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Varsho hits 2nd career slam, Rodríguez fans six in debut as Blue Jays beat Rockies 5-3

TORONTO (AP) — Daulton Varsho hit his second career grand slam, Yariel Rodríguez struck out six over 3 2/3 innings in his major league debut and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Colorado Rockies 5-3 on Saturday.

Rodríguez allowed one run, four hits and two walks. The right-hander signed a five-year deal with Toronto in the offseason after pitching in Japan in 2022.

Rodríguez was promoted from Triple-A Buffalo before the game. He started in place of right-hander Bowden Francis (1-2), who came on in relief of his new teammate and allowed two runs and three hits in 2 1/3 innings.

Tim Mayza and Chad Green each pitched one inning and Yimi Garcia struck out the side in the ninth for his first save.

Colorado beat Toronto 12-4 on Friday night but the Rockies have not won consecutive road games since back-to-back wins at Miami in July 2023.

After three of the first four batters reached safely against Rockies right-hander Dakota Hudson (0-3) in the bottom of the first, Toronto’s Davis Schneider opened the scoring with a bases-loaded walk.

Varsho followed with his homer into the right-field bullpen, his second home run of the season.

Hudson allowed five runs and five hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out five.

Brenton Doyle hit a solo home run for Colorado, his third, and Brendan Rodgers had a two-run single in the sixth.

Rockies outfielder Kris Bryant left after his at-bat in the top of the fourth inning because of a stiff back. Bryant crashed into the outfield wall making a catch on Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s deep drive in the first. He doubled in the second and struck out in the fourth. Michael Toglia took over defensively in the bottom half.

Guerrero hit a two-out single in the seventh but was thrown out trying to advance to third on Bo Bichette’s single to right.

The Blue Jays optioned right-hander Paolo Espino to Buffalo to open a roster spot for Rodriguez.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: RHP Alek Manoah (shoulder) allowed four runs and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings in a rehab start at Triple-A Buffalo. Manoah walked one and struck out four. … In the same game, RHP Erik Swanson (forearm) allowed one run and two hits in 2/3 of an inning, striking out one, while RHP Jordan Romano (elbow) got two outs. Romano walked two and struck out one. … C Danny Jansen (right wrist) caught for the Bisons and went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays RHP José Berríos (2-0, 1.45 ERA) looks to continue his unbeaten start to the season in Sunday’s series finale. LHP Kyle Freeland (0-2, 16.03) is scheduled for Colorado.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

Ian Harrison, The Associated Press