Tulowitzki dominates as Blue Jays crush Phillies

Troy Tulowitzki hit a home run and two doubles to make a big impact in his Blue Jays debut, driving in three runs and helping them beat the Phillies 8-2. RA Dickey was strong, picking up his fifth win of 2015.

TORONTO — All it took for Troy Tulowitzki to get comfortable in his new uniform was a home run.

The newly acquired Blue Jays shortstop impressed in his debut, hitting a home run with three runs batted in as Toronto beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-2 on Wednesday night.

Tulowitzki said after the game that he was nervous playing in his first Blue Jays game since being traded from the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday but finding his swing helped calm his nerves.

"I think they were trying to go with a high fastball but didn’t quite get it up there," said Tulowitzki of the 0-2 pitch he crushed in the third inning. "I put a good swing on it. That was huge for me to get it under my belt and I think I relaxed after that and took better swings."

Tulowitzki hit two doubles after the home run and led Toronto’s (51-51) offence, which exploded for a total of 16 hits. Every batter in the Blue Jays’ starting lineup had at least one hit, with five players earning two hits and Tulowitzki getting three.

"Hey, some guys do things with style, y’know?" said manager John Gibbons on Tulowitzki’s debut. "I don’t think it could’ve gone any better, really. He made a nice play defensively early then had two doubles and a homer.

"Some guys have a knack."

Tulowitzki and reliever LaTroy Hawkins were sent to the Blue Jays on Tuesday in a deal with Colorado for shortstop Jose Reyes, reliever Miguel Castro and minor-league pitchers Jeff Hoffman and Jesus Tinoco.

Hawkins pitched in Tuesday night’s 3-2 loss to the Phillies, but Tulowitzki needed a day to resettle his family before arriving in Toronto early Wednesday afternoon.

Although he was obviously pleased with his individual performance, Tulowitzki was happier that Toronto ended a small two-game skid.

"As long as we win, I could care less how I’m playing," said Tulowitzki.

Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (5-10) gave up two runs and struck out four over eight innings to earn the win. Bo Schultz pitched a scoreless inning of relief to close out the game for the Blue Jays.

"Y’know, I’ve seen better," said Dickey with a laugh when asked about Tulowitzki’s debut. "He’s a perennial all-star, so you always know what you’re getting."

Jerome Williams (3-8) gave up 10 hits and four runs over 4 2/3 innings of work for Philadelphia (38-64), which lost for only the second time since the all-star break. Reliever Justin De Fratus allowed four runs in 2 1/3 inning, while Hector Neris had a scoreless inning.

Tulowitzki’s fielding made an immediate impact on the game, throwing out centre-fielder Ben Revere in the night’s first at-bat.

His bat contributed in the third inning, hitting a line drive over the centre-field wall, bringing home Ryan Goins for a 2-0 Blue Jays lead. Fans chanted "TOO-LO! TOO-LO!" and gave him a rousing ovation as he rounded the bases.

Tulowitzki hit a stand-up double in his next at-bat, bouncing the ball off the wall in right-centre field. He advanced to third on a sacrifice fly by Josh Donaldson then scored on Jose Bautista’s single.

Tulowitzki hit his second double of the night and his third RBI in the sixth, driving in Ryan Goins for a 6-0 Blue Jays lead. Toronto then loaded the bases, following a single by Donaldson where he advanced to second on a throw from right field. Baustista followed that with a single of his own.

Chris Colabello then cashed in Tulowitzki with a sacrifice fly to deep left as the Blue Jays ended the sixth inning with a 7-0 lead.

Notes: Announced attendance was 27,060. … First baseman Edwin Encarnacion was scratched from the Blue Jays lineup a little over an hour before the game with a jammed middle finger on his left hand. X-rays came back negative. … Toronto second baseman Devon Travis sat out the game with irritation in his left shoulder.

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