Blue Jays 7 Rangers 6
ARLINGTON, Texas — Kendrys Morales hit a go-ahead single after a tying single by Josh Donaldson in the ninth inning, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Texas Rangers 7-6 on Monday night in a matchup of AL Division Series opponents the past two seasons.
The Blue Jays won despite blowing a 5-1 lead in their first visit to Texas since last post-season, when they won the first two games in a best-of-five sweep that was their second straight ALDS victory over the two-time defending AL West champs.
Donaldson’s single off closer Matt Bush scored Ryan Goins, who just beat the throw to second for a leadoff double. Morales’ hit to the gap in left-centre scored Donaldson from second after a stolen base and a walk. It was the third blown save in 11 chances for Bush (2-2).
Jeff Beliveau (1-0) pitched a perfect eighth, and Roberto Osuna worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 18th save in 22 chances.
Toronto’s Steve Pearce and Adrian Beltre of the Rangers traded three-run doubles in the fourth inning, with Beltre’s liner to right-centre capping a five-run inning for a 6-5 lead that held up until the ninth.
Jose Bautista, who took a punch to the jaw from Rougned Odor in a wild brawl in Toronto’s last regular-season game at Texas last season, started the Blue Jays’ four-run fourth with his 12th home run, a 442-foot shot over the lower-deck seats in left.
Elvis Andrus had a two-run single before Beltre’s hit as three pitchers for both teams combined for 79 pitches in the fourth.
Justin Smoak had three hits, including a career high-tying 20th homer to get the Blue Jays even in the second after Nomar Mazara’s ninth homer for Texas in the first, a 435-foot drive to the second deck in right.
Blue Jays: RHP Joe Smith was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a sore right shoulder, and RHP Leonel Campos was brought up from Triple-A Buffalo to replace him.
Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels (right oblique strain) is scheduled for his second rehab start Wednesday with Double-A Frisco. He could rejoin the rotation next week in Cleveland. He’s been out since May 4. … RHP A.J. Griffin (left intercostal strain) was moved to the 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster for Tanner Scheppers, who was called up from Triple-A Round Rock. OF Jared Hoying was sent down.
Blue Jays: LHP Francisco Liriano (3-2, 5.36 ERA) makes his fourth start since returning from a left shoulder injury. He’s coming off his longest outing of the season, seven innings against Tampa Bay. He gave up three runs — two earned — with nine strikeouts in a no-decision.
Rangers: RHP Nick Martinez (1-3, 4.67) gets his second start since pitching four scoreless innings in his only relief appearance of the season. His first eight outings were starts.