DENVER -- Aaron Sanchez twirled eight strong innings and the Blue Jays held off a late rally by the Rockies for a 5-3 victory on Wednesday to win their first series at Coors Field.Sanchez held the Rockies to one run on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts. The
DENVER -- Aaron Sanchez twirled eight strong innings and the Blue Jays held off a late rally by the Rockies for a 5-3 victory on Wednesday to win their first series at Coors Field.
Sanchez held the Rockies to one run on six hits with two walks and three strikeouts. The 30 batters he faced tied a career high. The only damage off of him came in the fourth inning, when Daniel Descalso drove in Nolan Arenado after a leadoff single. Sanchez did well to escape a bases-loaded jam in the seventh, coaxing a double-play ball out of pinch-hitter Ryan Raburn.
• Sanchez continues ascension
"You come into Colorado and you hear about the ball and what it does," Sanchez said. "Today, after what happened last night, I tried to keep my pitch count as low as I could going through the whole game. I did feel like I had everything working today. Mostly sinkers as it normally is, but when I needed to throw offspeed, I felt like it was there."
The Blue Jays tagged Rockies starter Tyler Anderson for three runs (two earned) -- the most he has allowed in his first four big league starts -- over six innings. Josh Donaldson hit a solo homer to left in the third, and Junior Lake and Troy Tulowitzki each drove in a run on hits. Edwin Encarnacion later knocked in his Major League-leading 70th run on a single to left field off Jordan Lyles.
"I really like what I see with Tyler," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "It's a shame he doesn't have a big league win yet. He's going to get plenty up here pitching like that. But I really like the entire package. The makeup, the feel to pitch, the pitch mix, the changeup he can throw at any time. The ability to put sequences together. He's done an outstanding job for us, he really has. He's given us a lift."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Donaldson does it again: Donaldson had a key three-run triple during Toronto's 13-9 victory over the Rockies on Tuesday night, and less than 24 hours later, he was up to his old tricks once again. This time, it was a solo home run with two outs in the third inning off Anderson. According to Statcast™, Donaldson's 18th of the year was projected to travel 391 feet and left his bat at 99 mph. Encarnacion immediately followed with a double, and Tulowitzki added an RBI single to cap the two-run frame.
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"For the most part, I feel like I've been having a pretty good approach at the plate, so I'm not changing too much," Donaldson said, when asked if there are any adjustments to Coors Field. "I would have liked to hit the ball in the air a little bit more, but it's not really something you can force all of the time. A lot of it has to do with the types of pitches you're seeing and locations. For the most part, I think they pitched me pretty well, but I was able to take what they gave me this series."
Anderson gets out of jam: The Rockies saved two runs when a second-inning call was overturned on replay. Sanchez hit a soft grounder to the left of first baseman Mark Reynolds, which Anderson chased after. His roundabout route to first caused him to arrive at nearly the same time as Sanchez, and they collided as Anderson caught the ball. The first-base umpire initially ruled Sanchez safe, and Kevin Pillar and Lake scored, but the call was quickly overturned.
"That would've been a two-run play if the runner was safe," Weiss said. "Anderson kind of got in no-man's land chasing the ball and then tried to get back to the base and ended up in the middle of the bag and had a collision. But it was a big out at the time."
The Great Lake: Lake got a rare start in right field on Wednesday afternoon, and the reserve outfielder made the most of his opportunity. With runners on first and second in the second inning, Lake hit an RBI double to right field as the Blue Jays took an early 1-0 lead. It was Lake's third hit in seven at-bats since he was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo late last week.
Too little, too late: The Rockies brought only two batters over the minimum to the plate from the fifth through the eighth innings, but their offense reignited in the final frame against Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna. Reynolds and Descalso hit back-to-back RBI doubles, but Cristhian Adames struck out with the bases loaded to end the game.
"We had a couple opportunities to score runs," Adames said. "We didn't swing like we should have. You see how important it becomes. I think we've got a good offensive team, so the next time we should do that."
"Ever since the last day in New York, it hasn't been good. We're competing, we're swinging the bat well. Obviously, our pitchers are competing, just giving up a little too many runs. We've been making great comebacks. We're doing a great job fighting, but it ain't gonna last long, especially when you face a guy like today. He's got a good arm, a good sinker, and it was just tough. It was a disappointing homestand." -- Arenado More >
"I don't know, maybe go get a massage." -- Blue Jays catcher Josh Thole, who reached base three times and has a rare opportunity this week to play in back-to-back games as Russell Martin gets a short break
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Encarnacion has 30 RBIs in June, which is tied for second all time in franchise history for the month with John Olerud and Jose Bautista. Carlos Delgado drove in 34 in 2003.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Rockies challenged a seventh-inning call that Donaldson was safe on Arenado's tag at third base. The umpires overturned the call, ruling that Arenado applied the tag, which took away a potential bases-loaded, one-out situation for the Blue Jays.
Blue Jays: Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (5-8, 4.23 ERA) will take the mound when the Blue Jays open a four-game series against the Indians on Thursday night at Rogers Centre. Dickey allowed four home runs during his last outing against the White Sox, but he still came away with a victory because Toronto scored 10 runs. Cleveland will counter with right-hander Carlos Carrasco, who tossed a four-hit shutout vs. Detroit in his last start.
Rockies:Jorge De La Rosa gets the call against the Dodgers on Friday at 8:10 p.m. MT at Dodger Stadium. He has earned the win in his last four appearances, including three straight starts since being reinstated to the rotation. He has a 2.12 ERA in those three outings compared to an 11.41 ERA in his first six starts.
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Ben Weinrib is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver.
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.