Updated: September 2, 2012 at 12:00 am
Troy Tulowitzki isn’t 100 percent.
“It’s going to take some time for something like (groin surgery) to heal up,” Sky Sox manager Stu Cole said. “He has a ways to go after that surgery.”
Sunday, the Rockies’ shortstop played the five innings he was scheduled for in the Sky Sox’s 5-3 win over Las Vegas, but Cole says the star isn’t back to full strength.
“You can’t expect a guy to be 100 percent after a surgery like that,” Cole said. “It’s not realistic. It’s just going to take some time.”
On his last at-bat, Tulo hit a slow chopper to Las Vegas 51s shortstop Brian Bocock, who muffed on it — then picked it up and threw No. 2 out by a handful of feet.
“He isn’t going to be running full speed yet, so I think for him on the bases, he is just being more cautious,” Cole said. “He didn’t tell us that anything was bothering him though.”
In Tulo’s previous three games in Colorado Springs since his surgery, he went 6-for-12 with two home runs.
On a sellout Sunday at Security Service Field, he went 0-for-2 with a strikeout and a walk.
Tulowitzki left the stadium without talking to the media.
For the game, Sky Sox starter Nick Schmidt went seven innings and gave up one unearned run. He struck out five, walked two and 71 of his 108 pitches were called strikes.
“He gave us an outstanding start,” Cole said.
And then reliever Mike Ekstrom held on.
In the top of the ninth, up 5-1, Ekstrom walked two and followed it by giving up a two-run double to bring the tying run to the plate.
“Well, he did a good job of minimizing the damage,” Cole said, smiling.
On a 3-2 pitch, Ekstrom struck out Anthony Gose looking to end the 2-hour, 3-minute game.
Offensively, Brendan Harris, Chad Tracy, Omir Santos, Matt McBride and Charlie Culberson each had an RBI.
Tracy and Santos each homered, while Culberson went a perfect 4-for-4 in front of the largest crowd of the season. (The 8,798 fans on a 84-degree day was the ninth largest in the team’s history and combined with Saturday’s crowd for the largest back-to-back attendance.)
In the clubhouse, Cole wouldn’t reveal who would be called up to the majors with expanded rosters.
What he did do is give insight to the role of a minor league manager.
When asked, “Why put (Tulo) out there instead of letting him heal completely in the offseason — with the risk of getting him reinjured?”, he quickly interjected.
“I don’t have an answer for that,” Cole said. “We down here just do what we’re told. Everything went well with his surgery, so they wanted to get him out playing and doing some activity. We trust our medical staff and all the people that work with them.”