MLB: Texas Rangers at Toronto Blue Jays

Recap: Blue Jays 4, Rangers 3; Walk-Offs Are so Nice They Did It Twice

For the second night in a row, the Blue Jays walked it off to win the game against the Texas Rangers. Aaron Sanchez got off to a rough start, giving up three straight hits to lead off the game, resulting in a 2-0 Rangers lead before the Blue Jays even had a turn to bat. The Jays got one back in the bottom of the first after Michael Saunders led off with a ground rule double and subsequently scored on a Jose Bautista single to left field. The Rangers scored again in the top of the second inning before Sanchez was able to settle into a groove, ultimately battling through seven strong innings giving up only those first three runs. The two teams would trade outs until the bottom of the sixth inning, when Jose Bautista drew a two-out walk ahead of Edwin Encarnacion crushing his fourth home run of the season to tie the game. Toronto fans held their collective breath when struggling reliever Drew Storen was brought in to start the eighth inning, but despite giving up a leadoff single, he managed to get out of the inning unscathed with two key strike outs. Roberto Osuna got three outs in the top of the ninth, paving the way for Anthony Barnette to load the bases with one out for Russell Martin in the bottom half of the inning. The moustachioed Martin singled to right field to drive home Ezequiel Carrera and give the Blue Jays a 4-3 victory.

Top Play of the Game by WPA

The Jays would not have been in the position to win their second walk-off in a row had it not been for Edwin Encarnacion’s game-tying home run in the sixth inning, thus making it the top play of the game by WPA (.303) ahead of Russell Martin’s game-winning single.

Bottom Play of the Game by WPA

Texas’ reliever Anthony Barnette began the bottom of the ninth by giving up a single to Encarnacion followed by a walk to Justin Smoak, bringing Troy Tulowitzki to the plate with a chance to, at the bare minimum, move the runners over. Instead, Tulowitzki’s agonizing offensive woes continued when he popped up to first base, capping off an 0-4 night, and providing the bottom play of the game with a WPA of -.108.

Russell Martin

After struggling mightily at the plate for the first month of the season, Russell Martin showed signs of life tonight, going two-for-four including the game-winning hit. One hopes that this signifies a turnaround in his offensive game.

Strikeouts and Warning Track Power

Despite the win, the Blue Jays offense still showed signs of struggle, racking up another eight strikeouts despite facing the less-than-impressive Colby Lewis. However, several hard hit balls made it as far as the warning track before running out of steam. With any luck, the forthcoming warm air – and a soon-to-be open dome – will help those balls carry out of the yard in the days to come.

Up Next

The Blue Jays will close out their four-game series against the Rangers tomorrow night when J.A. Happ – who has been the Jays’ most consistent starter thus far this season – goes up against left-hander Derek Holland. Toronto fans will remember Holland from game two of the ALDS, when Holland was caught on camera pretending to wipe his backside with a Jays’ rally towel. A win would give the Jays their 4th series win of the year, and would put them back at .500 before greeting the Dodgers this weekend.

Lead Photo: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

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