Joey Votto: solo homer, solo homer, walkoff grand slam

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Let’s see Josh Hamilton match this one.

Already with two solo homers on the day, Joey Votto hit a walkoff grand slam off Henry Rodriguez to give the Reds a 9-6 win over the Nationals on Sunday.

It was just the second homer to a left-handed batter allowed by Rodriguez in 112 2/3 career innings. He entered the day with a 2.45 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings this season.

Votto, on the other hand, was suffering from a serious power outage this season. The 2010 NL MVP had homered just twice in 108 at-bats, though he did have 15 doubles. It was certainly only a matter of time before he started clearing some fences, but three in one day was rather unexpected. It was his second career three-homer game, as well as his second career grand slam and third career walkoff homer.

The comeback today prevented the Reds from being swept at home. They’re one game over .500 at 17-16 for the season.

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

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Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.

As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”

The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.