Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays rally falls flat in loss to Rangers

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May 1, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons (5) looks on from the dugout during the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
May 1, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons (5) looks on from the dugout during the third inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /
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A failed eighth-inning rally brought the Toronto Blue Jays within inches on Monday night at the Rogers Centre in game one of their 2015 ALDS rematch against the Texas Rangers.

Rangers’ rookie outfielder Nomar Mazara put the Rangers ahead 2-1 in the top of the eighth with a solo shot to straight-away centre off of Gavin Floyd and that was all the offence Texas needed.

Toronto starter R.A. Dickey pitched six and third excellent innings, allowing just one earned run on six hits. The knuckleballer did walk three batters with just three strikeouts, but produced an uncharacteristic nine ground ball outs to stay out of trouble. A solo home run off the bat of catcher Brett Nicholas represented the only damage against him.

The seventh inning was troublesome for Dickey yet again though, and he was forced from the game with the bases loaded in favour of Floyd.

Toronto halted that momentum immediately after, however, when Rougned Odor flied out to centre-fielder Kevin Pillar. With Mitch Moreland tagging from third, Pillar threw out Delino DeShields at second base before the run crossed home plate. Originally counted as a run, a video review forced the umpiring crew to take it off the board.

Brett Cecil entered to a chorus of scattered boos from the Rogers Centre faithful crowd to record the final out of the eighth. Drew Storen pitched the ninth inning, retiring all three batters he faced.

Toronto’s only offence of the day came on a Michael Saunders RBI single in the third inning. Kevin Pillar went 3-for-4 with his sixth double of the season while Justin Smoak went 2-for-3 with a walk.

Russell Martin entered the game late in relief of Josh Thole, but it was Ezequiel Carrera who first received the nod for pinch-hitting as manager John Gibbons chose to burn his fourth outfielder for the lone at-bat instead of going directly to his catcher.

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