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Varsho hits 2nd career slam, Rodriguez fans 6 in debut as Blue Jays beat Rockies 5-3

Sat, Apr 13, 2024
MLB News (AP)

Varsho hits 2nd career slam, Rodriguez fans 6 in debut as Blue Jays beat Rockies 5-3

TORONTO (AP) - Daulton Varsho hit his second career grand slam, Yariel Rodriguez struck out six over 3 2/3 innings in his major league debut and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Colorado Rockies 5-3 on Saturday.

Rodriguez allowed one run, four hits and two walks. The right-hander signed a five-year deal with Toronto in the offseason after pitching in Japan in 2022.

"We really couldn't ask for much more," Blue Jays manager John Schneider said. "He was pretty electric."

Rodriguez was promoted from Triple-A Buffalo before the game. He started in place of right-hander Bowden Francis (1-2), who came on in relief of his new teammate and allowed two runs and three hits in 2 1/3 innings.

Tim Mayza and Chad Green each pitched one inning and Yimi Garcia struck out the side in the ninth for his first save.

"He's got some really, really nasty stuff going right now," Schneider said of Garcia. "That was a nice way to close the door."

Colorado beat Toronto 12-4 on Friday night but the Rockies have not won consecutive road games since back-to-back wins at Miami in July 2023.

Colorado's last winning streak was a five-game run last September 12-16, a run that concluded with a sweep of a doubleheader against San Francisco.

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After three of the first four batters reached safely against Rockies right-hander Dakota Hudson (0-3) in the bottom of the first, Toronto's Davis Schneider opened the scoring with a bases-loaded walk.

Varsho followed with his homer into the right-field bullpen, his second home run of the season.

"They were hunting heaters and I gave them to them in some bad spots," Hudson said.

Hudson allowed five runs and five hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out five.

"There's no doubt he would love to have the first inning back," Black said.

Brenton Doyle hit a solo home run for Colorado, his third, and Brendan Rodgers had a two-run single in the sixth.

Rockies outfielder Kris Bryant left after his at-bat in the top of the fourth inning because of a stiffness in his right ribs and back. Bryant was injured when he crashed into the outfield wall making a catch on Vladimir Guerrero Jr.'s deep drive in the first.

"Don't think it's bad but we'll see how it is overnight," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "Hoping he's back in there tomorrow."

Bryant doubled in the second but still felt sore after striking out in the fourth. Michael Toglia took over defensively in the bottom half.

Rockies catcher Elias Diaz appeared to lose track of the number of outs and didn't score from second base on Elehuris Montero's base hit down the left-field line in the fourth.

"That's unfortunate," Black said of the mental miscue. "You don't see it often in the major leagues."

Guerrero hit a two-out single in the seventh but was thrown out trying to advance to third on Bo Bichette's single to right.

The Blue Jays optioned right-hander Paolo Espino to Buffalo to open a roster spot for Rodriguez.


Blue Jays: RHP Alek Manoah (shoulder) allowed four runs and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings in a rehab start at Triple-A Buffalo. Manoah walked one and struck out four. ... In the same game, RHP Erik Swanson (forearm) allowed one run and two hits in 2/3 of an inning, striking out one, while RHP Jordan Romano (elbow) got two outs. Romano walked two and struck out one. ... C Danny Jansen (right wrist) caught for the Bisons and went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.


Blue Jays RHP Jose Berrios (2-0, 1.45 ERA) looks to continue his unbeaten start to the season in Sunday's series finale. LHP Kyle Freeland (0-2, 16.03) is scheduled for Colorado.



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