Blue Jays outfielder was 0-for-3 on Sunday afternoon against the Astros, putting his 16-game hitting streak in jeopardy. The Blue Jays afforded him one more opportunity to extend it, and it happened to be in the bottom of the ninth inning with one out. The tying run was on third base in Jose Reyes and the winning run was on second base in Jose Bautista.
Colabello reached out for a 1-2 breaking ball from closer Luke Gregerson, sending it weakly back up the middle for a walk-off two-run single. The 31-year-old has been a diamond in the rough for the Blue Jays, now batting .355/.400/.529 with four home runs and 19 RBI in 129 plate appearances this season.
Colabello’s story is fascinating. He played independent league baseball through age 27 before the Twins signed him to a minor league deal in 2012. In December 2013, he received a $1 million offer to play in South Korea, but turned it down as he didn’t want to give up his dream of playing in the majors.
Sunday’s walk-off win extends the Blue Jays’ winning streak to five games, putting them at 28-30, leaving them just 4.5 games behind the first-place Yankees.
Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Astros have placed closer Luke Gregerson on the family emergency medical list. To take his place on the roster, the Astros promoted Asher Wojciechowski from Triple-A Fresno. Chad Qualls will serve as the Astros’ interim closer.
Gregerson, 30, has converted seven saves in eight opportunities with a 2.57 ERA and an 11/2 K/BB ratio in 14 innings. He signed with the Astros on a three-year, $18.5 million contract as a free agent back in December.
Wojciechowski, 26, allowed 13 runs on 23 hits and seven walks with 16 strikeouts in 16 innings over three starts and one relief appearance.
From MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart comes word that Astros manager A.J. Hinch announced Tuesday in camp that right-hander Luke Gregerson will open the 2015 regular season as the team’s closer.
Gregerson figured to get the job after signing a three-year, $18.5 million free agent contract with Houston in early December and he pitched well enough this spring to fend off any potential competition.
The 30-year-old posted a terrific 2.12 ERA and 1.01 WHIP over 72 1/3 innings last season for the A’s.