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Rookies Trevor Story, Tyler Anderson lead Rockies to victory over Braves

Tony Wolters and Cristhian Adames also got in on the action as the Rockies’ rookie class was a force on Star Wars night.

Atlanta Braves v Colorado Rockies Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

DENVER — It was Star Wars night at Coors Field on Saturday, and the 46,195 fans in attendance got a glimpse of A New Hope for the Colorado Rockies. For the second straight night, the Rockies saw a rookie pitcher and their rookie shortstop lead them to victory.

Trevor Story hit a pair of home runs and Tyler Anderson put together his fifth quality start in eight outings as the Rockies won their third straight against the Atlanta Braves, 8-4.

Story was 4-for-4 on Saturday night with a pair of home runs, giving him 26 on the season, and five runs batted in. He also stole his seventh base of the year. The only other Rockies with two home runs, five RBIs and a stolen base in a game are a trio of Blake Street Bombers, Dante Bichette, Vinny Castilla and Larry Walker.

“I just try to go day by day,” Story said. “After the season I can look back and enjoy it.”

Story’s first home run of the night, his 25th of the season, set a new record for a rookie shortstop in the National League, breaking the mark set by Troy Tulowitzki with the Rockies in 2007.

“It seems like he breaks another record every ballgame or two,” Rockies manager Walt Weiss said of his shortstop.

Not to be outdone, Anderson pitched at least six innings for the fifth time in his six starts at Coors Field, allowing three runs on eight hits to Atlanta in six innings, walking one and striking out six, He threw 60 of his 91 pitches for strikes, with his ERA moving to 3.56 and his WHIP to 1.29.

“Just pitching here you try to limit walks,” Anderson said. “Even though there was one tonight, if you limit walks in this park I feel like anybody can have a better chance of winning games.”

Anderson’s start comes on the heels of a performance by fellow rookie Jon Gray in which he allowed just one run in seven innings against the Braves on Friday. The two rookies have combined to post a 3.94 ERA this season.

“I’d say there’s a little bit of friendly competition,” Anderson said. “But I think everybody on our staff wants to pitch well every day.”

Story and Anderson were not the only two rookies to contribute to Saturday’s win, as rookie catcher Tony Wolters was 1-for-3 with a two-run single in the sixth and a walk, upping his batting line to .238/.322/.354 and his wRC+ to 67 to go with his usual top-notch defense behind the plate. In seven games in July, Wolters has a .955 OPS.

Rookie infielder Cristhian Adames also made a pinch hitting appearance in the bottom of the eighth, drawing a walk and stealing a base.

The four rookies responsible for Saturday’s win along with Gray and closer Carlos Estevez make up perhaps the strongest class of rookies in Rockies history, and they certainly stand out to their manager.

“We’ve got a young, talented club,” Weiss said, also noting that this was likely the best group of rookies he has seen in his tenure as manager.

The Rockies have seen talented rookie classes in the past, notably a group in 2005 that included Clint Barmes, Garrett Atkins, Brad Hawpe, Cory Sullivan and Jeff Francis that would play a large part in winning the pennant in 2007, but perhaps none have had the top-end talent combined with the depth of the 2016 group.

However, and this is more good news for Rockies fans, the 2016 rookie class could well be surpassed a 2017 class that could include any or all of Jeff Hoffman, David Dahl, Raimel Tapia, Tom Murphy, German Marquez, Kyle Freeland, Matt Carasiti, Jerry Vasto and Sam Moll.

While there may not be October baseball at Coors Field this year, a force is certainly awakening at 20th and Blake, and Rockies fans are starting to feel it.