DENVER (AP) — The Chicago White Sox knew Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez could beat them with their bats. They didn’t expect Jordan Lyles to do it, too.
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 Chicago on Monday night.
Gonzalez and Tulowitzki homered for the Rockies, who beat the White Sox for the second time in six tries in Denver.
“We just got our butts kicked today,” Chicago manager Robin Ventura said.
Lyles (2-0) did damage with his arm and bat. He held the White Sox hitless until Marcus Semien’s one-out single in the fourth and finished 3 for 3 at the plate.
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. Adam Ottavino came in and struck out Dayan Viciedo.
“He had some things working and he ran with it,” Chicago center fielder Adam Eaton said about Lyles. “He hit his spots, had us off balance. When you have a good sinker, a changeup to get us out front and he has that slider that he throws, the mixture of all three of those, he did very well tonight.”
Lyles joined the Rockies from Houston in a trade for Dexter Fowler last winter. While with the Astros, he made just one appearance at Coors Field, receiving a five-inning no-decision on May 28, 2012, when he had a single in two at-bats and scored a run.
The last Colorado pitcher to go 3 for 3 was lefty Brian Bohanon against the Dodgers on July 20, 2001.
“At one point their pitcher is outhitting us. That’s never a good sign,” Ventura said. “We need to be a lot better than that.”
Chicago right-hander Felipe Paulino (0-1) allowed six earned runs on nine hits and four walks in 4 1-3 innings in his return to Coors Field, where he pitched for the Rockies in 2011 before being plagued by arm troubles the last two years.
“I felt my pitches were OK, but in the end I (left) the (ball) up over the plate,” Paulino said. “It’s part of the game. They got me today, beat me. Even the pitcher.”
Lyles was effective on the mound, too, where he kept the White Sox hitters guessing and reaching for pitches. His only blemish through the first three innings was a one-out walk to Flowers in the third, but he got Paulino to bunt into a 1-6-3 double play to end the inning.
It was still early, but the idea of a no-hitter was hanging over White Sox players.
“You do think about it,” Eaton said. “It’s on everyone’s mind like, c’mon, let’s go. Let’s get a guy on at least.‘ It does kind of linger. Semien broke it up and we were hoping to get things rolling but Lyles calmed down and continued to pitch his game.”
After Semien’s hit, Charlie Blackmon ran down deep flyballs by Jose Abreu and Conor Gillaspie to keep the White Sox off the board.
Gonzalez, who has hit safely in each of the Rockies’ eight games so far, lined a fastball over the right field wall in the first inning for his third homer of the season. Lyles helped his own cause with a double into left-center an inning later that scored DJ LeMahieu from first base for a 2-0 lead.
The Rockies loaded the bases in the third and Wilin Rosario bounced an infield single off Paulino. But he escaped further damage by striking out Nolan Arenado and getting LeMahieu to fly out to shallow left.
Colorado loaded the bases again in the fifth and LeMahieu’s single just over the glove of Semien at second base made it 4-0 and chased Paulino.
“It wasn’t a good game for me tonight. I threw a lot of pitches,” Paulino said. “I got ahead in the count on guys and I never finished up. I have to figure out (how) to finish those hitters.”
Lyles, who singled leading off the fourth, greeted right-hander Daniel Webb with a line-drive RBI single up the middle to make it 5-0, and Blackmon followed with a sacrifice fly.
Tulowitzki opened the sixth with a solo shot to right-center off Webb for his first homer of the year.
NOTES: It was Chicago’s first night game of the season. ... Ramirez extended his hitting streak to seven games with his double in the seventh. ... The White Sox are 3-13 on the road in interleague play since June 13, 2012.