DENVER — Ryan McMahon tries not to think about the possibility of playing in his first All-Star Game.
But it’s hard not to, when he’s playing as well as he has been and the festivities just so happen to be in his home ballpark this year. While he does his best to avoid the topic, his family makes sure to keep him updated in their group chat. He was in seventh place in the first round of voting results that were released on Monday.
"I feel good out there," McMahon said. "I’ve had a couple trials around this league and I think I’ve just gained a lot of information."
On Tuesday, McMahon made his case even stronger, hitting a single, triple and home run. He was responsible for half of the Rockies’ runs as they defeated the Padres 8-4. They’ll go for the series sweep Wednesday, with Kyle Freeland on the mound.
McMahon is on the ballot as a second baseman, even though he often also plays third. He enjoys both positions, he said, and has a hard time deciding which one he likes more. No matter where his location is on the diamond, McMahon has been able to compile a highlight-worthy reel of plays this season.
He started his night with a single in the second, then a triple in the fourth, his first of the season. His home run came in the sixth, when he launched it 404 feet to right field. In the seventh, he didn’t hit a double to complete the cycle, but did notch a sacrifice fly to extend the Rockies' lead. And he did it all against Yu Darvish, who had a 2.28 ERA entering his start Tuesday.
"It was a big night," manager Bud Black said. "The sac fly might have been the hardest ball he hit all night, that was a bullet."
He shortened his bat length this year, going from 34 inches to 33.75 inches. He's figured out that he can still have power, even while choking up more.
"Mac is learning," Black said. "He’s getting better. We’re watching it before our eyes."
Garrett Hampson also hit his fifth triple of the season, tied for first place in MLB with Arizona's David Peralta. Raimel Tapia extended his hitting streak to 12 games with his double in the seventh, and he added another extra-base hit in the eighth. Yonathan Daza had a three-hit game.
Chi Chi González was shaky early on, giving up a two-run home run in the first inning to Fernando Tatis Jr. He gave up two more runs in the second, but held the Padres scoreless for the rest of his outing, as he pitched six total innings and kept the Rockies in a position to be able to contend. It was much improved from his last outing, when he allowed eight earned runs on three home runs.
González said he felt like he was flying open too much in his last start, and didn't attack down and away. After the second inning, he was able to rely on ground outs and soft contacts, the style that he thrives in.
"Chi Chi reeled it in," Black said. "Him and (catcher) Dom (Núñez) found some answers as they went through the game. That was the key to the game, keeping it right there to four runs to give us a chance to come back."
Rockies relievers shut down the Padres, who led 4-0 after the second inning but didn't score another run for the rest of the game.
"We had a lot of big hits, played some really good defense," McMahon said. "I think overall it was a good team win."