Rangers Handle Price, Steal Game 1 Of ALDS


3. 39. 5. 126. Final

The Texas Rangers beat lefty David Price for the fourth time in the postseason and take a 1-0 lead in the best of five A.L.D.S.

Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor was hit by pitches thrown by Toronto Blue Jays ace David Perez in his first two at bats.

In his third plate appearance in the 7th inning, Odor sent a deep rocket-line drive over the right field wall that took just over three seconds to leave the playing field at Rogers Centre. The solo shot gave the Rangers a 5-3 advantage and that would be enough to lift Texas to an early 1-0 lead over the heavily favored Blue Jays.

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Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos added a 2-run homer in the 5th inning that pushed a Texas lead of just 2-1 up to 4-1, thus putting Toronto on notice that Price wasn’t going to waltz through this contest.

I pondered the question earlier this week of whether or not facing Price once again in the American League Division Series was a good luck charm.

Apparently it is.

Price went 7 innings on the night while giving five hits on a total of 90 pitches. The Toronto lefty is now 0-4 all-time against Texas in postseason.

In another continuing trend, Rangers starter Yovani Gallardo had been the only Texas pitcher to beat the Blue Jays during the 2015 regular season. Gallardo did it again, and certainly when it counted most.

Gallardo made it 5 innings before manager Jeff Banister went to a bullpen that could be the best in the MLB playoff field. Gallardo gave up just 2 runs on four hits following three straight scoreless innings to begin the game. Toronto lead off hitter Ben Revere sent a single back up the middle to become the first Blue Jays runner of the game in the 4th inning.

Keone Kela replaced Gallardo in the 6th inning and promptly gave up a monster solo home run to Jose Bautista that would mark the last time Blue Jays fans had anything to get too excited about. Kela retired the side in order from that point forward.

Jake Diekman pitched the 7th and 8th innings and didn’t allow a base runner.

Honestly, you can’t over-state the importance of Diekman joining this pitching staff late in the year.

Interestingly, middle reliever Sam Dyson was called upon to close the game in the 9th as opposed to Shawn Tolleson, who struggled down the stretch of the regular season. This will be an interesting scenario to watch as the series progresses.

On a down note, third baseman Adrian Beltre, who had an RBI single in the 3rd inning, ended up leaving the game due to lower back stiffness apparently caused while sliding into second base to break up a double play to end the same inning. Beltre’s status for Game 2 on Friday isn’t certain.

In eerily similar fashion, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson also left the game after sliding into second base trying to do the exact same thing Beltre was attempting. In this case, Donaldson ended up sliding right into the knee of a leaping Odor who essentially kicked his batting helmet off.

The Rangers will send their version of Price, Cole Hamels, to the mound on Friday for Game 2 beginning at 11:45am CDT. The Blue Jays will counter with right-hander Marcus Stroman.

Texas couldn’t have asked for a better start in this series where perhaps the element of experience may have been overlooked when discussing this intriguing match up of heavyweight offenses. Since 2010, the Rangers have appeared in the World Series twice while also qualifying as a Wild Card in 2012.

The Blue Jays hadn’t seen the postseason since back-to-back World Series championships in 1992 and 1993.

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  • Published on 10/08/2015 at 23:24 PM
  • Last updated at 10/08/2015 at 23:26 PM