Ryan McMahon has endured an underwhelming season, but his bat is heating up as the Colorado Rockies open a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night in Phoenix.
McMahon homered and matched his career best of five RBIs in Thursday's 7-3 win over the San Diego Padres. He has three straight two-hit outings and went 7-for-15 during the five-game series against the Padres after finishing July in a 2-for-28 funk.
McMahon hit a two-run double in the third inning and a three-run homer in the fifth on Thursday. Both blows were against San Diego All-Star Joe Musgrove as the Rockies halted a five-game losing streak.
"That was good for Ryan," Rockies manager Bud Black told reporters. "We've seen a couple good swings in a couple games here. I like the fact the first hit was a fastball in -- he barreled it up, hit it into the corner. That's a good sign, Mac getting on the fastball. And then he got the hanging breaking ball for the three-run home run, which was a game-changer for us. Good for Mac."
There hasn't been enough 'Good for Mac' chatter this season.
Thursday's homer was just the ninth of the season for McMahon, who hit a career-best 24 in 2019 and 23 last season.
McMahon, who is batting .241 with 49 RBIs this season, is in the first season of a six-year, $70 million deal, has openly acknowledged his performance has been disappointing.
"I got to have a nice little talk with Buddy before the series," McMahon, 27, said after Colorado avoided a five-game sweep to the Padres. "He kind of brought it back down to Earth. 'Just go focus on these things and play, and don't worry about it.'
"I just had some good reminders. We get caught up, we see different things in this game, and we start worrying about the wrong stuff, instead of just being a good teammate playing good baseball every day."
Thursday's win was just the Rockies' fourth in the past 16 games.
The Diamondbacks are coming off a 1-5 trip to Atlanta and Cleveland. Arizona was swept in three games by the Braves and lost two of three to the Guardians.
Cleveland won Wednesday's series finale 7-4 when the Diamondbacks' runs came on two-run homers by Alek Thomas and Geraldo Perdomo. Arizona was just 1-for-9 with runners in scoring positions and struggled to make contact.
"We struck out 15 times," Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. "We've got to be better than that."
Arizona will start left-hander Madison Bumgarner (6-10, 3.83 ERA) in the series opener.
Bumgarner, who turned 33 on Monday, beat the Rockies on July 9 when he gave up two runs and six hits over seven innings. He is 19-10 with a 3.37 ERA in 40 career starts against Colorado.
Charlie Blackmon is batting .340 (18-for-53) with three homers against Bumgarner. Elias Diaz is 1-for-12, and McMahon is hitless in 12 at-bats.
Bumgarner lost to the Atlanta Braves on July 20 when he gave up five runs (four earned) and eight hits over six innings.
Colorado will counter with right-hander German Marquez (6-9, 5.29), who has lost his last two starts and four of six. The 27-year-old gave up five runs (four earned) and six hits over six innings while losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.
Marquez beat the Diamondbacks on July 10 when he gave up two runs and three hits over seven innings. He is 1-1 with a 3.46 ERA in two starts this season and stands 6-6 with a 3.92 ERA in 20 career starts and one relief appearance vs. Arizona.
Ketel Marte (11-for-37) and Christian Walker (5-for-21) each have two homers against Marquez.
The Rockies have won six of the 10 meetings with the Diamondbacks.
--Field Level Media