April 7, 2018 / 4:18 AM / in 4 months

Martin's big bat propels Blue Jays over Rangers

Russell Martin ripped a solo home run and drove in three runs with three hits to back the pitching of right-hander Marco Estrada as the Toronto Blue Jays shellacked the Texas Rangers 8-5 on Friday in the first game of a three-game series at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.

The start of the game was delayed 35 minutes because of rain.

Estrada (1-0) earned the win with six innings of one-run, five-hit pitching for Toronto that also featured seven strikeouts and just one base on balls. Roberto Osuna worked through two hits in the ninth inning to earn his third save of the year.

Matt Moore (0-2, 11.05 ERA) took the loss for the Rangers by surrendering six runs (five of them earned) on five hits in 3 1/3 innings. He also had four walks and one strikeout in his 73-pitch stint.

Martin pushed the Blue Jays to the lead in the top of the third inning when his bases-loaded single off Moore drove home Josh Donaldson and Justin Smoak. Kendry Morales expanded the advantage to 3-0 later in the frame with a sacrifice fly to plate Yangervis Solarte.

Toronto doubled that margin in the fourth, chasing Moore with a run-scoring single by Donaldson that bought home Devon Travis. Smoak followed with a sacrifice fly off reliever Jesse Chavez that scored Steve Pearce from third base, and then Martin singled home Donaldson with the Blue Jays’ sixth run.

Things got out of hand in the sixth as Solarte and Martin ripped back-to-back solo home runs off Chavez and built the Blue Jays’ lead to 8-0.

The Rangers got on the board in the bottom of the sixth when Shin-Soo Choo mashed his third home run of the season over the right field fence with one out. Texas loaded the bases later in the inning but Estrada got out of the jam without any more damage and left after six ahead 8-1.

Texas came back in a big way in the seventh off Aaron Loup as Drew Robinson, Choo, Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre all had run-scoring hits to cut the deficit to 8-5, but that was as close as the Rangers would get.

Toronto will send right-hander Marcus Stroman (0-0, 7.20) to the mound on Saturday to oppose Rangers left-hander Mike Minor (0-1, 3.86).

—Field Level Media

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