ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Yovani Gallardo earned his 100th career victory, Delino DeShields kept running all the way home and the Texas Rangers ended Toronto’s five-game winning streak.
After losing the first two games of the series, and their hold on the American League’s second wild card, the Rangers avoided a sweep with the 4-1 victory Thursday.
DeShields had a part in every run even without an RBI, including his single that rolled under the glove of charging right fielder Jose Bautista with two runners on in the seventh. The ball wound up near the warning track and DeShields circled the bases on the error for a 4-0 lead.
“That’s an exciting play. I was just happy to find a hole and give us a chance to get up, get some cushion,” DeShields said. “It was fun running around the bases.”
Gallardo (11-9) threw 5 1-3 scoreless innings, giving up three hits while striking out two and walking three on 101 pitches.
“Yovani maneuvered his way around the lineup with a one-run lead, never gave in,” manager Jeff Banister said.
The AL East-leading Blue Jays lead the majors with 5.4 runs per game, and had outscored opponents 54-19 during their recent string. Gallardo has thrown 13 2-3 scoreless innings in two starts against them this season.
Gallardo became the fourth native of Mexico to win 100 games, joining Fernando Valenzuela (173), Esteban Loaiza (126) and Ismael Valdez (104).
“It just shows a lot of hard work, throughout the years, and it’s definitely exciting,” said Gallardo, the right-hander who improved to 100-73 in 241 career games with Milwaukee (2007-14) and Texas.
Shawn Tolleson worked the ninth for his 26th save in 28 chances. He had converted 12 straight before Tuesday night’s series opener, when he gave up two runs in the ninth inning of a 6-5 loss.
Sam Dyson got Troy Tulowitzki to ground into an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the seventh.
Texas never trailed after DeShields drew a walk from Marco Estrada (11-8) in the first and scored on Mitch Moreland’s single.
DeShields finished 2 for 2 with three walks after going 6 for 38 with 13 strikeouts the previous nine games.
“That’s what I’m supposed to do, get on base, touch home plate, any way I can,” he said after reaching base a career-high five times.
Edwin Encarnacion stretched his hitting streak to 22 games, the longest in the majors this season, with an RBI double in the Toronto eighth. He hit a scorching liner that got past DeShields in right-center as Bautista scored from first.
In the Texas seventh, slow-running catcher Bobby Wilson was going to be held up at third until the ball got past Bautista. Rather than bases loaded, Wilson and Hanser Alberto scored with the speedy DeShields following close behind.
“”I just attacked the ball too hard,” Bautista said. “I knew who was running at second. I knew they were going to stop him but I was too aggressive attacking the ball.”
Ben Revere of the Blue Jays made a back-handed catch with his arm fully extended and running into the left-field corner to rob Alberto of a hit in the fifth. That was the second-best play by a left fielder in the game. Recently acquired Texas outfielder Will Venable made a long run, then leaped in the air to make a backhanded catch before falling flat to the ground in the left-center gap to end the second and strand a runner. “Really, if he doesn’t make that catch there, it’s a different story in this ballgame,” Banister said.
Rangers: 2B Rougned Odor missed his second straight game since splitting the nail on the middle finger of his right hand Tuesday night. Banister had said Odor could possibly pinch-hit or pinch-run, but wasn’t used Thursday.
Blue Jays: After an eight-game trip, Toronto opens a nine-game homestand Friday night against Detroit.
Rangers: Cole Hamels starts for the Rangers in the opener of a three-game series Friday night against fellow wild-card contender Baltimore, which has won five of its last six games in Texas.
TULO THE DH
Tulowitzki was the DH for the first time in his 10 major league seasons. Manager John Gibbons had planned to give him a day off, but Tulowitzki entered a .458 career hitter (11 for 24) against Gallardo. Tulowitzki was 0 for 5 in the series finale, the first three at-bats coming against Gallardo.
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