Tulo avoids broken bat on 'awkward' play at short

Tulo avoids broken bat on 'awkward' play at short

ATLANTA -- Justin Upton led off the bottom of the sixth on Friday night with a sharp grounder to Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Unfortunately for Tulowitzki, the barrel of Upton's bat accompanied the ball and nearly hit the shortstop.

"I've never really had a play like that, at least that close where the bat follows the ball, so that was awkward," Tulowitzki said. "Something that you can't practice. Something that you've never seen."

The barrel of the bat hit the dirt right in front of Tulowitzki, who somehow managed to field the ball and make a throw to first. Upton beat the Tulowitzki's toss by a step, robbing the shortstop of a spectacular assist.

"There was maybe some luck involved there, but yeah, it was just one of those instinct plays," Tulowitzki said.

Upton reached base with an infield single to begin the inning in a game tied at 2, but the play ultimately amounted to nothing as Colorado starter Jordan Lyles managed to strand Upton and escape the frame unscathed.

"I like to charge a lot of balls and go get them," Tulowitzki said. "That was one of them where I had to stay back, and it was a break for them."

Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.