Tulo gets job done on Bobblehead Day

Tulo gets job done on Bobblehead Day

TORONTO -- It was Troy Tulowitzki Bobblehead Day at the ballpark on Sunday, and Toronto's starting shortstop put on a show in front of a sold out Rogers Centre crowd.

Tulowitzki was the catalyst in the Blue Jays' 17-1 victory, going 3-for-5 with a three-run home run in Toronto's eight-run sixth inning and finishing with four RBIs.

The veteran shortstop showed signs of breaking out of his early slump in mid-May before a right quadriceps strain forced him to the DL. The two-time Gold Glove Award winner worked out in Florida at the team's Minor League complex during his stint on the DL, and he has been a force for the Blue Jays since his return. Including Sunday's outing, Tulowitzki has gone 17-for-53 with six home runs in 14 games, and he has reached base in all but one of those games.

Tulowitzki's sacrifice fly

"I really feel like I went down to Florida, and it gave me a chance to work on my swing, get back to some good things that I did, and carried that over," Tulowitzki said. "Then the confidence comes. You start having some success, and really, I'm just trying to be myself. This is really who I am. Some Blue Jays fans haven't really had the chance to see what I'm capable of doing, so it's nice to contribute, but more importantly, winning games is the goal here."

Tulowitzki's outing on Sunday will certainly benefit the Blue Jays' chances to win games down the stretch as they continue to compete for a playoff spot in the tough American League East. The Long Beach State product extended his hitting streak to a season-high-tying five games on Sunday while also driving in four for the first time this season. Tulowitzki has also homered in back-to-back games for the first time all year, while sprinkling in a pair of his patented defensive gems for good measure.

"It's always special," Tulowitzki said about performing on his Bobblehead Day. "You think about it, definitely, before coming to the field. You want to perform well. I'd like to say that's the first time I've hit a home run on my Bobblehead Day. Josh Donaldson was talking to me in the dugout saying, 'How did you do that? I can never hit a home run on my Bobblehead Day.' So, I think we all know what's going on, and it makes it fun."

Even through Tulowitzki's early-season struggles, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons stuck by his shortstop and penciled him into the lineup on a daily basis. Toronto's skipper felt it was only a matter of time before the five-time All-Star played up to his capabilities, and he praised Tulowitzki's resiliency.

"We knew he was a good player, he always has been," Gibbons said. "We always believed we would start to see that, and he's playing really good. Even before he got hurt, he was starting to heat up, and then he picked it right back after he came off the DL. His track record speaks for itself. When you accomplish all that, there's a reason. He stepped up today on a big day -- Bobblehead Day. He's on a nice little roll, and then he had a nice day in the field as he always does."

Alykhan Ravjiani is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.