DENVER — Matt Kemp stamped his brand on Coors Field Saturday night — with a baseball he blasted 457 feet into the right-field upper deck.
Kemp, finally with the Rockies after a decade and a half of tormenting them, launched the awe-inspiring homer over the bullpen off of Padres reliever Cal Quantrill during the third inning of Saturday night's 6-1 victory. The screamer left Kemp's bat at 108 mph.
• Box score
It was Kemp’s first homer in a Rockies uniform, but not an unfamiliar sight. Going into Saturday, in 87 games (83 starts) at Coors, Kemp had a .328/.390/.618 slash line, for a 1.008 OPS. And for old-fashioned numbers, the homer was his 22nd at the park, to complement 24 doubles — including one as a pinch-hitter that drove in two runs on the first pitch of his first at-bat at Coors in a Rockies uniform on Friday night.
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Some homegrown players also made their marks as the Rockies ran to 5-2 on the season.
• Trevor Story made a diving catch of Jurickson Profar’s liner to end the top of the fourth, and a line-drive homer — complete with a stylish bat drop — in the bottom of the frame, then made a sliding snag of a Manny Machado grounder to start a sixth-inning double play.
• Lefty starter Kyle Freeland held the Padres to two hits in six innings, with four strikeouts and one walk. It was the 10th game that Freeland, who debuted in 2017, has gone at least six and given up no runs.
• Third baseman Nolan Arenado ranged 111 feet for a dazzling over-the-head catch of Jurickson Profar’s foul pop to end the fourth.
But Saturday showed how adding a long-time tormentor could help what the Rockies believe is a solid club.
Kemp signed during Summer Camp after the Marlins (with whom he played in Spring Training) didn’t include him in their player pool. The Rockies have so far used Kemp as a designated hitter against right-handers, with Raimel Tapia getting starts against lefties.
Most of Kemp’s damage came as a member of the Dodgers, but he also fashioned the first cycle in Padres history on Aug. 14, 2015, at Coors.