The Texas Rangers returned from their first off day in three weeks with a vengeance on Friday night, smashing the Toronto Blue Jays 14-3 in a game that wasn’t even that close. The Rangers jumped on the Blue Jays early by scoring six runs in the first inning, knocking starter Brandon Morrow from the game after 44 pitches, but before he could record a third out. On the other side of the coin, Derek Holland delivered his best start of the year, pitching 7.1 innings, giving up just two runs, walking one, and striking out nine.
Quick-hit style notes from tonight’s game:
- Ian Kinsler started the Rangers big first inning off with a 13-pitch walk. He would go on to see 41 pitches in his five at-bats on the night.
- Holland struck out the side twice. In the 1st inning he sat down all three Blue Jays hitters he faced on swinging strikeouts. In the 6th inning he gave up a solo home run to Edwin Encarnacion, but the other three hitters he faced in the inning were punchouts.
- Nelson Cruz finished the night with eight RBIs, punctuated by an opposite-field 414 foot grand slam in the 7th inning. Cruz now has five home runs for the year, two of which have been grand slams. Before this year, his last regular season grand slam was in 2009 (he did hit a walk-off grand slam in the 2011 ALCS).
- The Rangers have won 4 games at home in the month of May. Their average margin of victory in those four games is 6.5 runs. Three of those games were started by C.J. Wilson, Jered Weaver, and Brandon Morrow.
- Wilson, Weaver, and Morrow entered their games against Texas with a combined 2.28 ERA. In their games against Texas, they have an 18.00 ERA. After those games, their combined ERA on the season rose to a combined 3.24, almost a full run higher than prior to facing the Rangers.
- Blue Jays pitchers threw 203 pitches in the game, while Rangers pitchers only had to throw 126 pitches in one more inning of work. The most effective pitcher of the night for Toronto was Jeff Mathis. Mathis is a catcher.
- Six different Rangers had multi-hit nights.
- The Rangers raised their MLB leading team batting average from .284 to .288.
- Josh Hamilton hit his MLB leading 19th home run. Yorvit Torrealba hit his 1st home run of the year, leaving Alberto Gonzalez as the lone position player on the Rangers without a home run.
- The Rangers run differential is now +90. The next closest team in run differential is St. Louis at +62.
This was a happy game for the Rangers team and its fans. The rest of the series is set up nicely for Texas as well, considering the beleaguered Toronto bullpen, the well-rested Texas bullpen, and the promise of two more sellout crowds for Saturday’s and Sunday’s games.