“We saw more swings tonight in one game than we’d seen in a lot of at-bats,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said. “That’s what we’ve talked about. A swinging bat is a dangerous bat.”
Stewart was taking too many pitches as he waited for the perfect one. Instead, he was looking at his fair share of called third strikes.
So he adopted a more assertive approach.
“But it’s something I’m working on and need to work on,” said Stewart, who was hitless in his last 10 at-bats before his homer in the fourth. “I’m trying to put the ball in play.”
Even more, he’s looking like the hitter Hurdle remembers from spring training. The one who wasn’t so selective.
“I don’t know exactly what he was looking for at times, but if you gear up to hit the ball, you’ve got a chance,” Hurdle said. “I just felt sometimes he was trying to figure too much out when the ball’s in flight. The game’s too quick up for here for that to happen.”
The hard-throwing Jimenez struck out four as his fastball hit 98 mph at times. He also had pinpoint command, walking none.
“Finally, a game without a walk,” he said, smiling.
Nothing personal, he insisted.
“Wanted to go inside, got away,” Jimenez admitted. “But everything is getting better, especially my fastball.”
“I don’t think people realize the movement he has,” said Berkman, who returned to the lineup Tuesday after missing three games with a sore left wrist. “It makes it tough when you’re facing a guy like that. I know his ERA isn’t great, but he’s the kind of guy that can absolutely dominate and he did tonight.”
“I thought Paulino threw the ball OK, he just wasn’t quite as crisp and sharp as he had been in the past,” Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. “I thought he got squeezed a little bit as well. He just didn’t make enough quality pitches.”
Colorado pushed across a run in the first when Hawpe blooped a double to left that scored Troy Tulowitzki(notes), who showed no lingering issues from a tweaked left quadriceps muscle that led to him being replaced late in a win over Florida on Sunday.
The smooth-fielding shortstop said leaving the game Sunday was simply precautionary.
Tulowitzki missed 46 games last season when he tore the quadriceps tendon in the same leg.
“The extent of the injury is not even close,” said Tulowitzki, who finished 2 for 4 on Tuesday.
Stewart’s other grand slam was against Pittsburgh on Aug. 21, 2007. … Lee turned in a nifty play in left field, robbing Chris Iannetta(notes) of a home run in the fourth when he jumped at the base of the wall and reached over to bring back the ball.