Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Blue Jays wale on Rockies after hailstorm

Troy Tulowitzki started a six-run fourth-inning rally with a home run in his former home, and the Blue Jays defeated the Rockies, 14-9, at Coors Field on Tuesday night after a 2-hour, 41-minute pregame delay for hail, rain and lightning.
Toronto chased starter Eddie Butler after 3 1/3 innings, making him throw 86 pitches to 19 batters. Tulowitzki led off the fourth with his first home run at Coors Field -- where he played for nearly 10 seasons -- since last July 20. Russell Martin doubled, Ezequiel Carrera andDevon Travis singled, and Josh Donaldson hit a bases-clearing triple. The Blue Jays added three more in the sixth on Martin's RBI single and Kevin Pillar's two-run double off reliever Yohan Flande.
"We can strike quick," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "They have a [heck] of an offense ... and they're a tough team to face, but that's what we do in the American League, if you don't have an offense you have zero chance."
Carlos Gonzalez's three-run home run off Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ gave the Rockies an early lead an inning before Toronto's offensive outburst. Happ allowed five runs over five innings, collecting his 10th win of the season and extending his streak to four consecutive wins.
 The Rockies nearly tied the game in the seventh inning against Joe Biagini. Gonzalez drove in Nolan Arenado on a single to right field and scored on an error by first basemanEdwin EncarnacionCharlie Blackmon drove in two more on a bases-loaded single offJason Grilli.
The Blue Jays' 14 runs were the second-most the Rockies have allowed this season, trailing the 16 runs allowed on April 9 to the Padres.
"They're as good as advertised," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "It's a potent lineup, and when they get rolling, you see what happens."
Bringer of Hail: The final score doesn't reflect it, but the Blue Jays actually trailed through the first three innings of the game until the six-run fourth changed everything. Donaldson delivered the big blow with a three-run triple off the wall in right field. He has four triples this month and five on the season, which is a career high. More >
"I'm proud of the guys," Gibbons said. "They stayed focused, and it wasn't an easy game. It was back and forth, and we did a lot of good things. That was one of those games you just try to survive."
Butler's costly error: Butler was having a fine start through three frames, but it fell apart in the fourth. After Tulowitzki's leadoff home run and Martin's double, Happ dropped a bunt in front of Butler. Instead of taking the out at first, Butler fired the ball to second base, but the ball tailed into center field. It was not the performance Butler needed to remain in the Rockies' rotation or on the staff with several pitchers close to returning from the disabled list.
"I just didn't get squared up or something and I just slung it arm-side," Butler said. "I kind of blew that chance to at least get an out, or get out of the inning with less damage."
Flande, who came relieved Butler after the error, committed an error of his own five batters later to plate another run.
Tacking on the runs: Toronto's bullpen has been struggling for most of the season, but one way to avoid that becoming an issue is to pile on runs. The Blue Jays did just that, scoring in every inning after the second. Toronto broke things open in the sixth, when Martin had an RBI single and Pillar added a two-run double.
"It was a long one," Tulowitzki said. "Every once in a while it gets a little crazy out there, but the game was never out of hand, really. Even when we had a lead it felt like, 'OK, well, if these guys get some guys on base they're definitely capable.' It was one of those games."
CarGo's power streak: Gonzalez homered for the third straight game, and all three have either given the Rockies a lead or brought them within one run. It was his 13th home run in 30 days, and earlier this season he hit eight in 10 games.
"It's funny because when I hit home runs, it comes in bunches. It's nothing new," Gonzalez said. "I try to relax as much as possible because those are the at-bats that I want, and when you hit in the middle of the lineup, you don't want to miss those opportunities."
The Blue Jays picked up their first victory in franchise history at Coors Field. Toronto had been 0-7 at the downtown Denver stadium after being swept in both 2006 and '10.
Two players who weren't supposed to play for the Rockies -- DJ LeMahieu and Ryan Raburn -- took the field late in the game. LeMahieu is recovering from a left knee contusion and said before the game that he expected to be ready Wednesday. However, he took the field and hit in the eighth inning. Weiss, wanting to preserve LeMahieu's knee, removed him in the ninth for Raburn, who manned first base as Mark Reynolds shifted to second. Raburn was scratched before the game because of illness.
"Raburn was sick with a stomach virus or something, so we were trying to stay off him, but he ended up going in the game," Weiss said. "[DJ's] fine. I just really didn't want him out there for any length of time."
Another concern was shortstop Trevor Story, who missed Monday's game with a bruised right middle finger and returned Tuesday. Story went 0-for-4 and left the game after tweaking the finger on a seventh-inning grounder. Backup catcher Tony Wolters finished the game at short. Wolters had a throwing error, and his inability to handle a Jason Motte throw that could have started a double play led to a run scoring in the top of the ninth.
Blue Jays: The three-game Interleague series with the Rockies wraps on Wednesday afternoon with first pitch scheduled for 3:10 p.m. ET. Right-hander Aaron Sanchez (7-1, 3.33 ERA) will get the call for Toronto in what will be his first career appearance at Coors Field. Sanchez has surrendered three earned runs or fewer in all but three of his 15 starts this season.
Rockies: Tyler Anderson will take the hill Wednesday at 1:10 p.m. MT for his fourth career start. His 2.35 ERA is the third-lowest among rookies with at least three career starts. He has not allowed more than two earned runs in any outing.

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