Arenado hits 20th homer, leads Rockies over Yankees 6-3
DENVER (AP) DJ LeMahieu turned what could have been a scary day into a good one for him and the Colorado Rockies.
LeMahieu had three hits and finished a homer short of the cycle, and Nolan Arenado tied for the major league lead with his 20th homer and drove in three runs. The Rockies beat the Yankees 6-3 Wednesday to sweep a two-game series and send New York to its fourth straight loss.
A day after Colorado defeated the Yankees 13-10, Chad Bettis (5-5) allowed three runs - two earned - and seven hits in six innings. He had been 0-3 with an 11.66 ERA since winning at St. Louis on May 17. The Rockies have won four straight.
''We're in a pretty good place,'' manager Walt Weiss said. ''I feel like this team is going to get better as the year goes on, which has not been the trend the past few years.''
LeMahieu has been one of the stars in the field and at the plate, which made the sixth inning a scary one. He was hit on the helmet with a pitch by Anthony Swarzak and stayed in the game.
''I was more shocked than anything, but everything's good,'' LaMahieu said. ''I'm good.''
He hit an RBI triple off hard-throwing Aroldis Chapman in his next at-bat.
''I was scared,'' said Arenado, who was on deck when LeMahieu was hit. ''I thought he got hit in the face. That's what everyone thought. Whenever a ball goes up and in like that is never a fun thing to watch.''
Rockies reliever Miguel Castro threw two pitches near the head of Austin Romine in the seventh, prompting a warning to the pitcher and both benches from plate umpire Gabe Morales.
''I don't think that was on purpose. I think it was a guy coming into the game trying to find a release point,'' LeMahieu said. ''It just looks bad after that inning.''
Rather than activate Jose Reyes following his domestic violence suspension, the Rockies said before the game they had cut the former All-Star shortstop from their 40-man roster. They almost certainly will be responsible for the $39 million remaining on his contract.
''We talked through every conceivable situation,'' Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich said. ''At the end of the day, we felt it was best that we part ways. Best for the direction of the organization, best for what was going on in the clubhouse and best for Jose.
New York (31-34) has skidded again since Friday, when it moved over .500 for the first time since it was 4-3 during the second week of the season. The Yankees are 13-20 on the road.
Yankees starter Ivan Nova (5-4) gave up five runs and 10 hits in five innings.
''We didn't pitch well here,'' manager Joe Girardi said. ''That's the bottom line.''
Charlie Blackmon had three hits and Carlos Estevez pitched the ninth for his third save, completing a pitching performance by the Rockies that induced 16 ground-ball outs.
Bettis retired his first nine batters before the Yankees took a 2-1 lead in the fourth when Didi Gregorius singled in a run and Aaron Hicks reached on an infield hit, a slow roller that catcher Tony Wolters threw down the right-field for a run-scoring error.
Colorado went ahead for good in a four-run fifth after Nova walked Blackmon leading off. LeMahieu hit a tying single, Arenado followed with a two-run homer and Mark Reynolds capped the rally with an RBI single. Arenado tied Baltimore's Mark Trumbo for the major league home run lead.
The Rockies have won eight of 10 and finished 5-1 on their homestand.
''We're playing good baseball right now,'' Arenado said. ''We did a great job this homestand. We could have easily won the whole homestand.''
Colorado agreed to a minor league contract with RHP Riley Pint, the fourth overall pick in last week's amateur draft. He gets a $4.8 million signing bonus, below the slot value of $5,258,700. The 18-year-old went 6-1 with a 0.50 ERA this season for St. Thomas Aquinas in Overland Park, Kansas.
Yankees: OF Carlos Beltran was scratched from the lineup with a sore left knee for the second straight game and said he had fluid drained Tuesday. ''I had a cortisone shot. The cortisone worked,'' Beltran said. ''Yesterday, it was painful. When I woke up this morning I was 50 percent better.'' ... 1B Mark Teixeira (torn right knee cartilage) could start a minor league injury rehabilitation assignment as early as next week. He went on the 15-day DL on June 4.
Rockies: An MRI on LF Gerardo Parra revealed a high left ankle sprain. Weiss said the team will place Parra on the 15-day DL before Friday's game in Miami. Parra was hurt Tuesday.
Yankees: LHP CC Sabathia (4-4, 2.28) is to start Thursday's series opener at Minnesota, which goes with RHP Kyle Gibson (0-4, 6.49). Sabathia has pitched 12 consecutive scoreless innings.
Rockies: Jon Gray (4-2) is slated to start Friday's series opener at Miami and LHP Adam Conley (3-4, 4.13).