Martin Perez allowed one run in six innings, Adolis Garcia homered for the second consecutive game and the Texas Rangers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 4-1 on Sunday afternoon.
The Blue Jays head home following an 8-2 trip to play five games in four days against another AL wild-card team, Tampa Bay. The Rangers, meanwhile, snapped a three-game losing streak.
Perez (11-6) ended a personal two-game losing streak, which equaled his longest of the season. He gave up six hits, struck out seven and walked two. Toronto went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position against him as he lowered his ERA to 2.77.
“I’m not thinking about numbers, I’m not thinking about `Win the game by myself.”‘ Perez said. “I’m just thinking `Win the game as a teammate.”‘
Garcia launched a fastball down the left-field line into the second deck off Yusei Kikuchi, the second of five Jays relievers, for his 24th of the season. It was the fifth time this season that he has homered in consecutive games, the first time since July 24-25.
Leody Taveras hit a solo homer for Texas in the eighth inning.
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Jose Leclerc pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his fourth save in four chances.
Texas grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first inning off Trevor Richards (3-2), the Jays’ opener for a bullpen game. Richards struck out leadoff batter Marcus Semien, the only batter he retired. Nathaniel Lowe doubled home Corey Seager, and Richards departed after 26 pitches with the bases loaded.
David Phelps retired all four batters that he faced, the first of three Jays relievers to throw shutout ball.
Phelps is looking forward to this week’s home games against Tampa Bay and Baltimore.
“We’ve spent the entire season in a playoff spot. We know what we’re capable of,” Phelps said. “If we can keep winning series, we’re going to be in a really good spot.”
President George W. Bush participated in the Rangers’ recognition of the 21st anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks before the game. The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by 13-year-old Andita Pollozani, the daughter of Fort Worth police officer Jimmy Pollozani. Catching the pitch was Rocky Wolfe, a firefighter from the central Texas city of Killeen.
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The Rangers left for Miami to play a Monday day-night doubleheader, only to return to Texas immediately afterward to begin a series against Oakland on Tuesday night.
The one-day trip is a result of the post-lockout rescheduling.
Rangers interim manager Tony Beasley said he’ll encourage players to rest up upon their return rather than report at usual times Tuesday.
“It’s taxing,” Beasley said. “And you’re in September, where everybody’s kind of running on fumes. There are some guys that don’t like that, want to be here at the regular time. But you have to think about the whole group. I want energy at 7 [p.m.].”
Bichette reached base in all 10 games on the road. Schneider hasn’t announced his rotation for the Tampa Bay series.
Rays’ Raley to miss Canada trip over vaccine issue
Tampa Bay reliever Brooks Raley will miss the Rays’ five-game, four-day series at Toronto because players must be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter Canada.
Rays manager Kevin Cash said Sunday that Raley will be the only player not making the trip.
A 34-year-old left-hander, Raley is 1-1 with a 2.03 ERA and six saves in 52 appearances this season.
Unvaccinated foreigners cannot enter Canada. MLB and the players’ association agreed that players unable to enter the country be placed on the restricted list, where they are not paid and do not accrue major league service time.
Rays reliever Ryan Thompson, on the restricted list for the the first trip, is on the injured list with right triceps inflammation.
Tampa Bay has just two trips to Toronto this year because of an April series that was postponed by the lockout.