Colabello remains dialed in at the plate

Walk-off single extends hit streak to 17 games

Colabello remains dialed in at the plate

TORONTO -- Another day, another highlight-reel performance at the plate for Chris Colabello. This time, it resulted in a 7-6 walk-off victory over the Astros on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre.

Colabello's two-run walk-off single in the ninth inning extended his hitting streak to a Major League-leading 17 games. During that stretch, the veteran first baseman/outfielder is hitting .353 (24-for-68) with five doubles, three homers and 13 RBIs.

The 31-year-old is on the type of roll which makes it seem that every ball he hits finds a hole. That was the case against Houston, as he fought off an outside slider to generate a seeing-eye single up the middle to secure Toronto's fifth straight win.

"I know he's slider heavy, we have the scouting reports. I've faced him a couple of times now," Colabello said of his matchup against Houston closer Luke Gregerson.

Colabello's walk-off single

"I told myself, if it's above my waist, I'm going to swing. Little did I know that I would swing at one that was in the other box. But thankfully it worked out."

The heroic moment likely wouldn't have been possible without the efforts of Jose Reyes, who hit an RBI single and stole two bases in the ninth. It was Reyes who started a double steal earlier in the at-bat that moved the tying run to third and the winning run to second.

Colabello, who had been 0-for-2 with a hit by pitch, then came through with his perfectly placed single through a drawn-in infield. Colabello rounded first base, where he was mobbed by the Blue Jays' dugout after Jose Bautista slid home with the game's final run.

The streak Colabello is currently on would have been almost unfathomable a few months ago. The native of Massachusetts joined the Blue Jays as an offseason waiver claim, and he arrived in Spring Training without much of a chance to crack the roster.

A hot start at Triple-A Buffalo, combined with a series of injuries at the Major League level, created an opportunity -- and he has been hitting ever since. Through 31 games, Colabello is batting .355, with four homers and 19 RBIs, to secure an everyday job. According to starter R.A. Dickey, every winning team needs someone like that to step up.

"There has to be one or two guys like that -- whether it's in the pitching staff, the bullpen, or a guy like Chris, who consistently is able to give you something that you did not expect," Dickey said. "He's really helped us, I couldn't imagine, he has so many big hits. I couldn't imagine where we'd be without a guy like that."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.