TORONTO - Esmil Rogers so far is having more success as a starting pitcher with the Toronto Blue Jays than he did with Colorado Rockies.
The Rockies found out up close on Tuesday.
Rogers, making his fourth start of the season after opening in the bullpen, took a no-hitter into the sixth inning as the Blue Jays defeated the Rockies 8-3 to extend their season-best win streak to seven games as Edwin Encarnacion drove in three runs.
"He's got a dynamite arm," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Rogers. "He's really tough on those right-handed hitters. He shut down a good-hitting team, a great outing."
Rogers (3-2) allowed three runs (two earned) in 6 2/3 innings before a crowd of 22,852 at Rogers Centre, where the Rockies are 0-8. Rogers allowed one walk while striking out five and gave credit for Gibbons ad pitching coach Pete Walker.
"My confidence, the confidence Gibby and Pete have given me is unbelievable," Rogers said when asked the difference in him now than when he was with the Rockies last season. "I've got unbelievable confidence right now I can throw any pitch where I want it on any count."
Encarnacion, J.P. Arencibia (who had three hits and two RBI) and Maicer Izturis each homered against left-hander Jeff Francis of North Delta, B.C.
Francis (2-5) lost to the Blue Jays for the first time in his career, allowing 10 hits and eight runs in six innings. The Canadian had won his three previous starts against Toronto, including one at Rogers Centre in 2011 as a member of the Kansas City Royals.
"I didn't execute pitches," said Francis who allowed four runs in the first inning. "You leave them up like that to those guys and you know they're going to make you pay and they did. They got me early.
"Whatever adjustment I made it worked out for the next three innings. I kind of settled in and got some quick outs. Encarnacion took a tough pitch and put some good wood on it. They got to me again in the fifth and sixth. After that it was a tough game."
Rogers said he got no particularly satisfaction in beating his former team.
"No, no," he said. "I'm just excited to pitch against those guys and get an opportunity tonight, I know those guys and we just see who's better."
One difference in Rogers is that he has developed a sinker, a two-seam fastball, under the tutelage of bullpen coach Pat Hentgen, a former Cy Young Award winner with the Blue Jays.
"His sinker I think is the biggest difference," said catcher Arencibia. "Earlier guys could jump on his fastball. Now he's sinking it so they really have to respect it."
"His two-seamer was really good," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said. "A lot of depth to it, and it's mid-nineties. That's a good two-seam fastball. He threw some hard sliders, but I think the two-seamer was his go-to tonight."
"He's a four-pitch guy now," Gibbons said. "Early on coming out of the bullpen he was basically a two-pitch guy."
"Tonight I just threw one changeup," Rogers said. "I used my slider a little more working with my sinker. I've got confidence in my sinker. I just try to keep throwing it."
The first hit of the game for the Rockies (37-35) was a one-out single in the sixth by Jonathan Herrera, a line drive up the middle.
Rogers was signed by the Rockies in 2003 and was traded to the Cleveland Indians for cash considerations on June 12, 2012. The Blue Jays acquired him in the offseason for infielder Mike Aviles and catcher Yan Gomes.
"He mixed in everything very well, threw everything for strikes and he was working his two-seamer to the inside corner very well," Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado said of Rogers. "(The two-seamer) moves a lot, it sinks a lot. It has a lot of sink."
The Blue Jays (34-36) increased their lead to 8-0 with two out in the sixth when Arencibia hit his 15th home run followed by Izturis' fourth of the season. It was the first time the Blue Jays hit back-to-back home runs this season.
The Rockies scored three in the seventh. Carlos Gonzalez blooped a double down the left-field line and Michael Cuddyer extended his hitting streak to a career-best 16 games with a single. Willin Rosario singled in a run, Arenado scored a run on a groundout and the third run scored on an error by Izturis on a grounder to shortstop by Tyler Colvin with left-hander Aaron Loup pitching.
The Blue Jays scored four runs on six hits in the first inning. Encarnacion (double), Adam Lind (single), Rajai Davis (single) and Arencibia (double) each drove in a run in the inning.
Encarnacion's 19th homer of the season, following a fifth-inning single by Cabrera, increased Toronto's lead to 6-0.
In Francis' previous three career starts against the Blue Jays, he allowed a total of six runs, five earned.
NOTES: The Rockies called up RHP Roy Oswalt from Double-A Tulsa, where he was 3-2 with a 2.16 ERA in five starts. He will start Thursday against the Washington Nationals. The 35-year-old veteran has a career record of 163-98 with a 3.28 ERA. ... Blue Jays RHP Brandon Morrow (strained forearm) has been shut down after he felt discomfort in his forearm after his first rehab outing Tuesday for Class A Dunedin. ... Davis started in center field to give CF Colby Rasmus a break. ... The Blue Jays will start LHP Mark Buehrle (3-4, 4.66 ERA) in the series finale on Wednesday against Colorado RHP Juan Nicasio (4-2, 4.86 ERA).