Blue Jays Rout Rangers in Game One
By Peter Santo
Well that was interesting. Less than 24 hours after I wrote an extensive preview on the Rangers-Jays ALDS series, one where I gave Toronto very little chance of winning, the Blue Jays jumped on Cole Hamels, and rode their offense to a 10-1 victory.
Everything appeared to be favoring Texas entering game one, they had home field advantage, their ace Cole Hamels on the mound, and a deep lineup that looked prime for a deep October run.
It looked like we could be in for a classic playoff pitcher’s duel through two innings, with Marco Estrada and Cole Hamels both throwing scoreless innings in the first and second. But man did things change quickly.
After retiring Melvin Upton Jr. to begin the top of the 3rd, Hamels walked Ezequiel Carerra before getting Devon Travis to pop out to third. Man on 1st, two outs, should be a harmless situation right?
But a wild pitch by Hamels meant there was now a runner in scoring position for MVP candidate Josh Donaldson, and the former Auburn Tiger roped a double to left, driving in the game’s first run. From there the heart of the Blue Jays lineup went to work.
Edwin Encarnacion reached on an infield single, Jose Bautista singled to center driving in Donaldson, and Russell Martin walked to load the bases. What looked like it was going to be a scoreless top of the 3rd inning all of a sudden had the potential to end this game before it really even began.
Troy Tulowitzki then stepped to the plate and promptly unloaded the bases with a triple to right. And just like that it was 5-0 Toronto.
Fast forward to the top of the 4th, the spiral continued, Melvin Upton Jr. added to the lead with a solo shot, and Donaldson had an RBI single after Devon Travis reached on an error.
Rangers fans were shocked, and with good reason. In the span of two innings, their ace had given up seven runs, and their team trailed 7-0.
The line for Hamels: 3.1 IP, 7 R, 6 ER, 1 K, 3 BB. Safe to say he’s had better nights.
The Jays would add three more runs off Rangers’ lefty Jake Diekman en route to a 10-1 game one victory.
Marco Estrada was dominant for Toronto, turning in the kind of performance Rangers fans expected from Hamels, going 8.1 innings giving up just 1 ER on 4 hits and striking out 6.
Texas will send Yu Darvish to the mound Friday as they look to even the series, while the Jays will counter with left-hander JA Happ. First pitch is at 1:00 PM.