The Texas Rangers Beat the Blue Jays, Lose Beltre

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Oct 8, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Texas Rangers players and coaches celebrate after defeating the Toronto Blue Jays in game one of the ALDS at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

3. 39. 5. 126. Final

The Texas Rangers (1-0) beat the Toronto Blue Jays (0-1) to take game one of the five game series, and prove the experts that this team is for real. If the Blue Jays and their fans thought they were going to walk over this Rangers ball club, they better think again. Yovani Gallardo (1-0 3.60 ERA) got the victory for the Texas Rangers, while David Price (0-1 6.43 ERA) took the loss.

Gallardo started the series off for the Rangers because Cole Hamels had pitched game 162, and he was brilliant for the Rangers. Gallardo is as stubborn as they come on the mound, and he absolutely refused to give in this afternoon. Gallardo pitched five innings, allowing four hits and two earned runs, while striking out one and walking one.

Facing the high-flying Blue Jays offense, you have to be on your A game to keep this ball club grounded. Gallardo was on his A game today, showcasing the ability to locate all of his pitches, and the ability to be able to throw them in any count. Gallardo threw sliders in fastball counts and the potent Blue Jays offense could never get comfortable. Sure the Blue Jays tagged him for a couple in his five innings of work, but he gave the Rangers everything they could’ve hoped for.

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When Gallardo gave way to the bullpen, he turned it over to one of the best in the MLB since September. Rangers skipper Jeff Banister has absolute confidence in these guys, and they came through again this afternoon.

Keone Kela came out of the bullpen first, and he got off to a rocky start. Kela allowed a solo dinger to Jose Bautista, a fastball that he tried to elevate with two strikes. After that, he used a heavy dose of curveballs and change-up’s to retire the Blue Jays in order.

Jake Diekman came in after Kela departed, and he made a name for himself to anyone who was watching. Diekman showcased a 99mph fastball with a filthy slider, and pitched two sparkling innings of work. In the ninth, Banister made an interesting move, deciding to go with flamethrower Sam Dyson to close out the ninth instead of Shawn Tolleson. Dyson allowed a hit to Edwin Encarnacion, but then retired Troy Tulowitzki on a nasty sinker. Justin Smoak then hit a broken bat fielder’s choice to second, and Dyson closed out the victory when he retired Russell Martin on a fielder’s choice at third.

All week leading up to this game, we heard about how deep the Blue Jays lineup was, and absolutely nothing about the Rangers deep lineup. I think that narrative has a great chance to change, because it was the bottom of the order that got it done for the Rangers this afternoon.

The first Rangers run came in the third innings, when Delino DeShields smacked a single into center, scoring Rougned Odor. Adrian Beltre then followed that up with a base hit of his own, but got injured in the process and spent the rest of the game in the clubhouse. After the Blue Jays pulled within a run on an Encarnacion single, the Rangers bottom of the order came through.

Rougned Odor led off the inning with a HBP (his second of the game) and Robinson Chirinos made David Price pay. Chirinos jumped on David Price’s fastball offering, depositing it into the left field seats and giving the Rangers a 4-1 lead. Rougned Odor then got his sweet revenge on Mr. Price in the seventh, when he sent a fastball out of the stadium in the blink of an eye. That made the score 5-3, which proved to be the last run of the game.

We’d be remiss to say that the victory didn’t come with a heavy price, as Adrian Beltre went down in the third. Beltre is the emotional leader of the Rangers, and you know he had to be in some serious pain in order for him to come out. Hopefully he will be able to come back later in the series, and we will update you when something becomes available.

Tomorrow is an early start for the Rangers and Blue Jays, as these two teams will square off again tomorrow in the Rogers Centere. The Rangers will get to turn to staff ace Cole Hamels (13-8 3.65 ERA) tomorrow, and the Blue Jays will counter with Marcus Stroman (4-0 1.67 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 11:45 am CT, and you can watch the game live on the MLB network.

Next: Texas Rangers Interview: The Blue Jays Side of the ALDS

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