Kendrys Morales had two hits that included a three-run, first-inning home run and Jaime Garcia pitched 5 1/3 strong innings as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Texas Rangers 7-4 on Sunday afternoon at Globe Life Park to win the three-game series between the two teams.
Garcia (1-0) won his first decision with Toronto by allowing three runs, all earned, on five hits while striking out five and walking two. He outdueled Texas ace Cole Hamels (1-2), who surrendered seven runs (five earned) on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. Hamels also struck out five and issued two bases on balls.
Roberto Osuna pitched the final 1 1/3 innings to garner his fourth save of the season.
The Blue Jays (6-4) set the tone with four runs in their first at bat, all coming on home runs. Steve Pearce hit the first pitch of the game from Hamels over the left field fence, and Morales followed him four batters later with a three-run blast on a line drive to right-center field.
Elvis Andrus singled in Shin-Soo Choo in the bottom of the first to cut Toronto’s lead to 4-1.
Kevin Pillar’s infield single in the third drove home Justin Smoak to push the Blue Jays’ lead back to four runs. In the sixth, Luke Maile doubled home Pillar and then scored on a single by Curtis Granderson to expand Toronto’s cushion to 7-1.
Joey Gallo’s two-run home run to right field in the bottom of the sixth chased Garcia. The Rangers (4-7) crept to within 7-4 in the eighth when Choo plated Robinson Chirinos with a single off Blue Jays reliever Seung Hwan Oh.
Toronto pounded out 11 hits, with Smoak and Yangervis Solarte also recording two each, and Smoak scoring two runs.
The Rangers got two hits from Choo among their nine hits off six Toronto pitchers.
The Blue Jays head to Baltimore on Monday, where left-hander J.A. Happ (1-1, 5.40 ERA) will oppose Orioles’ right-hander Dylan Bundy (0-0, 0.69 ERA).
Texas remains at home and will get its first look at AL West rival Los Angeles. The Angels will send right-hander Garrett Richards (1-0, 5.06 ERA) to the mound against Rangers right-hander Doug Fister (1-1, 3.12 ERA).
—Field Level Media