By: Richard W. Humphrey
Texas Rangers Baseball Contributor
On behalf of Timothy O’Farrell Recovery
ARLINGTON, Texas – The Toronto Blue Jays took a 2-0 lead in the ALDS with a 5-3 win over Texas Friday afternoon. The Jays managed just six hits, but four left the ball park to drive in five runs. The Rangers knocked Toronto pitchers around for 13 hits, but went 2-18 with runners in scoring position to cash in for just three runs.
The start time temperature Friday was a pleasant 67, which was 23 degrees cooler than the game one start time temperature 20.5 hours earlier. A light mist was falling when the game began. Ranger fans were far more comfortable in their seats Friday, but they got uncomfortable in the second inning when Yu Darvish walked Jose Bautista and Troy Tulowitzki followed with a home run to give Toronto an early 2-0 lead.
Texas had scoring opportunities in the second and third innings, but left two men on base each time. The Rangers finally cracked the scoreboard when Ian Desmond singled home a run in the fourth to cut the lead in half. Texas however finished the first four innings with eight hits and a walk, but had just the one run.
Darvish went on to allow three solo shots in the fifth inning to Kevin Pillar, Ezequiel Carrera and Edwin Encarnacion that extended the Jays’ lead to 5-1. It was the first time he has given up four home runs in a game and the first to give up three in an inning. He came out after five innings allowing the five runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out four. He threw 84 pitches.
Tony Barnette, Matt Bush and Sam Dyson shut out the Jays over the final four innings on one hit.
Texas continued to squander scoring opportunities until the eighth, when the Rangers scratched out two more runs, including RBIs from Desmond and Carlos Gomez. In the ninth inning, the Rangers again brought the tying run to the plate when Adrian Beltre doubled leading off. They again couldn’t cash in as a strike out, pop out and fly out ensued, as Roberto Osuna completed the five out save. Texas ended up leaving 13 runners left on base in the game.
Darvish was the losing pitcher. Happ, despite allowing nine hits in five innings, got the win. Jays’ reliever Francisco Liriano was charged with the two eighth inning runs. He was forced to leave the game after being struck in the back of the head with a hard shot from Carlos Gomez. Liriano walked to the dugout as he left the field but was later taken to a local hospital on a stretcher.
Liriano was examined at the hospital and has been cleared to fly home with the team per #BlueJays announcement.
— Gregor Chisholm (@gregorMLB) October 7, 2016
There is no question that the Rangers are in big trouble. They are one game away from elimination after their co-aces – Darvish and Cole Hamels – were shelled for 11 earned runs in the first two games. They now have to win twice on the road to keep the series alive.
The teams enjoy a day off Saturday and resume the series Sunday night at 7:30 Eastern/6:30 PM Central in Toronto. Colby Lewis will pitch for Texas against Aaron Sanchez for Toronto. It is a “win or go home” game for the Rangers.
- The Blue Jays had no at bats in Friday’s game with a runner in scoring position. The last time that happened in a playoff game was in the 1963 World Series.
- Jose Bautista was heartily booed after the incidents in last year’s playoff game five and the on the field brawl in Arlington this year. However, he responded by going 2-7 in the series driving in four runs and scoring three.
- Elvis Andrus had three hits in the series to extend his club record of post-season hits to 45.
- Texas is now 1-11 in seven Division Series home games. The lone win came in 2011 over the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rangers have won two of the previous six Division Series and have a 9-16 overall record in Division Series play.