Arenado homers again in Rockies’ 4-1 win over Athletics on Saturday night

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DENVER, CO - JULY 28: Nolan Arenado #28 of the Colorado Rockies rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Oakland Athletics during the third inning of interleague play at Coors Field on July 28, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

DENVER — Carlos Gonzalez matched a career high with three doubles, Nolan Arenado homered for the second time in two games, and the Rockies beat the Oakland Athletics 4-1 on Saturday night for their 10th win in 12 games.

“He’s hitting the ball to all fields,” Rockies manager Bud Black said of Gonzalez, who is batting .356 in July, hitting safely in 16 of 19 games. “The swing is aggressive. You can say right now that this is vintage CarGo. Let’s continue that. Let’s ride it out. He’s in a good spot.”

Gonzalez, who struggled at the plate for much of the season’s first half, said he has fed off the success of the teammates.

“I think that’s been the key for me,” Gonzalez said. “I have really good hitters around me and all I’m trying to do is have a quality at-bat and get on base for the guys and whenever there is a situation for me to take advantage of, to try to come through.”

Antonio Senzatela (4-3) shook off a first-inning run to pitch effectively into the sixth of a game that was delayed 51 minutes at the start because of a storm cell that was moving through the greater Denver area.

Pat Valaika, in a spot start for the utilityman, homered and singled to drive in two runs. Tom Murphy added a run-scoring triple for the Rockies, who beat the A’s on successive nights to ensure the victory in the three-game interleague set.

Oakland lost back-to-back games for the first time since dropping four straight in mid-June and had its 11-series (10-0-1) unbeaten string snapped. The A’s have been held to one run in each of their losses to the Rockies.

“We left nine guys on, (Friday) night it was 11,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “The middle of our order usually does some damage and we just didn’t these two games. So just move to the next game again.”

Senzatela allowed one run on five hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked four. Wade Davis got three outs for his 29th save.

Brett Anderson (2-3) allowed four runs on eight hits in losing for the first time in four starts since being reinstated from the 10-day disabled list on July 8. A right shoulder strain kept him on the DL for nearly two months.

“It’s kind of a weird start in that the pitches I made were either really good or really terrible. There was no kind of in-between,” Anderson said. “Usually in a start, you kind of get those borderline pitches; they’re kind of where you want to but have good action or vice versa. It seemed like I threw a really good pitch with the action I wanted to or it was just right down the middle. Didn’t have that break; it sometimes happens at Coors Field.”

Down 1-0 early, the Rockies took command with a pair of runs in the second on Murphy’s RBI triple and a run-scoring single by Valaika.

Arenado made it 3-1 in the third when he connected for his NL-leading 27th home run of the season, driving a 3-2 offering from Anderson into the seats above the right-field scoreboard.

Valaika also connected off Anderson for a solo shot in the fourth.

The Athletics scored in the first inning after a replay review showed that Nick Martini slid into the plate just ahead of right fielder Gonzalez’s throw home on Khris Davis’ sacrifice fly. He was initially ruled out on the bang-bang play.

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