ARLINGTON -- Toronto's offense put together a pair of three-run innings early, eventually building an 8-0 lead, and Marco Estrada pitched a strong six innings, allowing a run on five hits to lead the Blue Jays to their fifth win of the season. The Rangers mounted a comeback in the
ARLINGTON -- Toronto's offense put together a pair of three-run innings early, eventually building an 8-0 lead, and Marco Estrada pitched a strong six innings, allowing a run on five hits to lead the Blue Jays to their fifth win of the season. The Rangers mounted a comeback in the later innings, but fell short as Toronto won, 8-5, Friday night to start a three-game series at Globe Life Park.
Estrada mastered the Rangers for five scoreless innings before Shin-Soo Choo broke through with a solo home run. Texas threatened further damage in the inning as they loaded the bases on a pair of singles and Estrada's only walk of the game, but he stranded all three runners with a flyout on his 105th and final pitch. He struck out seven. Estrada is 1-0 with the win, and his ERA is down to 2.77.
"I thought he was great," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Estrada. "He had everything working."
"I threw two curveballs," Estrada said. "The rest were fastball/change. I got a little tired at the end. Overall, it was pretty good. I wish I could have given the guys another inning."
Rangers starter Matt Moore fell into trouble early, allowing five earned runs, walking four and yielding five hits as he exited after 3 1/3 innings. Reliever Jesse Chavez couldn't keep the game close as Toronto's Yangervis Solarte and Russell Martin hit back-to-back homers in the sixth. Moore is 0-2 in two starts and his ERA ballooned to 11.05.
The Rangers added four runs in the seventh inning on five hits -- including RBI doubles by Rougned Odor, Choo and Adrian Beltre. However, double plays doused any Rangers threat in the eighth and ninth innings.
"Marco did a great job," Martin said. "The bullpen was a little shaky tonight, but we hung in there and got a win."
Blue Jays relievers Dennis Tepera and Roberto Osuna wrapped up Texas over the final two frames. Osuna earned his third save of the year with his performance.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Error helps Blue Jays pull away: With one out in the top of the third, Josh Donaldson and Justin Smoak singled and Solarte walked to load the bases for Martin, who got ahead in the count, 3-1, and poked a soft grounder past second base to drive in Donaldson. Center fielder Drew Robinson attempted to field the ball on the run, but it kicked off his glove and Smoak hurried home to put Toronto up, 2-0. Solarte scored on a sacrifice fly from the next hitter, Kendrys Morales.
Back-to-back homers seal deal: Solarte and Martin cinched the win with back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning. Leading 6-0, Solarte homered first with two outs and no one on base. Martin followed with his solo shot to run the score to 8-0. The Blue Jays have homered in seven of eight games to start the season and have hit 12 home runs total. More >
"I like the way we're playing right now. Pitchers are throwing strikes. We're having good at-bats. There is good energy on the field." -- Martin
"Estrada's a guy that we know well … and have had limited success against. He seems to throw the ball extremely well against us. Really, it's his changeup that makes a difference for him. He made it challenging for us." -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister
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Estrada is now 3-1, 4.23 in seven career starts against Texas. Five of the seven outings against Texas have been quality starts.
BELTRE PASSES RICKEY
With an infield single to second base in the second inning, Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre collected his 3,056th career hit, moving him past Rickey Henderson into sole possession of 23rd on the all-time hit list. Beltre had two more hits to move to 3,058. Next up for Beltre, who turns 39 on Saturday, is Craig Biggio with 3,060 hits.
The series continues Saturday night at 8:05 p.m. ET with right-hander Marcus Stroman starting against the Rangers' Mike Minor. Stroman has a 1-1 record with a 5.73 ERA in two career starts against Texas. Shortstop Aledmys Diaz left Wednesday's game with back spasms. Gibbons said before Friday's game that Diaz is "good to go."
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Dic Humphrey is a contributor to MLB.com.