- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - The Colorado Rockies used a four-run rally to take the lead in the top of the ninth, only to fall short when they gave up a two-run homer in the bottom of the inning.

Kris Bryant’s game-ending shot off closer John Axford with two outs lifted the Chicago Cubs to a 9-8 victory Monday - and that wasn’t the Rockies’ most stunning loss of the night.

Troy Tulowitzki was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for Jose Reyes and three pitching prospects in a stunning swap of star shortstops, according to a person with knowledge of the situation.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity early Tuesday because the deal had not yet been announced.

In addition to Tulowitzki, the Rockies sent 42-year-old reliever LaTroy Hawkins to the Blue Jays.

Along with Reyes, the Rockies picked up rookie reliever Miguel Castro and two minor league pitchers in a blockbuster transaction ahead of Friday’s trade deadline.

Tulowitzki was replaced on defense in the bottom of the ninth. After the game, the slugger spent at least 30 minutes in manager Walt Weiss’ office at Wrigley Field, but was unavailable to reporters.

The 30-year-old Tulowitzki is hitting .300 with 12 home runs and 53 RBIs this season for Colorado, which fell 13 games below .500. The face of the franchise, he has spent his entire career with the Rockies (42-55) but has been the subject of trade speculation for some time.

Before the 2011 season, Colorado made a big commitment to Tulowitzki by agreeing to a contract that guaranteed him $132 million over seven seasons from 2014-20. The deal included a $14 million team option for 2021 with a $4 million buyout.

Combined with his previous contract, it meant the Rockies agreed to pay Tulowitzki $157.75 million over 10 years.

Prior to the game Monday, Weiss was asked if he had talked to Tulowitzki about handling distractions before the non-waiver trade deadline.

“I’ve talked to these guys as a group about all the distractions that come with the trade deadline,” Weiss said. “Basically, I told them to control what they can control. There are always distractions at this level during this time period.”

Reyes, a four-time All-Star with the New York Mets, was acquired by Toronto from Miami in November 2012 and has struggled with injuries. In 69 games for the Blue Jays, Reyes is hitting .285 with a .322 on-base percentage. He is signed through 2017 on a six-year, $106 million deal.

While word of the big trade was breaking, the Rockies were recovering from one of their cruelest defeats.

Trailing 7-4, Colorado scored four times in the ninth to move ahead. Jason Motte started the ninth by allowing a pinch-hit home run to Daniel Descalso, a single to Charlie Blackmon and a double to DJ LeMahieu.

Rafael Soriano (1-0), added to the roster July 20, then came on and gave up Tulowitzki’s run-scoring grounder before Carlos Gonzalez, who had four hits, roped a two-run homer into right to put Colorado in front - his second homer of the game.

“I feel thankful that I’m healthy and I’m able to put runs on the board,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez continued his torrid stretch after hitting five home runs and batting .476 last week. He hit his 19th homer of the season in the third off Kyle Hendricks to give Colorado a 2-0 lead.

“It’s something to see when he gets rolling,” Weiss said. “It really is.”

Colorado led 4-0 after LeMahieu’s two-run single in the fourth but Chicago scored six times in the bottom of the inning. Addison Russell’s double drove in Starlin Castro, capping the inning and ending the night for Jorge De La Rosa.

De La Rosa, who was looking for his third victory of the month, gave up the six runs and five hits in 3 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out two.

Hendricks pitched five-plus innings and allowed four runs and seven hits while walking three for Chicago, which was coming off a three-game sweep by lowly Philadelphia to slip 2 1/2 games behind San Francisco for the second National League wild-card spot.

Thanks to Bryant’s homer off Axford (3-4), they recovered from their tough weekend.

“It’s really fun,” Bryant said of his homer. “It’s got to be one of the best feelings in sports.”

Colorado’s night, meanwhile, was different. And that was before the reports about Tulowitzki.

“You have to tip your cap to (Bryant)”, Weiss said. “He’s something special.”


Rockies: C Michael McKenry (sore right knee) was back in the lineup after not being available behind the plate for a few days.

Cubs: INF Tommy La Stella (right rib cage) could start a rehab assignment later this week.


Hendricks didn’t have much of an answer for how to contain Gonzalez. “That’s a good question. He’s really hot. That pitch I threw him was down. It just caught too much plate maybe,” Hendricks said. “You kind of just walk him, I guess, is the best answer for that.”


Rockies: LHP Yohan Flande (0-1, 4.24 ERA) gets a spot start in the second game of the series.

Cubs: RHP Dallas Beeler (0-0, 6.43 ERA) will start for Chicago.


AP Sports Writer Pat Graham in Denver contributed to this report.

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