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Nolan Arenado completes cycle with walk-off three-run home run

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Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado completed the cycle in the most dramatic of ways: with a walk-off three-run home run, giving his team a 7-5 victory over the Giants on Sunday afternoon.

Arenado tripled but was stranded in the bottom of the first inning against starter Ty Blach. He singled to lead off the fourth and was stranded. He then ripped an RBI double off of Blach in the sixth to cut the Rockies’ deficit to 2-1 at the time. He struck out in the seventh against George Kontos, but redeemed himself in the ninth with a walk-off three-run home run against Mark Melancon, turning a 5-4 deficit into a 7-5 win.

Arenado is the eighth Rockie to hit for the cycle and the first since Michael Cuddyer accomplished the feat on August 17, 2014 against the Reds. Prior to Sunday, the last time the Giants gave up a cycle was to the Diamondbacks’ Kelly Johnson on July 23, 2010.

After Sunday’s performance, Arenado is hitting .299/.352/.573 with 15 home runs, 55 RBI, and 47 runs scored in 310 plate appearances. He’s currently holding a slight lead for the WAR lead among third basemen at 2.7, just ahead of Anthony Rendon (2.6) and Kris Bryant (2.4), according to FanGraphs.

Nick Williams has been trying to sell Jake Arrieta on the Phillies

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CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.

Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”

On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”

Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.

Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.