It was a high-five night in the Mile High City for the Blue Jays.
Mind you, the fact the Jays needed to produce five runs so late in the night when facing a one-run deficit does not inspire much confidence given Toronto’s opponent in the sad-sack Colorado Rockies.
But this is September baseball and aesthetics mean nothing when all that matters is posting wins, a feat Toronto accomplished following their 13-9 victory.
To make the night even better were losses to the two Texas-based teams in the Rangers and Astros, who are jockeying with the Blue Jays for a wild-card spot.
The night began with the Jays 2.5 games in arrears of the Rangers for the third slot.
The number was reduced by one full game.
Once the Rockies scored, the Jays quickly responded when Brandon Belt, who historically has feasted on Colorado pitching, went deep for his 16th home run of the season.
Toronto tied the game when Ernie Clement stroked his first long ball with the Blue Jays.
Then came a two-run belt from Danny Jansen, his 17th of the season on a typical Jansen blow he pulled to left field.
Colorado would retake the lead before the Jays blew it open with their seventh-inning exploits, sparked by a clutch Alejandro Kirk hit in the unexpected role as a pinch-hitter.
Hyun Jin Ryu was denied a few calls, by there was no denying the home run he yielded to Elehuris Montero in the home half of the third inning.
It was one of four hits Ryu surrendered during his five-inning outing.
The bottom line is that Ryu gave the Jays what they needed before Toronto turned to its bullpen.
Yimi Garcia started the sixth inning, but left with two outs and runners at first and second when Genesis Cabrera was summoned.
Cabrera promptly served up a three-run home run to Nolan Jones as the Rockies regained the lead.
The Jays quickly responded in the top half of the seventh inning, which began on a Kevin Kiermaier single.
George Springer would follow with his own single.
Enter Davis Schneider, who made amends for a physical mistake by sending a ball deep into centre field to score Kiermaier as the game was tied.
The game ended with Chad Green making his debut with the Blue Jays.
The righty reliever was added Friday when rosters expanded.
Like Ryu, Green is returning back from Tommy John surgery.
Green pitched in the lowest of leverage, but he was able to get his feet wet in a 13-5 game.
Green yielded a triple, single and double to the first three batters he faced before an out was recorded.
He couldn’t complete the ninth after Green gave up four runs on five hits.
The Jays had to summon Jordan Romano to record the final out in a non-save situation.
It seems Jansen can’t catch a break.
He started behind the plate and then delivered a key blow at the plate.
Jansen then took a foul tip off his throwing hand.
With the bases loaded in the seventh and Jansen scheduled to take his turn at-bat, the Jays used Kirk as a pinch hitter.
Kirk came through with a bases-clearing double in one of the season’s strangest turn of events.
On one hand, the Jays were left to lament the loss of Jansen.
On the other hand, the Jays were left to celebrate Kirk’s clutch hitting.
Jansen’s hand has been battered and bruised.
No immediate word was available whether Jansen would be available Saturday.
FLEXEN HIS MUSCLES
Rockies starter Chris Flexen made quick work of the Jays in Toronto’s first at-bats.
After inducing Springer to groundout, Flexen retired Schneider on a first-pitch pop out in foul territory.
The inning ended on a long out to left field by Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Six pitches were required to record three outs.
Schneider has hit in the bottom, middle and top of the order.
Friday night he was in the No. 2 hole and at third base.
The second inning ended for the Rockies when Schneider went to his left to secure the ball before throwing over to first.
Then came a back-handed play Schneider made before he unloaded with a rocket of a throw to Vlad Jr., who recorded the inning’s first out when he slid to the bag after he fielded a grounder.
Schneider did commit an error in the sixth inning on a routine throw to first that would cost the Jays a run.
Bo Bichette won’t be back in the lineup at any point during the Jays’ current six-game road trip.
Once the Jays do return home, Bichette is expected to be back at shortstop and reinserted into the No. 2 hole in the lineup.
Bichette is with the team, as is Matt Chapman (finger), and was seen fielding ground balls, hitting and running in the hours leading up to first pitch.
Chapman was shagging fly balls in the outfield.
Bo’s dad, Dante Bichette, spent seven seasons with the Rockies.
His lowest homer total in Colorado was 22, while his high-water mark was 40 set in 1995, a career-year for Dante Bichette when he drove in 128 runs.
Alek Manoah hasn’t pitched off a mound and there’s no telling when he will, according to Blue Jays manager John Schneider.
In other words, there’s no timeline, the skipper told reporters during his pre-game availability, when the big fella will pitch in a Triple-A game.
For the second time this season, Manoah is not in the show.
He can be seen hawking fried chicken during TV commercial breaks.
On Aug. 11, the Jays optioned Manoah to Buffalo.
He stayed in Toronto amid much speculation and confusion.
After undergoing a wide range of medical tests, Manoah reported to the minors when the Bisons were in Syracuse on Aug. 24.