DENVER (AP) — On the mound, at the plate and in the field, everything is working for the Colorado Rockies right now.
Antonio Senzatela pitched six effective innings, Nolan Arenado homered and Colorado beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-1 on Sunday for its eighth straight win.
Playing without Charlie Blackmon due to a strained right calf, the Rockies swept their weekend set against the struggling Blue Jays to close out a 9-1 homestand, matching their best record in a 10-game run at home. They also went 9-1 from Sept. 1-10, 2009.
“Collectively, we talk about offense, pitching and defense. We did them all this homestand,” manager Bud Black said.
Arenado also singled while extending his hitting streak to 13 games, and Raimel Tapia increased his hit streak to 12 games. Chris Iannetta went deep and David Dahl added an RBI double as the Rockies continued their best stretch after a rough start early on that included an eight-game losing streak.
“Everyone is having good at-bats,” Arenado said. “One of our best players is out and we’re still finding ways to win. We feel like we’re a good team. We dug ourselves a hole in the beginning and we’re trying to find our way out of it right now and I feel like we’re doing a good job of that.”
Toronto completed a winless six-game trip. It was the sixth time in team history that the Blue Jays failed to win in a road stretch of six or more games and the first since 2009, when they went 0-9 during a road swing in May.
Justin Smoak drove in a run with a fielder’s choice in the first, but that was it for Toronto.
Senzatela (4-4) allowed four hits, struck out four and walked three. Chad Bettis, Mike Dunn, Jairo Díaz and Bryan Shaw worked the final three innings. Shaw struck out the side in the ninth.
Toronto right-hander Aaron Sanchez (3-6) dropped his fifth straight decision, a career high. He allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings, but kept the Blue Jays in the game in hitter-friendly Coors Field.
“He was outstanding. He gave us a chance,” manager Charlie Montoyo said. “Couple of mistakes but the ball flies here. But he was good and he’s healthy, that’s good for us. Hopefully he’ll be good again his next outing.”
Despite the rough stretch the Blue Jays are going through, Sanchez said it’s important to stay upbeat over the course of a long season.
“Even good teams go through patches where things aren’t going very well so you just got to come to the ballpark and keep (being) upbeat and have positive vibes through the clubhouse and try to win games every night,” Sanchez said.
Arenado worked the count full before driving a pitch from Justin Shafer into the left-field bleachers in the seventh for his 16th homer.
Rockies: RHP Wade Davis threw a second bullpen session in the latest step toward a return from a left oblique strain. He went on the 10-day injured list May 22. … Blackmon did some conditioning work and baseball activities on the field prior to the game. Though he is making progress, he is not expected to be ready to come off the IL when he’s eligible for reinstatement Tuesday, Black said.
Infielder/outfielder Garrett Hampson was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque and started in center field. Hampson made the team out of spring training but was optioned in mid-May after getting off to a slow start offensively. Right-hander Jesus Tinoco was optioned to Albuquerque to make room for Hampson.
Blue Jays: After an off day, LHP Clayton Richard (0-1, 3.38 ERA) takes the mound for his third start of the season in a series opener against the New York Yankees.
Rockies: Following an off day, the Rockies open a six-game trip Tuesday night at the Chicago Cubs. Jeff Hoffman (1-1, 7.20 ERA) is slated to start the series opener.