Blue Jays score early and often in 11-7 victory over Rangers
ARLINGTON, Texas - Danny Jansen homered and matched a career high with four hits, Santiago Espinal tied his career highs with three hits and three RBIs, and Raimel Tapia hit a three-run homer as Toronto’s bottom of the order led an early onslaught in an 11-7 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday night.
“Janno, Tap, Spee, those guys - I think they’ve been pretty consistent all year doing that in that part of the lineup,” Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider said. “When you’re doing that with the top of order (also hitting) . it’s a pretty good mix.”
All 11 Blue Jays runs came in the first four innings, helping Kevin Gausman to his fourth consecutive win. The Blue Jays are a season-best 18 games over .500 and pulled within one-half game of AL wild-card leader Tampa Bay.
Gausman (12-9) allowed five runs on two homers - a three-run shot by Adolis Garcia in the first inning and a two-run homer by Sam Huff in the sixth. He went 5 1/3 innings, striking out nine, which is one short of his season high.
Bo Bichette, who had five homers in his previous four games, hit three doubles all to the opposite field. This month, Bichette is hitting .525 with a majors-best 21 hits, six homers and 18 RBI, hitting safely in eight of nine games.
“We know he’s good, and this is the best version of Bo we’ve ever seen,” Schneider said.
Bichette said he feels “like I’m making adjustments better ... I feel confident.”
The Jays batted around twice in the first three innings against Kohei Arihara (1-3), who also gave up a two-run homer to Jansen in the fourth. Tim Mayza earned his first save of the season.
Garcia’s home run, which snapped an 0-for-11 streak, had an exit velocity of 113 mph to equal his career best. He returned to the lineup for the first time since Tuesday and, still bothered by a sore glute muscle, was the designated hitter instead of playing in the outfield.
Arihara, who pitched six seasons in Japan before joining Texas last year, allowed a major-league high 11 runs on 12 hits and five walks.
Rangers interim manager Tony Beasley said he stuck with Arihara longer than he wanted to against the club that leads the majors in hitting at .261 because Texas will play five games in the next four days.
“He pitched in hitter-friendly counts for the most part of his night,” Beasley said, “and this is a tough team to do that with.”
The Rangers have lost 12 of their last 13 games, falling a season-low 20 games under .500.
THE LAST BIG WIN
When Gausman won at Boston on July 11, he left after pitching five innings and allowing three runs. That’s because the Jays put up an 11 spot in the fifth, extending their lead to 25-3. They won 28-3 in a game that saw Tapia and Jansen have six RBIs each.
The Blue Jays have won 14 of their last 16 road games. . Rangers 2B Marcus Semien had two singles to extend his on-base streak to 21 games, the longest active streak in the majors. . Toronto OF Teoscar Hernandez (paternity list) was scheduled to return to the team on Saturday night or Sunday, then spend one day on the restricted list.
Rangers: RHP Jon Gray (left oblique strain) could make his first start since Aug. 1 during Monday’s doubleheader at Miami.
Rangers LHP Martin Perez (10-6, 2.82 ERA) will start Sunday’s series finale. He was sixth in the AL in ERA going into Saturday, has lost his last two starts, including 1-0 at Houston last Monday. Jays RHP Trevor Richards (3-1, 4.72) will serve as the opener of a bullpen game for the second time in nine days.