The Toronto Blue Jays’ Justin Smoak homered in the ninth to tie it and homered again in the 10th to beat the Texas Rangers 3-1 Tuesday night at the Rogers Centre.
Pitching: Martin Perez worked out of messes in the first and fifth innings but emerged unscathed to hold the Blue Jays scoreless through five on four hits and three walks. He struck out four, including Josh Donaldson looking to end the fifth with runners stranded at second and third. In the first, two singles were muted by a 6-3 double play and a two-out walk to Edwin Encarnacion put runners on the corners before Perez forced Troy Tulowitzki to fly out to center. A leadoff single in the second was erased by another 6-4-3 double play.
Tom Wilhelmsen pitched a scoreless sixth. Jake Diekman put the first two batters on before getting strikeouts against Darwin Barney and Michael Saunders. Tony Barnette replaced Diekman against Donaldson and forced a line out to end the inning.
Shawn Tolleson started the ninth seeking his 10th save but Justin Smoak led off with a game-tying homer. Kevin Pillar followed with a double. Two walks loaded the bases for Jose Bautista but Tolleson got him to fly out to right. Phil Klein pitched the tenth. Encarnacion led off with a single before Klein recorded an out. That set up Smoak’s game-winning two-run homer to left. It’s Klein’s first loss of the season.
Hitting: Rougned Odor led off the game by sending the second pitch over the right-field corner wall. Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada didn’t offer much leeway after that. He allowed just two hits and one walk through six innings. The Rangers only had five baserunners through seven. Brett Nicholas’ ground-rule double in the second inning gave the Rangers runners at second and third but Delino DeShields’ tapped out to the mound.
In the ninth, Fielder led off with a double and Ian Desmond singled to right to give the Rangers runners on the corners with no outs. Hanser Alberto, running for Fielder from third, was thrown out trying to score on Mitch Moreland’ grounder to second. Elvis Andrus struck out Nicholas grounded out.
Notable: Andrus stole second in the seventh inning, his first of the season. Diekman caught Darwin Barney looking at an 85 mph slider on the 15th pitch of an at-bat for the first out in the seventh inning ... it’s the second-longest at-bat in 2016 (Marlin’s Dee Gordon, 16-pitch AB) according to STATS, Inc. The Rangers 28 games to start the season with their starting pitcher going at least five innings is the fourth most in club history.