In the modern era, dating back to 1901, a major league player has hit for the cycle 262 times and thrown a no-hitter 239 times. But as far as collecting six hits in a game goes, a major leaguer has done that just 105 times in 113 seasons. The 6-for-6 in a game feat is an even rarer occurrence, a mere 65 times. Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon increased those figures to 106 and 66 Friday afternoon with a 6-for-6 performance against the Diamondbacks in a 12-2 win at Coors Field in Denver.
Starting in center field and leading off for the Rockies, the 27-year-old Blackmon, a career .291 hitter in 481 career plate appearances coming into the season, led off the bottom of the first for Colorado with a double off Arizona starter Randall Delgado and scored on Michael Cuddyer's subsequent single. With the score still 1-0 in the bottom of the third, Blackmon delivered a one-out single and came around to score on a triple by Carlos Gonzalez.
After making a nice sliding catch to rob Aaron Hill of a hit in the top of the fourth, Blackmon came back up in the bottom of that inning with one on and one out and the Rockies up 4-0 and hit a two-run home run to make it 6-0 Colorado. Arizona got one run back before Blackmon led off the top of the sixth with a double off reliever Joe Thatcher. Blackmon was then caught stealing third, so he was unable to score on Gonzalez's subsequent home run, which extended the Rockies' lead to 8-1. He made up for it in the seventh with a two-out RBI single off Brad Ziegler that made it 9-1 Rockies, then later scored when Ziegler hit Charlie Culberson with a pitch with the bases loaded, forcing Blackmon home.
With the Rockies up 10-2, Blackmon needed two of his teammates to reach base in the bottom of the eighth for him to get his sixth at-bat. Wilin Rosario and Nolan Arenado made two quick outs against lefty Oliver Perez, but DJ LeMahieu and Brandon Barnes drew walks to bring Blackmon up looking to add to his 5-for-5 line. Perez quickly fell behind Blackmon 1-0 and 2-1, then evened the count with a fastball called for a strike. He went back to the pitch on 2-2 and Blackmon laced it the other way for a two-run double that hit just fair down the left-field line to set the final score at 12-2.
With that, Blackmon became the first National Leaguer to go 6-for-6 in a game since Adrian Gonzalez went 6-for-6 for the Padres on Aug. 11, 2009 and just the second Rockie ever to collect six hits in a game, joining Andres Galarraga, who went 6-for-6 way back in 1995. Since Gonzalez in '09, only two other players have had six-hit games, both coming last year. Milwaukee's Jean Segura needed seven at-bats go get his six hits against the Twins last May, but Alex Rios went 6-for-6 for the White Sox on July 9. Blackmon's 12 total bases in the game (two singles, three doubles and a home run) were the most in a six-hit game since Ian Kinsler went 6-for-6 and hit for the cycle in April 2009. Blackmon's was also the earliest 6-for-6 game since Phillies second baseman Connie Ryan went 6-for-6 in the third game of the 1953 season (and the earliest in modern history by date). As a result, Blackmon, who had gone 3-for-10 in the first four games of the season against the Marlins, raised his season average from .300 to .563 over the course of a single game. Not a bad day at the office.