If the Rangers are to advance beyond the 2016 ALDS round, it’s going to take the mother of all comebacks. The Blue Jays took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series with a 5-3 win Friday afternoon at Globe Life Park. The Rangers face elimination in Game 3 at 6:38 p.m. Sunday at Rogers Centre in Toronto. Colby Lewis faces Jays’ right-hander Aaron Sanchez.
Yu Darvish, in his second career postseason start, allowed a career high four homers and left after five innings.
Pitching: Troy Tulowitzki’s two-run homer in the second inning gave the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead against Darvish. After getting through the third and fourth relatively smoothly, Darvish struggled again in the fifth. Toronto homered three times, all solo shots by Kevin Pillar, Ezequiel Carrera and Edwin Encarnacion to take a 5-1 lead. Darvish allowed five earned runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out four.
Tony Barnette pitched two scoreless innings of relief. Matt Bush pitched a scoreless eighth and Sam Dyson pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
Hitting: The Rangers put two runners on in each of the first three innings but came away empty handed against Jays left-hander J.A. Happ. Finally, in the fourth, Nomar Mazara, Carlos Gomez and Ian Desmond had consecutive two-out singles. Mazara scored on Desmond’s single up the middle (that Mazara had to duck away from) to score from second base to cut the Rangers’ deficit to 2-1.
Happ held the Rangers to one run on nine hits and a walk. All nine hits were singles. In the seventh, Desmond collected his third hit of the game, a double to the right-field corner. He moved to third Carlos Beltran’s groundout and tried to score on Adrian Beltre’s grounder to third. Desmond hesitated leaving third base and was thrown out at home by Josh Donaldson.
The Rangers rallied in the eighth when pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland led off with a double down the first-base line. Robinson Chirinos pinch-hit and walked in place of Nomar Mazara before Carlos Gomez lined a single off Liriano’s head, which scored Moreland from third to make it 5-2. Jared Hoying, pinch-running for Chirinos, scored on Desmond’s groundout to make it 5-3. Gomez moved to third on a passed ball but was stranded when Carlos Beltran struck swinging against closer Roberto Osuna.
Beltre started the ninth with a double off the left-field wall but Rougned Odor, Jonathan Lucroy and Moreland were retired to end the game.
Notable: Darvish allowed four homers in a game for the first time in his career … It tied the record for most homers by one pitcher in a postseason game … It’s the third time Darvish has allowed more than three earned runs in a start in ‘16, all since Sept. 4 … Rangers were 2 for 18 with runners in scoring position and left 25 men on base.