As the Texas Rangers came to Toronto for the first two games of their ALDS series with the Blue Jays, they came in with a disadvantage.
Aside from the fact that they didn't have home-field advantage and would be playing against fans who had waited 22 years for this moment in Toronto, the Rangers would be facing Blue Jays ace David Price and one of the best offenses in the MLB.
They knew they had their work cut-out for them and would need to work hard to overcome their obstacles. On Thursday night, the Rangers showed that they weren't going to go down without a fight with a 5-3 win to take game one of the ALDS series.
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Robinson Chirinos and Rougned Odor both hit home runs, complimented by RBI singles by Delino DeShields and Adrian Beltre.
Beltre later came out of the game with an injury, visibly upset with the fact that he had to leave a playoff game early. While the Rangers lost Beltre to injury, the Blue Jays fared worse as Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista both had injury scares.
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Beltre left the game with lower back soreness in the third inning and it seems like an attempt at breaking up a double play in the first inning is what spurred the injury.
In another attempt at breaking up a double play, Josh Donaldson had his knee go into Odor's knee in the fourth inning.
He passed concussion tests on further evaluation and will be re-evaluated. Bautista exited the game with cramping in his right hamstring in the ninth inning, but this seems to have been more of a precaution as he is not expected to miss additional time.
Astros at Kansas City
Going into their ALDS game at Kansas City, the Astros hadn't been to the Division Series since 2005 and then they were in the National League.
They showed that the time gap wouldn't have a big effect on them as they jumped out to and early 3-0 lead by the second inning.
The Astros were doing fine until rain stopped them at 8:27 PM for a 48-minute rain delay. When the teams took the field again, Chris Young was on the mound for the Royals.
Yordano Ventura, their original starter, had a low pitch count and it is more likely that he will start game 4 for the Royals. Colin McHugh started the game and continued after the rain delay as well.
It was a team effort for the Astros as Jose Altuve, George Springer, Carlos Correa, Colby Rasmus, Evan Gattis, and Jake Marisnick all helped the cause.
On the Royals' side, Kendrys Morales joined Kansas City elite with a two home run game. Royals legend George Brett and Willie Aikens are the only other two players with multi-homerun games in the postseason. The contributions from the Astros prevailed as the team took the win at 5-2.
While the teams from Texas took the first games of the MLB postseason, it is not going to be easy going moving forward.
Toronto will send Marcus Stroman to face Cole Hamels in game 2 tomorrow. Scott Kazmir (Houston) and Johnny Cueto (Kansas City) will start in Kansas City tomorrow.
Additionally, the NLDS starts tomorrow with the Mets beginning their first playoff series in nine years against Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers, while the Cubs will face John Lackey and the Cardinals to open their series.
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