(The Sports Xchange) - Robinson Chirinos hit a two-run homer while Rougned Odor added a solo shot as the Texas Rangers defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 on Thursday in the opener of their American League Division Series.
Rangers right-hander Yovani Gallardo allowed four hits, one walk and two runs and struck out one in five innings to post his fourth win in four career starts against the Blue Jays.
“The ball was up in the zone a little bit but we stayed with the game plan and got some ground balls whenever I needed to and limited the damage,” Gallardo said.
Blue Jays left-hander David Price allowed five hits that included two home runs and five runs in seven innings to run his post-season record to 1-6.
“I just didn’t pitch the way I‘m capable of,” Price said.
“It was just nerves those first couple of pitches.”
Both teams lost players to injury with Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre suffering a stiff lower back when he slid into second, while Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson took a knee in the head when he slid hard into second base in the fourth.
“He came out, precautionary, I think he got a little light-headed,” Blue Jay manager John Gibbons said of Donaldson’s injury. “They checked for a concussion and he apparently passed all the tests so that’s good news.”
Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista, who hit a solo homer, came out of the game after the eighth with a hamstring cramp but was expected to be okay for the second game on Friday.
The Rangers took a 2-0 lead in the third when Price hit Odor with a pitch to open the inning.
Odor was brought home when center fielder Delino DeShields singled before DeShields scored on a single to center by Beltre, who left in the middle of the third.
“We’ll know more tonight and also in the morning where he’s at,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.
“Obviously we want Adrian in the game. He’s the heart and soul of this club.”
The Blue Jays scored a run in the fourth on an infield hit by designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion that brought home left fielder Ben Revere, the first Blue Jays run against Gallardo in his three starts against them this season.
Chirinos put the Rangers ahead 4-1 with a home run to left in the fifth after Odor was hit by a pitch for the second time.
The Blue Jays scored twice in the fifth on doubles by catcher Russell Martin and center fielder Kevin Pillar before Bautista belted a home run in the bottom of the sixth to cut the Rangers’ lead to 4-3.
Odor restored the two-run lead when he lined a one-out homer to right in the seventh that ended the scoring.
“I liked the effort and I liked our intensity,” Martin said.
“They played a little better than we did. Everybody’s different. I‘m over it and ready to come out tomorrow.”
Compiled by Greg Stutchbury