The Texas Rangers may have out-hit the Toronto Blue Jays, but all that matters is who gets crosses home plate.
Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish gave up four home runs with three of them in the fifth inning as Toronto secured a 5-3 victory which could see them close the series out in Toronto on Sunday night.
It was a rough night for Darvish, who started off well by ending the first inning by throwing just eight pitches. But he then gave up a two-run homerun to Troy Tulowitzki in the second inning before absolutely collapsing and giving up three straight solo home runs in the fifth. Those home runs were the only hits the Blue Jays got throughout the entire game.
Darvish was pulled from the game at that point, finishing with as many strikeouts as home runs given up. He is the first pitcher to give up four or more home runs in a game since 2002, and it is the first time he has allowed that many home runs in his career.
The Rangers managed to hit a lot of singles throughout the game and finished with 18 runners in scoring position, including two runners in each of the first three innings. But they had a hard time closing the deal, which culminated when Rangers outfielder Ian Desmond was thrown out at home in the seventh inning after pausing to decide whether to run. Desmond would have been safe had he chosen to blaze for home without that moment of hesitation.
Blue Jays starting pitcher J.A. Happ only gave up one run despite the numerous hits. He also struck out five batters and only walked one, thoroughly outplaying the struggling Darvish.
The Rangers appeared to make a run at things in the eighth inning as they scored two runs and the Blue Jays sent out five pitchers to grab the last 11 outs. But closer Roberto Osuna came in early in the eighth inning to get the final five outs. After giving up one run, he struck out Carlos Beltran before letting the Rangers get in tying position three times in the ninth inning. But in all three occasions, the Blue Jays managed to secure things down the stretch as they got two pop-outs to finish the game.
Forward to Game 3
But while Blue Jays fans, including Adele, with her customized jersey, may be celebrating how the Jays have done so well in the first two games and how the team’s offense has revived since stumbling down the stretch, both teams know that there is still at least one more game to play. Last year saw the Rangers with the 2-0 series lead, only to blow it down the stretch as Toronto won two games in Texas before sealing it in Game 5.
Toronto is also concerned with pitcher Francisco Liriano, who was hit in the neck by outfielder Carlos Gomez with the hit that led to the Rangers’ second run. Gomez was alert after he was hit and walked to the dugout without assistance before heading to the training room as the staff checked the injury. He was later taken to a hospital where he “looked like he was doing well.”
But after two days of getting overwhelmed by Toronto’s thunderous hitting power, the Rangers will look to bounce back and play better defense on Sunday. The Blue Jays will hope to finish off the Rangers quickly and take a rest before facing either the Cleveland Indians or the Boston Red Sox. Cleveland also defeated the Red Sox 6-0 on Friday to take a 2-0 series lead, while the two NLDS games were also played on Friday night.
[Featured Image By Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]