyle Kendrick on Monday experienced undoubtedly one of the coolest moments of his career in an otherwise dreary season.
The struggling right-hander, who has allowed 28 home runs and owns a 6.25 ERA in 23 starts this year, countered a home run allowed Matt Kemp in the bottom of the first inning by crushing his first career dinger in the top of the fourth to propel the Rockies to a 6-4 win over the San Diego Padres.
Not many homers hit at Petco Park can be described as cheap, and Kendrick's was no different. The veteran starter took a big swing at a 1-0 fastball from Padres hurler Ian Kennedy and deposited it into the second deck of the old Western Metal Supply Co. building down the left field line. Even better, Kendrick did his best Carlton Fisk impression out of the batter's box, as if to guide the ball inside the foul pole.
It took Kendrick 433 big league plate appearances to hit his first homer. The 31-year-old righty never had one in the minors, either.
Kendrick was credited with the victory in Colorado's win, allowing three runs on seven hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out four. Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu paced the Rockies' offense, contributing two hits and scoring two runs apiece.
MLB.com's Beth Maiman has quotes from the Rockies' newest slugger. On the flip side, the pitcher who served up the homer wasn't exactly thrilled with Kendrick's reaction, writes Kirk Kenney in a special to The Denver Post
Nolan Arenado's attempt to make a catch while diving into the stands didn't end well; the Rockies' star third baseman left the game with the chest injury. The good news is that X-rays were negative and Arenado is day-to-day, according to Maiman.
Jon Gray makes his seventh career start tonight against the Padres. Minimizing mistakes and making adjustments are the primary focus, Gray told Kenney.