DENVER — Jordan Lyles couldn’t locate his fastball. He had no trouble picking up heaters from Felipe Paulino or Daniel Webb, though.
Relying on sinkers and sliders, Lyles pitched effectively into the seventh inning in his Coors Field debut for the Rockies. He also added a career-best three hits and drove in two runs during Colorado’s 8-1 win over the Chicago White Sox in interleague baseball Monday night.
“It was the Brandon Lyles show tonight,” Colorado manager Walt Weiss said.
“At one point their pitcher is outhitting us,” Chicago manager Robin Ventura lamented. “That’s never a good sign. We need to be a lot better than that.”
Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez each homered and made a spectacular defensive play for the Rockies, who beat the White Sox for the second time in six tries in Denver.
Lyles (2-0) was headed for Triple-A when Tyler Chatwood pulled a hamstring running the bases in his last start of spring training.
Not only did Lyles show resiliency when he didn’t have his best stuff Monday, but he flashed athleticism in the field, prowess at the plate and modesty afterward.
“Somehow the ball found the bat and the bat hit the ball and guys weren’t there,” he said.
Lyles added a nifty play in the field when he charged Paulino’s bunt and spun around to throw a strike to Tulowitzki, starting an inning-ending double play in the third.
Lyles scattered five hits, walked two and struck out four in 6 2/3 innings. He left after giving up Alexei Ramirez’s RBI double and then walking Tyler Flowers in the seventh. Right-hander Adam Ottavino came in and struck out Dayan Viciedo.
Lyles usually relies on a two-seam fastball with good movement. But on this night, he had to rely more on his breaking pitches and changeups.