TORONTO (AP) — Robinson Chirinos hit a two-run homer against David Price, Rougned Odor had a solo shot and the Texas Rangers beat the Blue Jays 5-3 Thursday in an AL Division Series opener as postseason baseball returned to Toronto for the first time in 22 years.
Both starting third baseman left with injuries: Texas’ Adrian Beltre in the third with a sore lower back and Toronto’s Josh Donaldson in the fifth after he was kneed in the head while sliding in an attempt to break up a double play.
Yovani Gallardo (1-0) allowed two runs and four hits in five innings, improving to 4-0 with a 1.78 ERA in four career starts against Toronto. Keone Kela, Jake Diekman and Sam Dyson finished, with Dyson getting a save.
Pitching on 11 days’ rest, Price (0-1) allowed five runs and five hits in seven innings. He dropped to 1-6 with a 4.79 ERA in 11 postseason games, including six starts.
Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista hit a solo homer in the sixth, then left with a sore right hamstring after popping out in the eighth. Dalton Pompey took over in right field. The Blue Jays said Bautista is expected to play Friday.
Delino DeShields and Beltre hit RBI singles to give Texas a 2-0 lead in the third. Beltre, injured when sliding into second base as Prince Fielder hit into an inning-ending double play in the first, had difficulty running and wa replaced by rookie Hanser Alberto in the bottom of third.
Edwin Encarnacion’s run-scoring infield single cut the deficit in half in the fourth — the first run Toronto scored off Gallardo in three meetings this season.
Price hit Odor with a pitch for the second straight at-bat, and Chirinos homered for a 4-1 lead. Price hit just three batters all season, none after Toronto obtained him from Detroit on July 30t.
Kevin Pillar doubled home Russell Martin in the bottom half, but Toronto left a runner at third when pinch-hitter Ezequiel Carerra, batting in Donaldson’s spot, hit an inning-ending groundouty. Cliff Pennington took over defensively in the sixth.
Bautista’s leadoff homer off Kela cut it to 4-3 in the sixth — the first un off the pitcher since July 30. Odor homered in the seventh.
Cito Gaston, who managed the Blue Jays to back-to-back World Series titles in 1992 and 1993, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to veteran left-hander Mark Buehrle, who is not on Toronto’s playoff roster.
RHP Marcus Stroman, who returned from a torn left knee ligament to go 4-0 with a 1.67 ERA in four September starts, starts for the Blue Jays on Friday. Texas starts LHP Cole Hamels, who is 7-1 with a 3.66 ERA in 12 starts with the Rangers. Texas has won each of the past 10 games started by Hamels.