ALDS Game 1: Blue Jays beat Rangers

The Toronto Blue Jays scored early and often to defeat the Texas Rangers 10-1 in Game 1 of the ALDS.

Texas Rangers
Toronto Blue Jays

Coming in hot after winning the Wild Card Game, the Toronto Blue Jays needed only three innings to take full and total control of Game 1 of their ALDS matchup with the Texas Rangers on Thursday. The Blue Jays scored five runs in a third-inning outburst, and never looked back, en route to a 10-1 win.

Toronto jumped all over Rangers ace Cole Hamels, knocking him out after only 3.1 innings of work. Hamels allowed seven runs, six earned, and allowed nine baserunners against only ten outs. The poor start continued a string of mediocre performances by Hamels in the second half of the season and was the worst postseason start of his career.

The biggest blow in the third inning was delivered by Troy Tulowitzki. The shortstop drove a pitch to deep center field. Ian Desmond, a converted shortstop, appeared to have a bead on the ball, but lost it momentarily in the mid-afternoon shadows. The ball landed just out of reach for a three-run triple.

Melvin Upton, Jr. and Jose Bautista also added home runs to aid the offensive attack. Third baseman Josh Donaldson reached base five times and did not make an out in the game. Edwin Encarnacion, Bautista, and Tulowitzki joined Donaldson in recording multiple hits.

While Hamels was unable to limit hard contact, Marco Estrada nearly turned in a shutout for Toronto. He did not allow a run until Shin-Soo Choo scored Elvis Andrus on an RBI groundout in the bottom of the ninth inning. Estrada was lifted after losing the shutout, and allowed only four hits. He did not walk a batter, and struck out six.

The Rangers and Blue Jays will square off in Game 2 on Friday afternoon at 1 PM ET. Toronto will start J.A. Happ, a 20-game winner, looking to build an almost insurmountable 2-0 lead before heading back to Canada. The Rangers will counter with Yu Darvish.