DENVER (AP) — Brenton Doyle hit a three-run triple in a four-run fifth inning, Charlie Blackmon had three hits and three RBIs on his bobblehead night, and the Colorado Rockies beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-7 on Saturday.
Doyle’s two-out triple gave the Rockies a 7-5 lead and Blackmon followed with an RBI single as the Rockies broke a four-game losing streak and won for just the second time in their last 12 games.
“They were throwing me a lot ot off-speed and I got a good fastball up in the zone, and that’s where I was hunting,” said Doyle, who struck out with the bases loaded in the second inning. “I knew I couldn’t let that happen again.”
Kevin Kiermaier homered and Whit Merrifield and Santiago Espinal had two hits apiece for the Blue Jays, who remained 1 1/2 games behind Texas for the third AL wild card. Toronto had won four of six.
Toronto, which led 5-0 in the second inning, rallied in the ninth. George Springer walked to open the inning and Davis Schneider tripled off Justin Lawrence as the Jays closed to 8-6. Lawrence got Vladimir Guerrero Jr. on a short fly out and struck out Merrifield before Schneider scored on a wild pitch.
“He wants to do something in big spots, I think, when you get a couple of regulars out of the lineup,” Toronto manager John Schneider said of Guerrero’s at-bat. “It still comes down to swinging at the right pitch.”
Alejandro Kirk and Cavan Biggio walked and Daulton Varsho was hit on a 1-1 pitch to load the bases. Tyler Kinley replaced Lawrence and struck out pinch-hitter Spencer Horwitz for his first save in two chances.
“The thing about Tyler, I knew his heartbeat would be in the right place,” Colorado manager Bud Black said. “He threw some really good sliders.”
The Blue Jays scored four runs on six hits in the first inning, and Kiermaier’s seventh homer leading off the second made it 5-0 against Colorado left-hander Ty Blach (2-1), who gave up only two singles after that homer and pitched six innings. Two of the first-inning hits did not get out of the infield.
“When I was younger, it probably would have affected me a little bit differently,” Blach said. “I probably would have been more frustrated. Just trying to keep the team in the game as long as I could, and they did a great job coming back.”
Colorado chipped away with four unearned runs off Blue Jays’ starter Yusei Kikuchi (3-5), two in the second inning and two in the fourth following a pair of errors by shortstop Ernie Clement. Clement is filling in for starter Bo Bichette, who is on the injured list.
Springer doubled to open the game and the Blue Jays followed with five consecutive two-out singles. Espinal capped the rally with a two-run single, but the inning ended when Varsho was thrown out attempting to go from first to third.
Clement committed a fielding error on Nolan Jones’ grounder leading off the second inning, and Blackmon’s a two-out, two-run single made it 5-2. Ezequiel Tovar hit a two-out, two-run double in the fourth after Clement’s throwing error on Sean Bouchard’s leadoff grounder as the Rockies closed to 5-4.
Kikuchi walked Brendan Rodgers and Bouchard with two outs in the fifth and was replaced by Yimi Garcia, who walked Elehuris Montero to load the bases. Doyle tripled high off the out-of-town scoreboard in right field to give the Rockies their first lead.
Colorado distributed Blackmon bobbleheads Saturday, and it may not be the last time. Blackmon is in the final year of a six-year, $108 million contract, but he said, “I’m not ready to retire right this second. I’m open to 2024 and beyond.”
Blackmon entered the game hitting .285 with seven homers and 32 RBIs in a season interrupted by a fractured right hand that has limited him to 73 games. He has spent the entirety of his 13-year career with the Rockies, and and staying put would mean a lot.
ACCORDING TO DOYLE
Colorado center fielder Doyle’s throw to the plate on Guerrero’s fly out with Davis Schneider on third base in the ninth inning was clocked at 105.7 mph, the fastest in the Statcast era (since 2015). Schneider did not attempt to score.
“That was probably the best throw I made all year,” Doyle told teammates. “Too bad the guy didn’t run. I had good momentum toward the plate and a perfect four-seam grip.”
Ronald Acuna’s homer in Los Angeles on Saturday was clocked at 121.2 mph. Giancarlo Stanton has the Statcast record 121.7.
“Two completely different sides of the game,” Doyle said.
Doyle threw out Daulton Varsho trying to go from first to third in the first inning with a throw clocked at 100.9 mph, tied for the fastest outfield assist of the year.
Blue Jays: SS Bichette (right quad strain) increased the volume of his running, took ground balls and hit in the cage before the game. … 3B Matt Chapman (sprained finger) has not begun baseball activity. “They’re doing well,” manager John Schneider said.
Rockies: RHP Chase Anderson (shoulder) will be activated from the IL to start Sunday, manager Bud Black said. A corresponding move will be announced Sunday. …
Toronto RHP Kevin Gausman (10-8, 3.30 ERA) is scheduled to face Colorado RHP Anderson (0-4, 6.08) in the series finale.