Colorado Rockies morning after: The return of C.J. Cron

On Tuesday night, C.J. Cron was back in the Colorado Rockies lineup for the first time since Friday’s series opener against the San Francisco Giants. Mired in a slump that had seen him slash just .171/.230/.295 over his past 26 games, Cron needed a break from baseball.

For the last three days before the Colorado Rockies welcomed the Texas Rangers into Coors Field on Tuesday night, Cron said he tried to clear his mind as much as possible. That included not picking up a bat and watching the games against the Giants on Saturday and Sunday as an observer rather than an active player.

“Really, just knowing that I wasn’t going to play for those games and kind of wind down, it helped me quite a bit,” Cron said.

The Colorado Rockies giving C.J. Cron some time off paid big dividends against the Texas Rangers

Re-energized and reinserted as Colorado’s first baseman, Cron launched his 24th home run of the season, and just his second since the All-Star break, in the seventh inning, providing the winning margin in a 7-6 Colorado victory.

Cron’s opposite-field three-run homer helped him to a 2-for-4 night and gave him just his third game with multiple RBI since July 3.

“I haven’t done that much this year,” Cron said, referring to his opposite field shot. “I just caught it (the pitch) a little bit deep and that’s what I tried to allow myself to do. It was nice to get one out that way for sure.”

Colorado manager Bud Black said he hopes that Tuesday night will be a “jumpstart” for Cron with the Rockies facing a tough road trip ahead through New York, Atlanta, and Cincinnati.

“He got a pitch out over the plate and he put a good swing on it,” Black said. “That’s more like what we’ve seen when he’s been going well, so hopefully that’s a jumpstart for him.”

Black said that he believes after a tough stretch that Cron can once again find the power that helped him earn his first career All-Star Game appearance.

“When you get to this time of year in August, you get beat down a little physically and mentally, and it’s really hard sometimes to fight through it,” Black said. “I felt a couple of days off might help him, so we’ll see. He has great perspective on this and he knows he can turn this around quickly and get back to being the consistent performer he was in the first half.”

Elias Díaz also hit a three-run home run in his first game back in the lineup since returning from the injured list, part of a 2-for-4 night for him.

Colorado has now won its last four games against the Rangers and is 3-1 on this homestand after entering it with a five-game losing streak.

Texas and Colorado will square off again on Wednesday afternoon as the brief homestand concludes.