As a Blue Jays fan, the most satisfying wins are probably wins against other AL East foes. Outside of that, it’s equally as satisfying to watch the Blue Jays beat the Texas Rangers, especially when they can score 11 runs in four innings against them.
Toronto got to Rangers starter Kohei Arihara early and often, Bo Bichette continued to stay hot, and the Blue Jays had enough offense to stave off another late rally from Texas with a 11-7 win to clinch the series.
Arihara came into tonight’s game with an already-inflated ERA, and Toronto made sure to have him follow the trend. The Blue Jays scored in the first inning for the second straight night, this one being a 4-run frame thanks to a pair of 2-run singles from Alejandro Kirk and Santiago Espinal.
Adolis Garcia would smack a 3-run home run off of Kevin Gausman in the bottom half of the frame, making it 4-3, but that would be long forgotten once Toronto got back up to bat.
Espinal added another RBI in the 3rd inning, doubling in Cavan Biggio. Next up was Raimel Tapia, who absolutely crushed a 3-run home run 428 feet. It was Tapia’s second-longest home run this season, expanding Toronto’s lead to 8-3.
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Danny Jansen hit his 12th home run of the season in the 4th inning, putting Toronto up 11-3. It was another moonshot for the Jays, as this one traveled 435 feet. Jansen’s home run was part of a 4-hit night, as the bottom of the order produced heavily for the Blue Jays. Jansen, Espinal, and Tapia combined to go 8-for-14 with two home runs, 8 RBIs, and 3 extra-base hits. With Lourdes Gurriel Jr. on the injured list, this group has been and will need to be a spark for the offense, especially Tapia, who will likely see more time in the outfield.
The Rangers are in the middle of a seven-games-in-six-days stretch, including flights to Miami and Oakland. To save some of their arms, they ultimately made Arihara wear this one as much as they could. His night ended one batter after the Jansen home run, with his stat line showing 3 IP, 12 H, 11 ER, 5 BB, and 1 K. Ouch!
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Gausman hit his groove after he gave up the Garcia home run in the first; innings 2 through 5 featured straight 0’s on the board. Texas began to fight back in the sixth inning, however, as Gausman’s night would be over after he allowed a 2-run home run to Sam Huff with one out. Zach Pop came into the game, but the Rangers strung some hits together and tagged him for two more runs. Just like that, it was 11-7.
From there, Anthony Bass, Adam Cimber, and Tim Mayza finished the job, as the onslaught of runs that the Blue Jays scored in the first four innings was enough to keep them ahead for good.
As I mentioned earlier, Bo Bichette had another huge night at the plate. His 3-for-5 night tonight gives him a .525 batting average, 6 doubles, and 6 homers in the month of September. This run for Bo is really reminiscent of his first couple weeks in the MLB in 2019, when he was seemingly a hitting machine.
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The win tonight kept Toronto in good shape standings-wise, as they got some help from the out of town scoreboard. The Yankees beat the Rays and the Red Sox pummeled the Orioles. The Jays passed Seattle in the standings last night, but it’d be nice for the Braves to beat the Mariners tonight as well. The Blue Jays are now only 0.5 games behind the Rays for the first Wild Card spot, and only 5 games back of the Yankees for the division.
Toronto goes for a sweep tomorrow, as they are lined up for a bullpen day. Trevor Richards could start again like he did last weekend in Pittsburgh, and you’d have to think Yusei Kikuchi will also be in play. The Blue Jays will face Martin Perez, who is having a really nice season with a 2.82 ERA. Teoscar Hernandez is also expected to be back in the lineup after being on the paternity list for the last few days.
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