Saturday, August 18, 2012
Texas Rangers 2, Toronto Blue Jays 1
Rangers get one back in impressive pitching duel.
The Texas Rangers won a tightly-contested pitching duel Saturday in Toronto, defeating the Blue Jays 2-1. The win improved Texas to 69-50, five and a half games ahead of the Oakland A's for first place in the AL West. Toronto fell to 56-64.
Rangers starter Roy Oswalt, taking Ryan Dempster's place in the rotation as Dempster works out some personal issues, was solid, allowing just one run on two hits over four-plus innings. Oswalt, who walked two an struck out five while balking twice, had not started a game since late July.
The Texas bullpen held the game close, with five different relievers combining to throw four-plus innings of shutout relief. Robbie Ross got out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth, while Michael Kirkman got the team out of another bases-loaded, one-out jam in the seventh to earn his first win of the season.
Blue Jays starter Carlos Villanueva was excellent, giving up two runs over six-plus innings, but falling to 6-3 on the year with a 3.10 ERA.
Toronto opened the scoring in the bottom of the third when Anthony Gose walked, stole second, advanced to third on a balk and then scored on Adeiny Hechavarria's RBI single.
Texas would respond in the top of the fifth, however, when Adrian Beltre's flyout to center was misplayed for a ground-rule double. Nelson Cruz then took Villanueva's next pitch to deep left field for his 19th home run of the season and the game.