Jays go home happy
3 homers in 5th seal 2-0 edge with next 2 in Toronto
ARLINGTON, Texas — Edwin Encarnacion capped a three-homer burst in the fifth inning off Yu Darvish and the Blue Jays beat the Rangers 5-3 on Friday to take a 2-0 lead in the AL Division Series.
Roberto Osuna got a five-out save that sent the wild-card Jays back to Toronto looking to clinch the best-of-five matchup. A reminder, though: Last year the Jays lost the first two games of the ALDS at home against the Rangers, then rallied to win the series.
“I learned something last year: You’ve got to win three games,” Jays manager John Gibbons said. “They’ve got a great team over there. You don’t lead the American League, powerhouse league, you don’t luck into that.”
Osuna entered after reliever Francisco Liriano was hit in the neck by Carlos Gomez’s line drive. Osuna had left the mound in the AL wild-card victory Tuesday night with a shoulder injury, putting his status in doubt.
Kevin Pillar, Ezequiel Carrera and Encarnacion hit solo homers in a fivebatter span in the fifth. Troy Tulowitzki’s two-run homer in the second put 20-game winner J.A. Happ and the Jays ahead to stay.
“Getting behind in the count, and they were looking for fastballs,” Darvish said through his interpreter. “When I left it on the plate, they got it.”
The Rangers scored twice in the eighth, including Gomez’s single that struck Liriano. The pitcher walked off the mound, and an ambulance took him to the hospital. Edwin Encarnacion points in celebration after hitting the Blue Jays’ third home run of the fifth inning off Yu Darvish. BLUE JAYS VS. RANGERS Blue Jays lead 2-0 Game 1: Blue Jays 10-1 Game 2: Blue Jays 5-3 Game 3: 7:30 p.m. Sunday Rangers (Lewis 6-5) at Blue Jays (Sanchez 15-2) Game 4: 1 p.m. Monday* Rangers (Perez 10-11) at Blue Jays (Stroman 9-10) Game 5: 9:30 p.m. Wed.* Blue Jays at Rangers x-if necessary; TV: TBS
The home runs boosted the Jays in a game in which they got outhit 13-6.
Happ allowed nine hits but only one run while pitching into the sixth. The left-hander struck out five and walked one.
“You go into a game knowing that at some point they’re going to get their hits,” Happ said. “But, yeah, it was a battle. It seemed like a long five innings.”
Darvish had as many strikeouts (four) in his five innings as homers allowed, becoming the first pitcher in the postseason to allow four homers in a game since the Twins’ Rick Reed against the A’s in Game 3 of the 2002 ALDS.
“We’ve come back from a lot this year,” Rangers outfielder Ian Desmond said. “We all believe in each other.”