Julie Jacobson
June 21, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) Sure, hitting a leadoff home run feels great. Charlie Blackmon is also aware there can be a downside to an early dinger.

''Honestly, it's a real trap,'' he said. ''If you're not careful, you can let yourself down or the team down. ... Don't let the first at-bat affect the next at-bat or the next.''

He didn't.

Blackmon connected for his 16th career leadoff homer, later hit another solo drive and also made a superb sliding catch in center field as the Colorado Rockies again roughed up the New York Yankees, 8-4 on Tuesday night.

A week after totaling 19 runs and 28 hits while sweeping a two-game series from New York at Coors Field, the Rockies came out swinging in their first visit to Yankee Stadium since 2011.

Nolan Arenado lined his major league-leading 21st homer, got three hits and drove in three runs, giving him an NL-leading 60 RBIs. Blackmon scored three times, and Carlos Gonzalez and DJ LeMahieu each got three of Colorado's 15 hits.

''Everybody did a tremendous job,'' Gonzalez said.

Rockies rookie Trevor Story added a double, along with one of the hardest hits of the night - he banged his face into the dirt on a headfirst slide while stealing second base, and stayed in after being examined by a trainer.

Story also struck out for the 100th time, most in the majors, in 273 at-bats.

The Yankees opened a nine-game homestand with their sixth loss in nine games.

''It's baseball, it's what we've been going through all year, inconsistency and it's frustrating for everyone in that room,'' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.

Chad Bettis (6-5) beat Ivan Nova (5-5) for the second time in a week. Bettis gave up two earned runs, tied a career best with eight strikeouts and left with an 8-4 lead.

Blackmon began the hit parade by sending a drive high off the foul pole in right field, then got his 10th homer in the fourth. On Monday night at Miami, he homered in the ninth inning as the Rockies launched five solo home runs.

''Carried it over, especially with the power,'' manager Walt Weiss said.

Blackmon has four leadoff home runs this season and four multihomer games in his career.

The Rockies scored three times on five hits in the first, with Carlos Gonzalez singling home a run and Mark Reynolds adding an RBI grounder.

Gonzalez hit a rocket double over right fielder Carlos Beltran to start the fifth off Nova, and Reynolds hit an RBI double off reliever Nick Goody a few batters later for a 6-2 lead.

There was a moment of silence before the game for the shooting victims at a gay nightclub in Orlando earlier this month. Girardi and Weiss placed a rainbow wreath over home plate as their teams gathered along the foul lines.

SWING MEN

Buddy Hield and Denzel Valentine were among four projected top NBA draft picks who watched batting practice from near the Yankees dugout. For Hield, who grew up in the Bahamas and then starred at Oklahoma, it was the first major league game he'd seen in person. He looked eager to take a few cuts, but playfully admitted, ''I have a bad swing.'' Valentine, who stayed home and went to Michigan State, said he didn't play baseball as a kid but could decently swing the bat. ''I can throw it in from the outfield pretty good, too,'' he said. Domantas Sabonis of Gonzaga and Marquese Chriss of Washington also were in attendance ahead of Thursday night's draft.

REYES FUTURE

Shortstop Jose Reyes could become a free agent Saturday, having been cut by the Rockies after serving a suspension for violating Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy. With Colorado in town, there's been speculation the All-Star could return to the Mets. ''I'm sure part of his heart is in New York, as it should be,'' Weiss said. ''Still a good player ... he certainly could help them.''

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rockies: OF Gerardo Parra (sprained left ankle) hit off a tee. He's still not ready for running drills.

Yankees: CF Jacoby Ellsbury was out of the lineup because of the stomach flu. ... 1B Mark Teixeira (torn knee cartilage) started a Triple-A rehab assignment, going 0 for 3 with a sacrifice fly. If he feels fine, he's expected to join the Yankees on Saturday.

UP NEXT

Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (4-3, 4.55) faces the Yankees on Wednesday afternoon. He hasn't given up more than two earned runs in five straight starts.

Yankees: LHP CC Sabathia (5-4, 2.20) has an 0.82 ERA in his last seven starts. He's the first Yankees pitcher to permit no more than four earned runs overall in a seven-start string since Phil Niekro in 1984.

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