DENVER — There are times when the concept of the Blake Street Bombers seems like urban legend.
Two decades ago, that team took Denver by storm. But this current crop, also built to be reliant on power, hasn't been able to continue the legacy.
The tides seem to be turning. The Rockies hit eight home runs this weekend, including two on Sunday, to beat the Padres 8-3 and sweep the series. They have won 10 straight at home against the Padres dating back to June 14, 2021.
Even better news for the Rockies, the home runs came from five different players. Half of the Rockies' wins have come on days when they hit two or more home runs.
"I think the lineup and the guys in our roster have power," manager Bud Black said. "You look at their track record, it's in there. It gives me hope that it's going to show up, to the expectation level of what we think these guys can do power-wise. This series was an indicator of what could happen."
On Friday, it was Randal Grichuk who hit his first home run in over a month. And C.J. Cron had his first in two weeks, a long layoff for the Rockies' most powerful player. Saturday, Ryan McMahon smashed his first home run in a month, with Charlie Blackmon and Cron also going deep.
On Sunday, Elias Díaz finally got to take his trip around the bases. Entering Sunday's game, he was batting .159 in 26 games since May 4, a slump that saw his playing time decrease, especially with the productivity of rookie catcher Brian Serven. After three games off however, Díaz showed signs of getting back on track. He had a RBI single in the second, then hit the ball 417 feet in the sixth for his first home run since April 29.
Díaz went through a similar phase last year when he got off to a slow start then hit his stride in June. Díaz ended the year with a career-high 18 home runs. The Rockies rewarded him with a three-year, $14.5 million extension; he said he feels a similar trend may be coming soon for him.
"I reset everything," Díaz said. "Now I'm going to play, enjoy the game and compete, not think about anything."
Grichuk, traded from Toronto in March because of his power potential, also hit his seventh home run of the season on Sunday.
The Rockies' pitching staff, not to be overshadowed by the burst of power, put together another nice day. Antonio Senzatela went six innings, giving up just one earned run and striking out three. His one slip-up came in the second, when he gave up a solo home run to San Diego's Luke Voit. Senzatela had life on his fastball, and did a nice job pitching inside to left-handed hitters, which Black said was the key to his success.
Nothing beats a major league debut as a Father's day present. Sean Bouchard, promoted on Thursday, saw his first major league action, playing left field and batting eighth. He didn't get his first hit, but drew a walk to get on base.
"That was special," Bouchard said. "I was really hoping I could get that hit for him. He was telling me before the game that no matter what happens, he was really proud of me. I really owe everything I've done to my parents."
Garrett Hampson was activated from the COVID-IL and Alan Trejo was optioned to Triple-A. Tyler Kinley, who is likely out for the season with a wrist sprain and flexor tear, was moved to the 60-day injured list.
The Rockies also decided to move Austin Gomber to the bullpen. He's been 'fuzzy' in his last three starts, manager Bud Black said. Ryan Feltner will start in Gomber's place on Tuesday in Miami.
Chad Smith was optioned following the game, as rosters need to reduce to 13 pitchers by the end of Sunday. A corresponding move will be made later.