The American League Division Series between the Blue Jays and Rangers was highly anticipated after last year's five-game thriller between the teams, won by Toronto after an unforgettable seventh inning in Game 5.Game 1 of this year's rematch on Thursday afternoon featured its fair share of action, with the Blue
The American League Division Series between the Blue Jays and Rangers was highly anticipated after last year's five-game thriller between the teams, won by Toronto after an unforgettable seventh inning in Game 5.
Game 1 of this year's rematch on Thursday afternoon featured its fair share of action, with the Blue Jays taking a 10-1 victory and a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series.
Game 2 is Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. ET on TBS (United States) and Sportsnet (Canada).
Here's a look at 13 interesting facts from Game 1:
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• José Bautista was the big story in 2015 after his home run (and unforgettable bat flip) helped clinch Toronto's ticket to the AL Championship Series. Bautista finished 2-for-4 in Game 1, including a three-run ninth-inning home run to tie Joe Carter for the most homers in Blue Jays postseason history with six.
• Bautista's four RBIs also gave him 16 in postseason play, third in club history behind Carter (20) and Roberto Alomar (18). The man known to his teammates as Joey Bats extended his own club record with an RBI in his sixth consecutive postseason game.
• Reigning AL MVP Award winner Josh Donaldson struggled in September, but he continued the turnaround he began in Tuesday's Wild Card Game vs. the Orioles. Donaldson went 4-for-4 and reached base five times in Game 1, with both numbers tying Blue Jays' postseason records. Six Toronto players have notched four hits in a postseason game, while only Alomar had reached base five times before Donaldson's effort in Game 1.
• Donaldson also became the fifth Blue Jay to record two doubles in a game. Alomar (Game 4, 1993 ALCS), Carter (Game 6, '92 World Series), Tony Fernandez (Game 3, '89 ALCS) and Damaso Garcia (Game 3, '85 ALCS) are the others.
• Troy Tulowitzki accomplished a rare feat when he broke the game open with a three-run triple in the top of the third. The 14th bases-loaded triple in postseason history was Tulowitzki's first career postseason triple and Toronto's first bases-clearing triple in the postseason. Of Tulowitzi's previous 24 career triples, none had come with the bases loaded.
• Melvin Upton Jr. gave the Blue Jays a 6-0 lead with a solo home run in the top of the fourth. It was his first postseason home run since 2008, when he hit seven as a member of the Rays.
• Toronto's offensive eruption against Cole Hamels marked the fifth time the Blue Jays have scored at least seven runs off an opposing starter in a postseason game.
• The nine-run margin of victory was also the highest in Toronto's postseason history. The Blue Jays' previous high for largest margin of victory in a playoff game was seven runs, which they accomplished twice.
• Marco Estrada's 8 1/3 innings pitched is the second-longest start in Blue Jays postseason history. Estrada has never thrown a complete game and Toronto did not have one this season. Jack Morris tossed a complete game for the Blue Jays and lost Game 1 of the 1992 ALCS against the A's.
• The Rangers fell to 1-10 at home in ALDS games. Texas is now 0-3 against Toronto at home in the postseason after dropping both ALDS games at Globe Life Park in Arlington last season.
• Road teams that have gone up 1-0 in the LDS have gone 31-13 in the series entering the 2016 postseason. Since moving to a 2-2-1 format, road teams that went up 1-0 have gone 25-12. The Rangers did, however, go up 1-0 on the Blue Jays last season at Rogers Centre before dropping the series.
• Hamels, normally a model of consistency, allowed a postseason career high of seven runs (six earned). The seven runs allowed tied for the second most in Rangers playoff history (Cliff Lee, 2010 World Series), while his six earned runs tied for the most allowed in Rangers postseason history (4 times, most recently by Derek Holland in the '15 ALDS).
• Hamels' 3 1/3 innings tied for the third-shortest start in the Rangers' postseason history (Holland in 2015 ALDS). Hamels, who started Game 5 of the ALDS last season, fell to 0-4 in his career against the Blue Jays.
*Alykhan Ravjiani * is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.