Jordan Lyles leads Rockies past White Sox 8-1
DENVER (AP) Jordan Lyles couldn’t locate his fastball. He had no trouble picking up heaters from Felipe Paulino or Daniel Webb, though.
Relying on sinkers and sliders, Lyles pitched effectively into the seventh inning in his Coors Field debut for the Rockies. He also added a career-best three hits and drove in two runs during Colorado’s 8-1 win over the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.
”It was the Brandon Lyles show tonight,” Colorado manager Walt Weiss said.
Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez each homered and made a spectacular defensive play for the Rockies, who beat the White Sox for the second time in six tries in Denver.
Lyles (2-0) was headed for Triple-A when Tyler Chatwood pulled a hamstring running the bases in his last start of spring training.
Not only did Lyles show resiliency when he didn’t have his best stuff Monday, but he flashed athleticism in the field, prowess at the plate and modesty afterward.
”Somehow the ball found the bat and the bat hit the ball and guys weren’t there,” he said.
Lyles added a nifty play in the field when he charged Paulino’s bunt and spun around to throw a strike to Tulowitzki, starting an inning-ending double play in the third.
Lyles scattered five hits, walked two and struck out four in 6 2-3 innings. He left after giving up Alexei Ramirez’s RBI double and then walking Tyler Flowers in the seventh. Right-hander Adam Ottavino came in and struck out Dayan Viciedo.
Lyles usually relies on a two-seam fastball with good movement. But on this night, he had to rely more on his breaking pitches and changeups.
”Actually, fastball location wasn’t there tonight for the most part,” Lyles said. ”I really wanted to spin it and for the most part, it was pretty good.”
Lyles joined the Rockies from Houston in a trade for Dexter Fowler last winter. While with the Astros, he made just one appearance at Coors Field, receiving a five-inning no-decision on May 28, 2012, when he had a single in two at-bats and scored a run.
The last Colorado pitcher to go 3 for 3 was lefty Brian Bohanon against the Dodgers on July 20, 2001.
Paulino (0-1) allowed six earned runs on nine hits and four walks in 4 1-3 innings in his return to Coors Field, where he pitched for the Rockies in 2011 before being plagued by arm troubles the last two years.
”They got me today,” Paulino said. ”Even the pitcher.”
Tulowitzki led off the sixth with his first homer of the season, one that barely cleared the wall.
”I knew it had a chance, but I wasn’t sure,” he said.
Gonzalez’s homer, his third of the year, was a line-drive shot to right in the first inning.
”I’ve been on deck for a lot of his home runs, obviously, and that one got out quicker than any one that I’ve ever seen,” Tulowitzki said.
Lyles helped his own cause with a double into left-center an inning later that scored D.J. LeMahieu from first base for a 2-0 lead.
The Rockies loaded the bases in the third, when Wilin Rosario bounced an infield single off Paulino to make it 3-0, and in the fifth, when LeMahieu’s single just over the glove of second baseman Marcus Semien made it 4-0 and chased Paulino.
Lyles, who singled leading off the fourth, greeted Webb with a line-drive RBI single up the middle to make it 5-0, and Charlie Blackmon followed with a sacrifice fly.
”At one point their pitcher is outhitting us,” Chicago manager Robin Ventura lamented. ”That’s never a good sign. We need to be a lot better than that.”
NOTES: This marked Chicago’s first night game of the season. … Before the game, the Rockies activated LHP Boone Logan from the 15-day DL and optioned OF Corey Dickerson to Triple-A Colorado Springs.
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