via Texas Rangers
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 Ryan Tepera and Roberto Osuna wrapped up Texas over the final two frames. Osuna earned his third save of the year with his performance.
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.