Troy Tulowitzki will be back at Coors Field with a plan to play it cool, but the former Rockies shortstop knows that might be easier said than done.
After spending parts of 10 seasons in Colorado, making a lot of friends and leading the Rockies to the 2007 World Series, Tulowitzki has a lot of special memories to look back upon in the series ahead. And yet, he's a Blue Jay now.
"Obviously, mixed emotions," Tulowitzki said. "[I'm] excited to play in front of the fans again. It's been a lot of years there, so to kind of give back to them and get a chance to see the field again, [see] some friends on the team, some coaches [will be fun]. But that's about it. Everything else is just kind of go about my business and act like it's just another game ... or at least try to."
Tulowitzki said he hasn't spent too much time pondering his welcome back by Rockies fans.
"I'm not wondering about what the reaction will be like at all," he said. "I think I have a fair guess of what it will be. I think they saw a guy that gave it everything he had when he was out there, so I think it will hopefully be a warm welcome and they'll show their appreciation for me, and I'll do the same."
Marco Estrada (5-3, 2.70 ERA) will start for the Blue Jays, looking to get back on the winning side after taking a loss against the D-backs in his last outing. Estrada has reeled off seven straight quality starts, going 4-1 with a 2.54 ERA and striking out 43 in 49 2/3 innings during that span.
Jon Gray (4-3, 4.80 ERA) will start for Colorado, looking for his first win since June 5 against the Padres. The Rockies have lost Gray's past three starts, despite his 3.71 ERA and .210 batting average against in those outings.
Three things to know about this game
• Justin Smoak (knee soreness) is expected to return to the Blue Jays' lineup at some point in the series. Smoak missed all three games against the White Sox after fouling a ball off his left knee Wednesday against the D-backs.
• Tulowitzki has a .321 batting average, a .394 on-base percentage and a .558 slugging percentage in his career at Coors Field, covering 2,235 plate appearances, 1,968 at-bats and 526 games.
• Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado is 1-for-11 (.091) in three career games against the Blue Jays. The one hit was a double.