Blue Jays take Game 1 over Rangers 7-6
TORONTO (AP) — Devon Travis hit his second career grand slam, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Texas Rangers 7-6 on Friday night for their fourth consecutive victory.
Justin Smoak and Kendrys Morales also connected for the Blue Jays, and Aaron Loup (2-0) pitched 1 1/3 innings for the win.
Texas has lost four straight, matching its longest slide of the season.
Travis went 3 for 4, extending his hitting streak to 10 games. He homered off A.J. Griffin in the second, doubled in the fourth, and singled and scored on a wild pitch in the sixth.
After Rougned Odor cut the gap to one with a three-run homer off Joe Smith in the ninth, Roberto Osuna came on and struck out Mike Napoli for his eighth save.
Toronto welcomed two star Infielders back to the lineup. Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki returned after being activated off the disabled list.
Tulowitzki had been out since April 21 with a strained right hamstring, while Donaldson went down on April 13 with a sore right calf. Both had been on rehab assignments at Class A Dunedin.
Donaldson finished 1 for 4 with a double. Tulowitzki went 1 for 2 with a single and two walks.
Griffin (4-2) was forced to leave in the second after suffering a strained left intercostal muscle. The right-hander, now winless in three starts, allowed three runs and four hits in 1 1/3 innings. It was the Rangers’ shortest start of the season.
Austin Bibens-Dirkx replaced Griffin and pitched four innings.
Toronto also got a grand slam from infielder Ryan Goins in Wednesday’s win at Milwaukee. The last pair of Blue Jays to hit grand slams in consecutive games was Brad Fullmer and Raul Mondesi, who did it April 20 and 21, 2001.
Travis, who has a major league-best 18 extra-base hits this month, broke Aaron Hill’s 2009 record for extra-base hits in a month by a Blue Jays second baseman. Hill had 16 in September 2009.
To make room for Donaldson and Tulowitzki, Toronto optioned right-hander Cesar Valdez and outfielder Dwight Smith Jr. to Triple-A.
Rangers: 3B Adrian Beltre (right calf) went 4 for 6 with a double in six innings in an extended spring training game. He will play six innings again Saturday, his third rehab game, and could return Monday. … INF Hanser Alberto (right shoulder) also played at extended spring Friday. He went 2 for 3 in seven innings. … RHP Jose LeClerc (right index finger) will begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Frisco on Sunday. … RHP Tyson Ross (shoulder) will make his second rehab start at Triple-A Round Rock on Monday.
Blue Jays: LHP J.A. Happ (elbow) made his first rehab start with Class A Dunedin on Thursday. Happ allowed three runs and seven hits in three innings. … LHP Francisco Liriano (shoulder) will make a rehab start with Triple-A Buffalo on Sunday.
Rangers: RHP Yu Darvish (5-2, 2.83 ERA) is 4-0 with a 2.54 ERA in his past six starts. The Rangers are 7-3 in his 10 starts this season, winning six straight.
Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (3-2, 3.30 ERA) is 3-1 in five May starts. He struck out a season-high 12 in his previous outing, a May 21 victory at Baltimore.
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