Rangers top Jays in 14, take 2-0 lead
TORONTO – Fed up with his own bat, Hanser Alberto grabbed one belonging to teammate Delino DeShields.
Good choice, rookie.
Alberto, the seldom-used backup infielder, lined a tiebreaking single to center in the 14th inning, helping the Texas Rangers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 on Friday for a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five American League Division Series.
“I didn’t even ask him for it,” Alberto said, smiling at DeShields sitting beside him on the postgame interview podium. “Good wood, too, you know?”
It sure was. DeShields then picked the bat up and put it to good use, driving in another run with an infield hit after Liam Hendriks replaced La Troy Hawkins (0-1),
The underdog Rangers will try to sweep the Blue Jays at home in Game 3 Sunday. Martin Perez will start for Texas against Marco Estrada.
“This is an uphill battle but it’s been done before,” Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin said.
San Francisco was the last team to do it, coming back to beat Cincinnati three straight times after losing at home in the first two games of their 2012 NL Division Series.
Alberto, batting last and only in the lineup because star third baseman Adrian Beltre was out with a strained back, made an error that led to Toronto’s first two runs but redeemed himself with his big hit in extra innings.
“We were pretty confident going into the second game regardless of Adrian getting hurt,” DeShields said. “We were kind of bummed out about that, but we kept our heads up.”
Keone Kela (1-0) worked one inning for the win, staying calm after a dustup with Toronto slugger Josh Donaldson.
Ross Ohlendorf, with an old-school, double-armed windup, finished for a save.
Royals 5, Astros 4
In Kansas City, Missouri, Ben Zobrist hit a go-ahead single in the seventh inning, reliever Wade Davis got replay help for a key pickoff in the ninth and the Royals rallied from a three-run hole to beat Houston evening their AL Division Series at a game apiece.
Cardinals 4, Cubs 0
In St. Louis, John Lackey outpitched old teammate Jon Lester, allowing two hits into the eighth inning, and rookies Tommy Pham and Stephen Piscotty each homered late as the Cardinals cooled off Chicago in the opener of their NL Division Series.
Lackey held the Cubs hitless for five innings, getting help from Kris Bryant’ double-play ball by to end the fourth. Addison Russell ended the suspense with a solid single up the middle to open the sixth.
Mets 3, Dodgers 1
In Los Angeles, Jacob deGrom struck out 13 over seven scoreless innings in his postseason debut and Daniel Murphy homered off a star-crossed Clayton Kershaw to help New York defeat the Dodgers for a 1-0 lead in their NL Division Series.
DeGrom (1-0) limited the Dodgers to five hits and walked one. The right-hander’s strikeouts tied the franchise playoff record set by Tom Seaver in Game 1 of the 1973 NL Championship Series.
Kershaw (0-1) endured his fifth straight postseason loss after giving up the seventh playoff homer of his career. Last season’s NL MVP allowed three runs and four hits in 6⅔ innings.
Article Source : The Japan Times » Sports category » Baseball
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