Mazara Hits Tiebreaking HR, Rangers Beat Blue Jays 2-1

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Nomar Mazara hit a tiebreaking home run in the eighth inning and the Texas Rangers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1 on Monday night for their fifth win in six games.

In the bottom of the eighth, Mazara preserved the one-run lead by throwing out Michael Saunders at home plate to end the inning.

Tony Barnette (1-1) worked one inning for the win and Shawn Tolleson finished for his ninth save as the Rangers handed the Blue Jays their fourth consecutive home loss. It's Toronto's longest slump at Rogers Centre since a four-game skid from April 23-26, 2014.

Named the AL's top rookie in the month of April earlier Monday, Mazara broke a 1-1 tie with a shot to center off Gavin Floyd (0-2).

Brett Nicholas also homered as the Rangers took the opener of a four-game series between ALDS opponents from 2015.

Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista, whose dramatic home run and exaggerated bat flip marked Toronto's Game 5 victory over Texas in last year's postseason, was held in check this time. He went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.

Bautista faced Sam Dyson, who surrendered that pivotal homer last October, with runners at first and second and nobody out in the eighth. This time, Dyson won the battle by getting Bautista to line out.

Edwin Encarnacion followed with a walk, loading the bases for Troy Tulowitzki, who flied out to right. Saunders tagged from third but was thrown out by Mazara, with the call upheld following a Toronto challenge.

Replay was kinder to Toronto in the seventh, when Dickey left after the Rangers loaded the bases with two singles and a walk. Floyd came on to face Rougned Odor, who flied out to center. Delino DeShields tried to advance from first to second on the play but was thrown out by Kevin Pillar. Home plate umpire Cory Blaser initially ruled that Mitch Moreland had scored before DeShields was retired but the Blue Jays challenged and the call was overturned, keeping it tied 1-all.


Rangers: OF Shin-Soo Choo (right calf) took batting practice on the field for the first time since going on the DL. ... RHP Yu Darvish (elbow surgery) will make his second rehab start Friday. Darvish will throw three innings or 45 pitches for Triple-A Round Rock. ... OF Josh Hamilton (left knee) will be sidelined until Friday, resetting the 20-day clock on his rehab assignment at Double-A Frisco. Hamilton was shut down after suffering a setback Saturday.


Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (1-2, 4.20) will make his third road start of the season. He's 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in his previous two outings away from home.

Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (1-2, 2.92) is winless in three starts. He took the loss in his lone start against Texas last season, allowing one run in six innings.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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