Smashing debut: Tulo homers, hits two doubles in first game with Jays
Troy Tulowitzki turned in a Toronto debut to remember.
He homered and had three hits in his first game with the Blue Jays as Toronto trounced the Philadelphia Phillies 8-2 on Wednesday night.
"It couldn’t have gone any better, really," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.
Tulowitzki, a five-time All-Star who was acquired Tuesday in a trade with the Colorado Rockies, went 3 for 5 with two doubles and three RBIs. He scored three times.
"Tonight is about Tulowitzki," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "What a great first impression."
Tulowitzki is the second player in Blue Jays history to have three extra-base hits in his first game. Catcher J.P. Arenciba did it in his major league debut in 2010.
R.A. Dickey (5-10) allowed two runs, none earned, and seven hits in eight innings to win consecutive starts for the first time this season.
"If he’s got his knuckleball working, nobody hits him," Mackanin said. "Tonight he had a good one."
The Blue Jays snapped Philadelphia’s winning streak at five games and handed the Phillies just their second loss in 11 games since the All-Star break. Toronto has won nine of the past 10 meetings with Philadelphia.
Tulowitzki was cheered when he came out for pregame stretching and got a standing ovation before his first at-bat, stepping out briefly to let the noise subside.
"The ovation from the crowd that first at-bat was obviously special," Tulowitzki said. "I think it made my at-bat that much harder."
After working the count to 2-2, he struck out swinging on a breaking ball.
Starting in the leadoff spot for the first time in his career, Tulowitzki connected for a two-run home run off Jerome Williams in the third inning. The second-deck blast, Tulowitzki’s 13th, came on an 0-2 pitch and snapped an 0-for-21 slump.
"That was huge for me to get that under my belt," he said. "I relaxed after that and took better swings."
It was the ninth time in his career that Tulowitzki has homered on an 0-2 pitch.
Tulowitzki doubled and scored in the fifth, then hit an RBI double in the sixth before coming home on Chris Colabello’s sacrifice fly.
Of Tulowitzki’s five career hits at Rogers Centre, three have been home runs.
The two-time Gold Glove winner showed off his defense, making a strong throw from the hole to retire Andres Blanco at second base in the third inning.
"On both sides of the ball he looked really good," Gibbons said. "But he is really good."
Williams (3-8) allowed four runs and matched a season-high by giving up 10 hits in 4 2-3 innings. He’s 0-6 with an 8.02 ERA in nine road starts.
"He threw too many hittable pitches," Mackanin said. "He was OK, he just wasn’t sharp."
Toronto designated LHP Felix Doubront for assignment to clear a roster spot for Tulowitzki. Doubront was 1-1 with a 4.76 ERA in five games.
The Blue Jays have homered in 11 straight games since the All-Star break, their longest stretch of the season.
Blue Jays: 1B Edwin Encarnacion (left middle finger) was scratched from the lineup and replaced by Colabello. X-rays were negative. … Jose Bautista (right hamstring) was the DH but is expected to return to the outfield Thursday. … 2B Devon Travis (left shoulder) was held out of the lineup and replaced by Ryan Goins. Travis will be evaluated again Thursday.
Phillies: Philadelphia returns home Thursday to begin a four-game series against Atlanta. RHP Aaron Harang (4-11, 4.08 ERA) faces Braves RHP Shelby Miller (5-7, 2.27 ERA) in the opener. Harang has lost his past eight decisions and is winless since May 14.
Blue Jays: Toronto begins a four-game series against AL-best Kansas City on Thursday. RHP Marco Estrada (7-6, 3.55 ERA) faces LHP Danny Duffy (4-4, 4.03) in the opener. Estrada lost a matchup with Duffy on July 10, allowing two runs in 6 2-3 innings.