Recap: Rockies 9, Blue Jays 5; Jays’ Bullpen Ruins Tulo’s Homecoming

The Toronto Blue Jays opened a three game interleague series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field.  This is the third time Toronto has ever been to Colorado. Coming into tonight these two teams have played 15 times and the home team has won every game, tonight the trend continued.

Through six and a half innings the Jays had what seemed like a comfortable lead, 4-0, thanks to home runs from Devon Travis and Edwin Encarnacion and an RBI single by Josh Donaldson. However, the Rockies were able to get to starting pitcher Marco Estrada for three in the sixth and six off the Jays bullpen in the seventh to win this game easily 9-5. Encarnacion would hit his second home run in the ninth.

Colorado starter Jon Gray pitched well for most of the night, excluding three batters in the sixth, keeping the Jays hitters off balance mixing his fastball with his slider.  His final line for the night was seven innings, five hits, four runs, zero walks and eight strike outs.

Top Play of the Game by WPA

In the top of the seventh inning, with one out and a runner on second and the Jays up 4-3, Drew Storen was ahead of the next two hitters and proceeded to hit both with pitches to load the bases.  The next hitter Nolan Arrenado hit a two run single to give the Rockies their first lead of the game 5-4, which they would not relinquish, and increase their win expectancy by 22.3%.

Bottom Play of the Game by WPA

In the bottom of the sixth, Jays up 4-3 and Matt Reynolds at second with one out, Daniel Descalso hit popped out to second and reduced the Rockies win expectancy (temporarily) by 6.1 %.

Tulo’s Return

Troy Tulowitzki played for nine and a half seasons at Coors Field for the Colorado Rockies and made his first return since the trade which was almost one year ago.  It is well documented that he felt betrayed by the Rockies ownership when he was dealt to Toronto and has had a hard time adjusting to his new surroundings.  Tonight, he was greeted with a hero’s welcome by the home town fans.  Hopefully this series will be just what Tulo needs to spark his offense to the next level, as well as provide some personal closure.

The Streak is Alive

Marco Estrada extended his streak of six innings pitched with five or less hits to a record 12 straight starts.  He pitched effectively tonight through five innings, at one point retiring 12 Rockies in a row.  However, he struggled in the sixth inning giving up a walk, and three extra base hits, including a Carlos Gonzalez three-run home run.

Bullpen Implosion

In the 7th inning, the Colorado Rockies sent 11 batters to the plate and scored six runs on five hits, a bases loaded walk and two hit batters off of Blue Jay relievers, Drew Storen and  Jesse Chavez. Both relievers had  been effective of late, but tonight were unable to locate their pitches and helped turn a 4-3 Jays lead into a 9-4 Jays deficit.

Up Next

The Jays will attempt to get back in the win column, sending left-hander JA Happ (9-3, 3.42 ERA) to pitch against struggling young Rockies right-hander Eddie Butler (2-4, 6.71 ERA).  First pitch will at 8:40 p.m. EST.

Lead Photo: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

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