Toronto is now one win away from completing a three-game comeback after going down 0-2 to start the ALDS.
The highest scoring offense in Major League Baseball came to life Monday night, defeating the Texas Rangers 8-4.
Toronto scored 108 first inning runs this season, and tacked on three more today. It started with Ben Revere bunting for a base hit. He was working on doing exactly that in batting practice and it ended up kick-starting the offense. Josh Donaldson and Chris Colabello would both follow with home runs to help the Blue Jays jump out to a 3-0 lead.
Derek Holland was 3-0 with a 3.79 ERA in four postseason starts coming into today. Toronto would provide the first blemish to his record, recording five hits and six earned runs in two innings against the left-hander.
His counterpart, R.A. Dickey, would cruise through 4.2 innings before a controversial decision came from manager John Gibbons to remove him in favour of David Price. The 40-year-old allowed five hits and one earned run before being pulled.
“The boys made it easy on me today,” Dickey said in a post-game interview, “that was more indicative of how we can swing the bat.” As far as being removed from the game one out away from a win, Dickey doesn’t seem to mind. “When you don’t care about personal numbers, you don’t care who get’s the credit,” he added, “I’m not sure if there has ever been one Cy Young winner handing the ball off to another Cy Young winner, so that was pretty cool.” Dickey has a history of being roughed up in Texas and John Gibbons did not want to take any chances. “Sometimes the best way to win games is if you don’t let the team back into it,” Gibbons said, while reiterating the confidence he has in Dickey as a pitcher.
The next inning it was Kevin Pillar who homered to left on a 1-0 count to put Toronto up 4-0. The Gold Glove candidate has been thriving with the bat in his hands, carrying an eight game hit streak dating back to the regular season and is 7-17 in the series.
In the third, Toronto would put three more runs on the board via two doubles from Jose Bautista and Colabello, as well as another single from Pillar.
It wouldn’t feel right if Rougned Odor hadn’t put his mark on this game. He did so in the seventh inning with a double, and scored on a single from Robinson Chirinos. Odor has crossed the plate six times this series.
Texas would plate two more runs, but it would not be enough. Toronto now has a chance to take the series, at home, on Wednesday afternoon. It will be a rematch of Game 2 starters with Marcus Stroman on the mound against Cole Hamels.
Stroman Game 2 line: 7.0IP 5H 3ER 2BB 5K
Hamels Game 2 line: 7.0IP 6H 2ER 0BB 2K
See you Wednesday.