DENVER - Facing the best starter in the game the Blue Jays swung from the heels and drove the ball through the rain drops.
The Jays tagged Colorado Rockies right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez for the most runs he has allowed in 13 starts this season on Friday night.
They also worked Jimenez for the most walks he has allowed in 2010 ... in a game in which he allowed a base hit.
It was a night not fit for man, nor beast.
Nor the Blue Jays, nor Ricky Romero.
Jimenez threw the first pitch after a one hour, 45-minute rain delay in a driving rain in 58-degree temperatures.
“I could feel the drops of rain coming down on my head in the first inning,” Romero said.
And then it got nasty on a day that featured a hail storm, wind and tornado warnings outside the city as conditions were almost as bad as Tampa Bay-Philadephia in Game 5 of the 2008 World Series.
The Rockies scored three of the five innings Romero pitched on the way to a 5-3 win before 31,101 fans at Coors Field.
Play was halted after the final out of the sixth by crew chief Tim McClelland. After 40 minutes the game was called.
Jimenez, now 12-1, allowed a two-run homer to Aaron Hill, a run-scoring triple to Lyle Overbay and walked five (two intentional).
His earned run average “climbed” from 0.93 to 1.16. Earlier Jimenez no-hit the Atlanta Braves in a game in which he walked six.
“It’s unfortunate we had to start in conditions like that,” said manager Cito Gaston. “They said the forecast was worse for Saturday. Philadelphia already has to made a trip back here for one game. We wanted to get one game in at least.
“It was a heavy rain when we started but they said we had a small window, then it would rain heavy later on ... which is what it did. They were taking a chance with their with best guy on the mound in those conditions.”
Coors Field is a tough place to throw a breaking ball and while it was his first time in Denver’s high altitude, that was the bottom line with Romero.
“We didn’t throw many breaking balls, but the ones we did were up,” Romero said. “The change was the same, My change usually breaks down. I pitched in Boston last year when it rained the whole game. At the end of the day, you don’t want to use excuses,”
Carlos Gonzalez hit his ninth homer with one out in the fifth to break a 3-3 tie.
Wells doubled off Jimenez in the sixth and two intentional walks loaded the bases to bring up Romero’s spot in the order.
“I had to pinch hit for him, down a run, bases loaded in the sixth?” Gaston said. “I pinch hit for him there if it’s not raining. It’s National League rules.”
So, Romero made his exit after 70 pitches in favor of pinch hitter Jeremy Reed, who lined out to short.
“I understand where the manager is coming from, but 70 pitches?” Romero said. “As a starter we take a lot of pride in innings. That’s the way inter-league play is.”
Pinch hitter Seth Smith hit a scoring fly ball in the sixth off lefty reliever Brian Tallet, who took over from reliever Jason Frasor with two runners aboard.
Romero allowed a two-out double to Ryan Spilborghs, who was chased home on Miguel Olivo’s single. Hill followed a Fred Lewis walk with a homer, his ninth of the season, for a 3-2 lead in the third.
Romero got two quick outs in the second and allowed a solo homer to Spilborghs an Olivo single and a run-scoring double to Clint Barnmes in the bottom of the second
The Jays scored the first run of the game in the second as Wells, walked stole second and scored on an Overybay triple to left-centre field.