Baseball: Blue Jays power past Rangers for 2-0 series lead

Fri Oct 7, 2016 5:18pm EDT
 
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(The Sports Xchange) - The Toronto Blue Jays smashed four home runs off Texas starter Yu Darvish and eased to a 5-3 victory in Game 2 of the American League Division Series.

The Blue Jays lead the series 2-0 and can clinch spot in the American League Championship Series with a win in Game 3 Sunday in Toronto.

Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki set the tone for the Jays when he cranked a two-run homer to left in the second to put Toronto up 2-0. Texas cut the lead to 2-1 in the fourth on Ian Desmond's RBI single off J.A. Happ, but Toronto more than had the answer in the top of the fifth.

Center fielder Kevin Pillar opened the inning with a solo homer to left. One batter later, Ezequiel Carrera homered off Darvish. Edwin Encarnacion ended the barrage with another solo homer to left to make it 5-1

The four homers allowed by Darvish were a career high and matched a postseason high. He was charged with five runs on five hits in his five innings of work.

Happ had no such problem with the Texas offense. He scattered nine hits over five innings, but limited the Rangers to just one run. He struck out five and walked just one.

Texas had several chances to get back into the game, scoring twice in the eighth to close the gap to two. Carlos Gomez lined a single that glanced off Toronto pitcher Francisco Liriano to drive in a run.

Liriano was force to leave the game, bringing on Toronto closer Roberto Osuna with one out and runners on first and third. After giving up an RBI grounder to Desmond, Osuna struck out Carlos Beltran.

Osuna, the fifth Toronto reliever, worked around a leadoff double in the ninth to save the game.

Tulowitzki had two of the six Toronto hits. Desmond had three of the 13 Texas hits and two RBI. Ryan Rua also went 2-for-3, but the Rangers were just 2-for-18 with runners in scoring position.

 
Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Francisco Liriano (45) is checked on by the trainer and would come out of the game after being hit by a batted ball during the eighth inning of game two of the 2016 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports