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Nolan Jones has home run, RBI double to lead Rockies to 12-4 rout of Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Paolo Espino reacts as Colorado Rockies left fielder Nolan Jones (22) rounds the bases on his solo homer in fifth inning interleague MLB action on Friday April 12, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Paolo Espino reacts as Colorado Rockies left fielder Nolan Jones (22) rounds the bases on his solo homer in fifth inning interleague MLB action on Friday April 12, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
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TORONTO -

Nolan Jones had a home run and an RBI double to lead the Colorado Rockies to a 12-4 rout of the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday.

Ezequiel Tovar also had a solo shot and drove in another run with a sacrifice fly as Colorado's (4-10) offence came alive.

Ryan McMahon, Elias Diaz and Jones drove in one run apiece as the visiting Rockies broke the game open in the third inning. McMahon would have another RBI double, Kris Bryant added a two-run double, while Brendan Rodgers and Brenton Doyle each had an RBI double. Pinch-hitter Jake Cave's sacrifice fly added another run in the ninth.

Ryan Feltner (1-1) allowed two runs on eight hits, striking out four over five innings. Peter Lambert pitched three scoreless innings and Tyler Kinley gave up two runs, one earned, in the ninth.

Daulton Varsho and Isiah Kiner-Falefa both had home runs as Toronto (6-8) lost back-to-back games. Cavan Biggio's RBI single stretched his hit streak to seven games, matching the longest of his career. Davis Schneider scored from third on a throwing error in the ninth.

Kevin Gausman (0-2) struggled in his third outing of the season, coughing up six runs on 10 hits over 3 2/3 innings. Paolo Espino, Genesis Cabrera and Mitch White allowed six more runs in relief.

Toronto got on the board early when Bo Bichette reached first with a two-out base hit in the first inning. He stole second before designated hitter Justin Turner walked.

Biggio stroked a single into centre field to bring home Bichette and move Turner to third for a 1-0 Toronto lead. Biggio also had a seven-game hit streak from Sept. 17-23, 2019. He's gone 9-for-21 (. 429) with two doubles and two RBIs during his current run.

Rodgers answered for the Rockies in the next inning with his double falling between Kevin Kiermaier and George Springer in centre-right field to cash in Diaz.

Varsho led off the bottom of the second with his first home run of the season. He made no mistake on Feltner's 92.5 m.p.h. four-seam fastball - the first pitch Varsho saw in the game - taking it 370 feet to deep right field to give the Blue Jays a 2-1 lead.

The Rockies didn't let up, however, scoring three runs in the third.

McMahon doubled to right field to score Tovar, then scored himself on Diaz's single. Jones brought home Diaz with another double to right for a 4-2 lead.

Bryant continued Colorado's hit parade in the fourth, doubling to deep left field to score Doyle and McMahon for a 6-2 lead.

That hit chased Gausman from the game and raised his earned-run average from 9.53 to 11.57, a concerning start to the season for the ace of Toronto's rotation last year.

Jones hit a no-doubter to lead off the fifth, launching an 89.3 m.p.h. four-seam fastball from Espino 414 feet. The blast had a 112 m.p.h. exit velocity, landing in the standing-room only deck in right field above and behind the visitor's bullpen.

Tovar tacked on another run to lead off the sixth, launching an Espino curveball to deep left, with a fan attempting to catch it but then dropping the ball into the Blue Jays bullpen for an 8-2 Rockies lead.

Doyle kept it rolling for Colorado in the seventh, with his double plating Rogers and advancing Michael Toglia to third. Tovar's sacrifice fly to deep left gave Toglia enough time to run home for a commanding 10-2 lead.

Rodgers led off the ninth with a triple - the first in Rogers Centre this season - when Kiermaier kept his deep fly ball inside the ballpark, but lost control of it as the Blue Jays outfielder hit the wall in centre field, allowing it to bounce down on to the turf. Cave then hit a sac fly to score Rodgers.

Scattered boos rained down from the 29,035 fans at Rogers Centre when McMahon drove in another run with a double to left pushing Doyle across the plate again for a 12-2 Rockies lead.

Kiner-Falefa made up for that, slightly, with his first home run as a Blue Jay to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Schneider followed up with a double, then scampered home after he stole third base and Diaz's throwing error let him score.

ON DECK - Bowden Francis (0-2) will start for the Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon.

Colorado will counter with Dakota Hudson (0-2) in the second game of a three-game set.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 12, 2024.

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