Off to a roar­ing start

Estrada, Bautista dom­i­nate in Jays’ open­ing-game win

Baltimore Sun - - MLB PLAYOFFS - By Stephen Hawkins

AR­LING­TON, Texas — Marco Estrada took a shutout bid into the ninth in­ning, Jose Bautista hit a three-run homer and the Blue Jays opened their Amer­i­can League Di­vi­sion Se­ries re­match with a 10-1 romp over the Rangers on Thurs­day.

Bautista, who had the em­phatic bat flip af­ter his tiebreak­ing homer in the ALDS clincher last Oc­to­ber against the Rangers and got punched the last time they played in Texas in May, drove in four runs. He had an RBI sin­gle in Toronto’s five-run third off All-Star left-han­der Cole Hamels.

Bautista added a 425foot blast in the ninth in­ning, and the slug­ger seemed to de­lib­er­ately drop the bat softly near home plate af­ter his sec­ond homer of this post­sea­son.

“I have a cou­ple of home runs in my ca­reer and I think I’ve only flipped it once,” Bautista said. “Just kind of been blown out of pro­por­tion be­cause of the mo­ment last year. So I don’t think there was any­thing too spe­cial about lay­ing it down the way I did, be­cause that’s the way that 99.9-plus per­cent of the time I do it.”

Troy Tu­low­itzki hit a bases-loaded triple for the Blue Jays, who have won four straight over­all, in­clud­ing an 11-in­ning, 5-2 vic­tory over the Ori­oles in the AL wild-card game Tues­day night.

Estrada, also an All-Star, held Texas to four hits, the last be­ing Elvis An­drus’ lead­off triple in the ninth. John Gib­bons re­moved the right-han­der af­ter ShinSoo Choo’s RBI grounder ended the shutout bid. Troy Tu­low­itzki hits a bases-clear­ing triple in the Blue Jays’ 10-1 win over the Rangers on Thurs­day in Ar­ling­ton, Texas. BLUE JAYS VS. RANGERS Blue Jays lead 1-0 Game 1: Blue Jays 10-1 Game 2: 1 p.m. to­day Blue Jays (Happ 20-4) at Rangers (Darvish 7-5) Game 3: 7:30 p.m. Sun­day Rangers (Lewis 6-5) at Blue Jays (Sanchez 15-2) Game 4: TBA Mon­day* Rangers (Perez 10-11) at Blue Jays (Stro­man 9-10) Game 5: TBA Wed­nes­day* Blue Jays at Rangers x-if nec­es­sary; TV: TBS

“He’s mas­tered his craft,” the Blue Jays man­ager said. “He’s a very calm guy. He doesn’t get down. As well as he’s pitched in two years here, really no need.”

Hamels, the MVP of the 2008 World Se­ries and NLCS for the Phillies, al­lowed seven runs (six earned) with three walks in 31⁄ in­nings.

DAVID J. PHILLIP/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

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