ARLINGTON -- The Blue Jays flexed their league-leading home run power with three long balls off Rangers starter Derek Holland in Game 4 on the way to forcing a winner-take-all Game 5 in the American League Division Series with an 8-4 victory on Monday afternoon at Globe Life Park in
ARLINGTON -- The Blue Jays flexed their league-leading home run power with three long balls off Rangers starter Derek Holland in Game 4 on the way to forcing a winner-take-all Game 5 in the American League Division Series with an 8-4 victory on Monday afternoon at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
:: ALDS: Rangers vs. Blue Jays -- Tune-in info ::
David Price was a candidate to start Game 5, but he picked up the victory on Monday with three innings of three-run relief behind Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey. It was Price's second postseason win of his career and his first since the 2008 AL Championship Series, while he was with the Rays. That win also was in relief.
Left-hander Cole Hamels will be on the mound for the Rangers on Wednesday afternoon when the series concludes at Rogers Centre in Toronto at 4 p.m. ET (FOX Sports 1, Sportsnet). Right-hander Marcus Stroman will start for the Blue Jays.
Toronto scored seven runs in the first three innings to break the game wide open early. Josh Donaldson, Chris Colabello and Kevin Pillar each homered as the vaunted quick-strike offense broke out for the first time this series.
"I think to a man, especially come the postseason, I don't think anybody really cares who does it," Colabello said. "At the end of the day, it's about finding a way to win the game. A bunch of guys who had a couple of hits, a bunch of guys who were 0-fer, but I don't think anybody is thinking about themselves any differently than the way they were yesterday or the day before.
"That's the best part of our team. We don't have to rely on one guy, we don't have to rely on one bat, we don't have to rely on one pitcher, and I think that is what has made us special all year."
• Blue Jays-Rangers ALDS Game 4: DYK?
"I told them I'd be ready for whatever situation they wanted me in," said Price. "That was the mindset I brought to the field -- just be ready at any point in the game, and that's what I did."
The Blue Jays led the league with 232 home runs this season and had three in their first eight batters against Holland. It only took them five pitches to get a 2-0 lead, as Ben Revere led off the first inning with a bunt single and Donaldson followed with a home run to right.
Holland retired the next two batters, but Colabello delivered Toronto's second home run to right to give the Blue Jays a three-run lead. Pillar's home run with one out in the second made it 4-0.
"I was executing up in the zone," Holland said. "When you live up in the zone, those guys are going to hit it. They are big league hitters for a reason."
• Holland struggles in Game 4
The Rangers have now lost nine of 10 home games in the Division Series round of postseason play going back to 1996. But they will also take a seven-game ALDS road winning streak into Game 5.
"We'd rather not get to this point that we're at, but we're not scared," said third baseman Adrian Beltre, who returned to the lineup after missing two games with a strained lower back. "We know that our team is going to bounce back and going to come back Wednesday ready to win. We're going to give it everything we've got to make it happen. We're not ready to go home yet."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Daily Double: The Blue Jays jumped out to an early lead for the second consecutive game. Donaldson's homer was his second of the postseason, while Colabello's was his first. The blasts gave Toronto an early lead it would not relinquish and continued a trend that has seen the team soar when scoring first.
"If you can script it, obviously that's what you would want," Donaldson said. "Give R.A. a little bit of breathing room right off the bat, and that's kind of how we really played up to this point, and it was nice to come out today and do that." More >
Lewis late to the rescue: The Rangers, trailing, 4-0, let Holland start the third inning with right-hander Colby Lewis working in the bullpen and the Blue Jays' right-handed power hitters coming up. Holland walked Donaldson and gave up a double to Jose Bautista to put runners on second and third. Lewis then came in to pitch for his first relief appearance since Sept. 26, 2007, but two more runs scored on a fielder's-choice grounder and a double.
"I felt great," Lewis said. "I felt the adrenaline take over. There were just a couple of pitches I may have wanted back and not let those runners score."
Beltre can't spark Fielder: Beltre had hits in his first two at-bats. But Prince Fielder couldn't take advantage of Beltre's singles. Fielder flied out with runners in scoring position in both the first and third innings. He does not have an RBI in his last 22 postseason games, and is 0-for-16 with runners in scoring position in that stretch.
"We hit a couple balls hard, we just couldn't get them to fall," Fielder said.
Price comes out of the bullpen: Price was expected to be made available out of the bullpen for Game 4, but it was still a surprise to see the Blue Jays turn to their lefty ace in the fifth inning with Toronto leading, 7-1. Price entered with two outs and one on and proceeded to retire Shin-Soo Choo on a fly ball to center. The AL Cy Young Award candidate remained in the game until there were two outs in the eighth and was charged with three runs on six hits and a pair of strikeouts in three innings. He threw 50 pitches, which may rule him out for more bullpen work in Game 5.
"Whatever they need. I'm here to help these guys win," said Price. "That's why they got me. Whatever role I have to play on this team, that's what I'm ready for." More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Blue Jays had three home runs in one postseason game for the first time in franchise history. Toronto previously had nine postseason games with two homers.
Blue Jays: The Blue Jays will turn to Stroman in the decisive Game 5 at Rogers Centre. (4 p.m. ET, FOX Sports 1, Sportsnet). Stroman made his postseason debut in Game 2 and allowed four runs -- three earned -- over seven innings. He was in line for a win but his bullpen wasn't able to close out the game that eventually went to 14 innings before the Rangers won. More >
Rangers: Hamels will start for the Rangers against the Blue Jays in Game 5 at 3 p.m. CT on Wednesday. The Rangers have won 11 straight starts by Hamels, including Game 2 of the ALDS. He is 7-4 with a 3.05 ERA in 14 career postseason starts. More >
Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.