Morning after: Blue Jays collapse in late loss to Rockies
Bullpen woes found the Blue Jays in Monday’s 9-5 loss to the Rockies
The Toronto Blue Jays were cruising towards an easy win on Monday night in Colorado, even providing starter Marco Estrada some run support. Then the seventh and eighth innings happened.
The ball was flying early for the Blue Jays as Devon Travis launched a solo shot to straight away centre in the top of the first inning.
All remained quiet until the sixth inning, though, when Devon Travis reached on a well-hit opposite-field double and was brought home by a Josh Donaldson single. Edwin Encarnacion promptly followed that with a 440-foot bomb to left-centre field, his 20th of the season, to put the Blue Jays ahead 4-0. The home run also marked Encarnacion’s 27th and 28th RBIs of the month of June.
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Colorado starter Jon Gray did look good outside of the Encarnacion blast, however, allowing four runs over seven innings with eight strikeouts and zero walks. Gonzalez German and Jason Motte took it the rest of the way, with Motte allowing the final run on Encarnacion’s 21st blast, a solo shot.
The cushion wouldn’t last, though. In the bottom half of the sixth, Estrada allowed a pair of base-runners and Carlos Gonzalez brought the Rockies back within one with his 17th home run of the season.
Estrada left after completing six innings, having allowed three earned runs on five hits while striking out eight.
Drew Storen coughed up the lead for the Blue Jays after loading the bases with back-to-back hit batsmen and a Nolan Arenado two-run single. After Storen was yanked, Jesse Chavez entered and walked Mark Reynolds with the bases loaded to make it 6-4. A Daniel Descalso single quickly made it 8-4 and put the game out of reach for the Jays.
This game marked Troy Tulowitzki’s return to Coloarado as the shortstop went 0-for-4 but did receive a nice ovation from the Coors crowd in his first at-bat. Rockies catcher Nick Hundley “went to the mound” as Tulowitzki approached the plate, giving the fans an opportunity to appreciate their star shortstop of nearly a decade.
After the bullpen had begun to find some balance in recent weeks, the injury to Gavin Floyd and this outing from Drew Storen highlight that there is still work to be done.
Reinforcements could be on their way soon in the form of Brett Cecil, who is currently rounding out his rehab assignment with the triple-A Buffalo Bisons. Franklin Morales is in the same boat, offering another left-handed arm.
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Storen had been rounding a corner himself, recently, but four earned runs in one third of an inning is a tough pill to swallow. Chalk this one up as a true bullpen loss.
First pitch tonight goes at 8:40 p.m. ET with J.A. Happ facing Eddie Butler.