Blue Jays follow Tulo's lead in rout of Phillies
TORONTO -- Troy Tulowitzki made the most of his Blue Jays debut Wednesday, cracking a homer while collecting a pair of doubles in an 8-2 win over the Phillies at Rogers Centre. The Blue Jays' newest star collected three hits with three RBIs and three runs scored as Toronto split the two-game set.
Making his first career start in a leadoff role, Tulowitzki, acquired in a trade with the Rockies on Tuesday, made his presence felt in the third, when he went deep with a two-run shot off Philly starter Jerome Williams to spot the Blue Jays an early 2-0 lead. He was at it again in the fifth, when he laced a leadoff double to left field before Jose Bautista cashed him in with a one-out single. Tulowitzki hit an RBI double off the wall in his next at-bat as part of a three-run sixth, and he finished 3-for-5.
While the Blue Jays piled up runs, veteran knuckleballer R.A. Dickey took care of business on the mound, earning the win. Dickey tossed eight innings while allowing seven hits and two runs. None of them were earned.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Tulo's towering shot: Tulowitzki's homer traveled 435 feet from home plate, with an exit velocity of 109.6 mph, according to Statcast™. It was his second-longest homer this year, per Statcast™, the longest going a projected 443 feet off of the Rangers' Nick Martinez on July 20. It was Tulo's third career hit at Rogers Centre, and all three of them have been homers.
"Some guys do things with style, and it couldn't have gone any better, really," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "... Some guys have that knack." More >
Williams warms up Tulo: Williams helped Tulowitzki get acclimated to his new team. He threw him an 0-2 fastball over the heart of the plate for the two-run homer in the third before allowing two more runs in the fifth, which included a double to Tulowitzki. Williams lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing 10 hits and four runs and striking out one as he dropped to 3-8 with a 6.36 ERA.
"My job is to get the guy out. In the first at-bat, I got him out [with a strikeout]. In the second at-bat, he got me," Williams said.
Dickey delivers: The 40-year-old right-hander turned in his second start in a row of at least eight innings while recording his fourth straight quality start and 12th of the season. Dickey has given up no more than two earned runs in four straight starts, and only five total in that span. His record improved to 5-10 as he recorded back-to-back wins for the first time this season.
"I've been able to consistently execute a mechanic that produces a good knuckleball, that's what it always comes down to," he said.
Bautista, Martin extend lead in 5th: Jose Bautista singled to score Tulowitzki before Russell Martin cashed in Bautista with a double of his own to make it 4-0.
That was enough to drive Williams from the game in favour of reliever Justin De Fratus.
"The ovation of the crowd that first at-bat was obviously special. I told someone earlier it made my at-bat that much harder." -- Tulowitzki, on his first plate appearance as a Blue Jay
"It was a strange week, but you can't really think about the highs with Cole [Hamels] throwing the no-hitter and [Aaron] Nola pitching well Sunday. You had the lows with Pap [Jonathan Papelbon] and everything being traded. You can't really worry about that. All you can do is play baseball." -- Williams, reflecting on the team's 4-1 road trip
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Tulowitzki became the second player in franchise history to register three hits in his Blue Jays debut. The other was catcher J.P. Arencibia on Aug. 7, 2010.
• Gibbons successfully had an out call at second base overturned in the third inning. As Josh Donaldson slid into second to break up a double play, Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis dropped the transfer but initially still got the call. That prompted Gibbons to ask the for the review, which after 35 seconds went the Blue Jays' way.
• The Phillies challenged a play at first base in the seventh inning, when it looked like Domonic Brown grounded into a double play. The Phillies thought Brown beat the throw, and the call was indeed overturned.
Brown went on to score on an error later in the inning.
Phillies: The Phillies return to Citizens Bank Park to open a four-game series Thursday night at 7:05 ET against the Braves. Right-hander Aaron Harang skipped his scheduled rehab start Wednesday night with Triple-A Lehigh Valley to make the start and provide rotation help. Harang has not pitched since July 1 because of left foot plantar fasciitis. Cole Hamels had been scheduled to pitch Thursday, but the Phillies bumped him to avoid an injury before he was reportedly traded to the Rangers on Wednesday night.
Blue Jays: Marco Estrada takes the mound as the Blue Jays begin a four-game series against the Royals at Rogers Centre on Thursday at 7:07 p.m. ET. Estrada (7-6, 3.55 ERA) is looking for a bounce-back start after he was hit around for five earned runs against the Mariners his last time out, the first time he's allowed more than two since June 14.
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