Rangers avoid sweep with 3-1 win over Jays

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - NICK PATCH

TORONTO — A solid start from Texas right-han­der An­drew Cash­ner brought an end to the sud­denly surg­ing Toronto Blue Jays’ sea­son-high five-game win­ning streak.

Cash­ner (2-4) al­lowed one run and just five hits over seven in­nings to help the Rangers (25-26) avoid a sweep with a 3-1 Amer­i­can League base­ball win in front of 46,188 fans at the Rogers Cen­tre on Sun­day.

That spoiled the best out­ing of the sea­son from re­liever-turned-starter Joe Bi­agini (1-3), who threw a ca­reer-high 95 pitches and gave up two runs over six in­nings for the Blue Jays (23-27), who fi­nally have most of their lineup healthy as they wrap the first leg of a 10game, 10-day home­s­tand.

“I thought he was solid,” Blue Jays man­ager John Gib­bons said of Bi­agini. “We just couldn’t get any­thing go­ing against Cash­ner.”

With re­cently re­turned in­field­ers Troy Tu­low­itzki and Josh Donaldson back in the lineup after a day off, Toronto struck first when Kevin Pil­lar led off the bot­tom of the first in­ning with a dou­ble and scored on a Jose Bautista sac­ri­fice fly.

From there, Cash­ner set­tled in. The six-foot-six right-han­der struck out only two but worked nim­bly out of trou­ble when the Blue Jays man­aged to threaten, in­clud­ing a fourth in­ning in which he gave up open­ing walks to Bautista and Kendrys Mo­rales be­fore ground­ing Rus­sell Martin into a dou­ble-play and leav­ing the in­ning with only 13 pitches.

The Rangers’ lineup, mean­while, was slightly more op­por­tunis­tic than Toronto’s. They tied the game in the third after Elvis An­drus eked out an in­field sin­gle, ad­vanced to sec­ond with his 10th stolen base of the sea­son, and scored on a sin­gle to cen­tre from catcher Jonathan Lu­croy.

An in­ning later, Joey Gallo clubbed his 15th home run of the sea­son over the wall in left-cen­tre to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead. After re­liever Do­minic Leone took the ball for the Blue Jays in the sev­enth, Texas made it 3-1 when An­drus sin­gled, ad­vanced to third on a No­mar Mazara op­po­site-way dou­ble, and then scored on a wild pitch.

The Jays threat­ened to rally in the ninth after two-out sin­gles from Justin Smoak and Martin, but closer Matt Bush got Tu­low­itzki to ground out to earn his sixth save.

Still, it was an en­cour­ag­ing start for Bi­agini, who sailed past the sea­son-high 77 pitches he threw in his last start against the Brew­ers. Bi­agini hadn’t gone more than five in­nings in four pre­vi­ous starts since be­ing shifted from the bullpen. Gib­bons said after the game the process of build­ing Bi­agini up was “be­hind him.”

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