Colabello keeps up tear, beats former team
MINNEAPOLIS -- Chris Colabello couldn't have written a better script as he homered in the top of the ninth inning to lead the Blue Jays to a 6-4 victory over his former Twins team on Friday night.
Colabello had been eagerly awaiting his return to Minnesota for the past week. It's the organization that pulled him out of Independant baseball and a city where he spent two years of his life prior to getting claimed off waivers by Toronto during the offseason.
Revenge wasn't on his mind, but coming through for his new team while playing in a familiar environment certainly was. That moment arrived when Colabello hit a two-run shot off Twins closer Glen Perkins to break a 4-4 tie and secure Toronto's fourth win in five games.
"Just try and go out and help the team win every day," Colabello said. "Swear to god. Just trying to compete, get good swings on balls. That's how I want to feel every day. I want to just feel that. I don't want to feel forcing for hits, I don't want to feel reaching for stuff.
"I want to help this team win baseball games, from the bottom of my heart. I've tried the other way where you're reeling for stuff, trying to figure out, 'They caught that one, how do I get them to not catch it.' ... I just want to help the baseball team win every day. That's a good feeling. That's a great feeling. To want to just come here and help these 24 other guys in the clubhouse."
Colabello has done that and a whole lot more since being promoted from Triple-A Buffalo on May 5. His ninth-inning homer extended his hitting streak to nine games and over that span he is batting .400 (14-for-35) with three homers, three doubles and six RBIs.
The 31-year-old has at least one hit in all but five of his 23 games this season. He entered play on Friday with a .386 average and .440 on-base percentage. To say Colabello has exceeded expectations would be a drastic understatement, but the Blue Jays intend on riding this wave for as long as they possibly can.
"He just keeps hitting and hitting and hitting," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He's hitting the good pitching. You figure he has to cool off, but he hasn't really. And some clutch hits. He plays it the right way and he is playing all outfield and he has done a solid job out there. A couple of things backfired on him, but overall he has done a nice job out there, especially for a guy that isn't normally an outfielder.
"But I will say this, he's a winner, man. He plays to win. When we were here last year, he wore us out when he was on the other side, so we knew he could hit."