Gallardo handcuffs Blue Jays in Rangers' win
TORONTO -- Backed by three solo homers, Yovani Gallardo was nearly flawless, as he shut the down the Blue Jays and helped the Rangers snap a six-game losing skid with a 4-0 win at Rogers Centre on Saturday.
The Rangers' righty saw his scoreless streak reach 23 1/3 innings -- the longest of his career -- as he three-hit the normally dangerous Blue Jays offense, improving to 7-6 on the season. He tossed 8 1/3 innings, while striking out four and walking two. Gallardo hasn't allowed an earned run in four of his last five outings, and hasn't lost a decision since May 19, a span of seven starts. He was lifted in the ninth in favor of closer Shawn Tolleson, after allowing a one-out single to Josh Donaldson. Tolleson promptly got Jose Bautista to ground into a game-ending double play.
"When [Gallardo] has all pitches like he does today, he's a tough competitor," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.
Mitch Moreland, Robinson Chirinos and Rougned Odor swatted homers to lead Texas at plate, setting the table for Sunday's rubber match in the series finale.
Blue Jays starter Matt Boyd was tagged for four earned runs over 6 2/3 innings in his Major League debut. The left-hander, who was recalled on Friday from Triple-A Buffalo, gave up three homers and nine total hits, while recording seven strikeouts.
"Definitely something to build off of," Boyd said. "You have a goal at the start, you always want to get deep in the game and put your team in a position to win the game. Some of those home runs, I know I could've made a few pitches a little differently and just executed them a little better."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Homers help: Three solo shots in four innings helped stake the Rangers to a 4-0 lead. Moreland led off the fourth with a homer to extend the Rangers' lead to 2-0, before Chirinos did the same in the fifth. Odor got into the action in the seventh, sending a solo shot over the wall in right to give the visitors a four-run cushion.
Gallardo the great: Facing as lethal of an offense as the American League has to offer, the Rangers' hurler was dynamite, holding the Blue Jays to one hit over his first seven innings, as he turned in his longest outing of the season. His scoreless streak, which spans 23 1/3 innings over parts of four starts, is the longest active streak for a Major League starter.
"Every pitch, he throws where he wants to. It's hard to put a good swing on it when you locate a pitch like he does," said Chirinos, who caught Gallardo's gem. "They were frustrated, looking for pitches away -- and he'd throw them away, but he's right on the corner. He moves the ball in when he has to, throws breaking balls when he needs to. But the key was his fastball. He was commanding his fastball." More >
Defensive help: Boyd got a little help from his defense on Saturday. In the sixth inning, while fielding a comebacker, Boyd attempted to start a double play at second, but missed Jose Reyes with his throw. However, second baseman Devon Travis was there to pick up his starter. Travis got the ball to Reyes for the 1-4-6 putout of Adrian Beltre. More >
"I'm living out of a suitcase, right now. I didn't have a place in Buffalo, either. [My wife an I are] living like nomads. Living out of our pickup [truck] and suitcases, right now." -- Boyd, on his current lifestyle
"He was masterful today." -- Banister, on Gallardo
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
• Saturday marked the first time in six games the Blue Jays did not hit a home run.
• Joey Gallo made his first career start in center field at any level.
Rangers: Right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez will make his sixth career start, as the Rangers and Blue Jays wrap up a three-game series at Rogers Centre at 12:07 CT. Gonzalez has dropped two decisions in his last three starts. He'll look to improve his 1-1 road record. Away from home, Gonzalez has allowed only a single earned run over 16 innings.
Blue Jays: Toronto sends right-hander Drew Hutchison to the mound in search of his eighth win of the season on Sunday at 1:07 ET. The 24-year-old struggled early in his start vs. Tampa Bay on Monday, allowing three runs in the first two innings. But he settled down to go five innings, picking up the decision in an 8-5 Blue Jays win.
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