Official thread Blue Jays vs Rockies 20/05/06


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
Didn't get a chance to watch the game so here's a recap from

DENVER -- Coors Field can be a cruel place for a struggling starter. The thin air of Colorado doesn't do much in the way of preventing home runs -- an issue Toronto's Josh Towers has battled with all season.
Towers entered Friday's game against the Rockies fresh off his first win of the season and hoping to build on that success. Instead, he gave up two costly long balls that sent the Blue Jays to an 8-3 loss in their first Interleague game of the year.

"Those balls were hit good. Those balls are going out anywhere," said Toronto manager John Gibbons, who wasn't about to blame the lighter atmosphere on the Jays' loss.

It was hard to ignore the effect the pair of homers had on the end result against the Rockies, though. The second shot came a few minutes after Toronto dug itself out of an early hole and appeared on the verge of breaking through against Colorado.

In the fifth inning, Todd Helton belted a misplaced slider from Towers into the bullpen in right field for a two-run home run. That put Colorado ahead, 5-2, and proved to be the decisive blow in a game riddled with lost chances for Toronto.

A half-inning earlier, it was Towers who sliced a pitch into right field -- the first hit by a Blue Jays pitcher since June 21, 2003 -- and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Vernon Wells. One batter later, Troy Glaus doubled home Reed Johnson to cut the Rockies' lead to 3-2.

That chain of events was rendered meaningless after Helton's shot.

"It would've been nice if I didn't give up that two-run homer right after [getting a hit] and kept us in the game," Towers said. "Then it would've been worth something. We would've had a shot at winning."

Gibbons was equally as frustrated.

"It was just too much to overcome," he said. "It always hurts when you climb right back in the game and you give it up. That makes it difficult. That's when you need that shut down inning. But we didn't get it."

Complete coverage >In the first inning, Colorado's Garrett Atkins sent an 0-1 offering from Towers deep to left field for a 421-foot solo shot that gave the Rockies an early 1-0 lead. That blast also came on a slider -- a pitch Towers was unable to control consistently throughout the game.

"I got beat on a couple sliders. That was the pitch they really got me on today," Towers said. "I made a better pitch to Atkins, but when you hit a ball that far it's not a good pitch, obviously."

The two home runs provided more than enough damage to take out the Blue Jays (23-18), who have suffered from Towers' struggles this year. The pair of homers were the 11th and 12th that the right-hander has given up this season and it marked the seventh consecutive outing that Towers has allowed at least one shot. In fact, 20 of the last 33 runs that Towers has allowed have come via home run.

Towers (1-8) left the game after five innings -- the fifth time he's been unable to pitch beyond that frame. He gave up eight hits and struck out two in the loss to Colorado (23-19). He also gave up a two-out, two-run double to Clint Barmes in the fourth inning.

"I don't see it as a setback," said Towers, who has a 8.52 ERA. "When I located pitches, they didn't do anything with it. I saw that. I got beat on a couple sliders that spun."

The bullpen didn't fair much better for the Jays. In the sixth inning, Francisco Rosario gave up a solo home run to Colorado's Jamey Carroll, who hadn't homered in his previous 663 at-bats. Then in the seventh, Shaun Marcum gave up two more runs on a bases-loaded double to center field by Barmes.

Toronto didn't have much success against Colorado starter Aaron Cook (5-3), who allowed seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. After Cook exited the game, the Rockies' bullpen gave up just one run -- an RBI bunt single by Reed Johnson in the eighth inning.

Toronto, which equaled Colorado's 12 hits, stranded 12 baserunners in the game and didn't capitalize on three bases-loaded opportunities.

"What'd we have, bases loaded three times? And nothing to show for it," Gibbons said. "We had our chances, but they just outplayed us. Nothing more than that.

"They pitched good -- plain and simple. We just didn't pitch good enough."