The Toronto Blue Jays opened the ALDS with the closest game to perfect that they could play, dominating an uninspiring Texas Rangers team 10-1.
Jose Bautista delivered the loudest blow of the night with a three-run home run to left in the top of the ninth to put Toronto ahead by an even 10 at the time. This was Bautista’s sixth playoff home run, tying him with Joe Carter for the most in Blue Jays history while simultaneously hushing a Texas crowd that opened the night full of bravado.
Starter Marco Estrada was a combination of dominance and efficiency, allowing just four hits and one run. The right-hander pitched into the ninth, finishing with six strikeouts over an impressive eight and a third innings and needing just 98 pitches.
Josh Donaldson got the scoring started for the Blue Jays in the third inning with a scorching line drive double off the glove of Adrian Beltre that scored Ezequiel Carrera from second. Carrera had walked earlier in the inning and, following a game of cat-and-mouse with Cole Hamels, advanced on a wild pitch. Bautista was next up and sent a hanging curveball into centre for an RBI single.
Troy Tulowitzki broke the game open later in that inning with Encarnacion, Bautista, and Martin all on base and two outs. On Hamels’ 40th pitch of the inning, Tulowitzki drove a triple up against the wall in right-centre field that cleared the bases and put the Blue Jays out front by a score of 5-0. Centre-fielder Ian Desmond had a shot at making the play, but lost track of where he was in relation to the wall and looked down to check his distance as the ball fell.
Texas brought Hamels back out for the fourth and he was immediately greeted by Melvin Upton Jr., who launched a solo shot to left field. Josh Donaldson brought home Devon Travis with an RBI single soon after to end Hamels’ day early. Donaldson finished the game a perfect 4-for-4 with two runs and two RBI.
Ryan Tepera entered with one out in the bottom of the ninth to finish out Estrada’s gem and retired both of the batters he faced