Friday, August 17, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Blue Jays 3, Rangers 2
By Bryan Dolgin
Yu Darvish allowed three runs and struck out 10 over seven innings, but J.A. Happ and five relievers combined to hold the Texas Rangers to four hits in the Toronto Blue Jays' 3-2 win in the series opener.
Record must wait: Darvish remains tied for most wins by a Rangers rookie (12) with Chris Young (2005), Kevin Brown (1989) and Edwin Correa (1986). Darvish reached double digits in strikeouts for the seventh time this season. That ties the Rangers rookie record held by Jim Bibby (1973).
The long ball: Edwin Encarnacion's first-inning two-run home run was his second of the season off Darvish.
It Happ-ened: Former Houston Astros lefty J.A. Happ was perfect through three innings and tied a Blue Jays record with six straight strikeouts (Ted Lilly in 2004, Marc Rzepczynski in 2010). Happ’s perfect game ended with a leadoff walk in the fourth inning. His no-hitter concluded when Michael Young led off the fifth with a single. Happ pitched six innings and allowed just one run on two hits while striking out eight.
Lefty vs. lefty: Left-handed hitting David Murphy entered Friday with a .386 batting average (17-for-44) against left-handed pitchers. He singled off Happ after Young's base hit in the fifth and finished 2-for-4.
Gentry starts: Murphy’s effective bat against lefties has kept right-handed hitting Craig Gentry on the bench lately, but he’s been in the starting lineup in two straight games. On Friday night, he drove in Young in the fifth inning with a ground out. Gentry has four RBIs in the last two games and 26 on the season.
More Gentry: With two outs in the fifth and the bases empty, Gentry attempted to make a diving catch in right-center field on Anthony Gose's flare. The ball bounced off the turf and ricocheted off Gentry’s glove for a Gose triple. Rangers killer Rajai Davis knocked in Gose with a single to give the Blue Jays a 3-1 lead.
Hamstrung: Nelson Cruz has a sore right hamstring and was not in the starting lineup. But he pinch-hit for Gentry in the seventh inning with two on and two out. Cruz walked to load the bases.
Gold Glove?: Former Ranger and 11-time Gold Glove infielder Omar Vizquel mishandled a Mike Olt ground ball in the seventh inning that allowed a run to and cut the Blue Jays' lead to 3-2.
Slumping Kinsler: With the bases loaded in the seventh inning, Ian Kinsler swung at the first pitch from Brandon Lyon and hit into an inning-ending fielder’s choice grounder. Kinsler is hitless in his last 16 at-bats.
Dempster on restricted list: Ryan Dempster was scheduled to start the second game of this three-game series, but he was placed on the restricted list for personal reasons. He is expected to rejoin the club Monday in Texas. Manager Ron Washington said on Rangers Baseball Tonight (the radio network pregame show) that the club learned about the situation last night, and that’s when they told Roy Oswalt that he would start in lieu of Dempster. OF Leonys Martin was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock to take Dempster’s roster spot.
Up next: The Rangers and Blue Jays have a 12:07 pm first pitch Saturday for the second game of this three-game series. RHP Roy Oswalt (4-2, 6.53) and RHP Carlos Villanueva (6-3, 3.12) are the starting pitchers. Hear it on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and ESPN Deportes 1540 AM. It’s also on FOX Sports Southwest.