ALDS Game 4: Blue Jays big bats show up, beat Rangers 8-4 to force Game 5

Israel Fehr
Big League Stew

This ALDS is going the distance. After dropping the first two games of the series at home, the Toronto Blue Jays won their second straight in Texas to force Game 5, beating the Rangers 8-4 Monday in Arlington.

Josh Donaldson, Chris Colabello and Kevin Pillar homered to give Toronto a 4-0 lead
after two innings. Texas starter Derek Holland was pulled with two runners on and no outs in the third, and the Blue Jays increased their lead to 7-0. The Rangers scored one run off starter R.A. Dickey in the third and added three more against David Price, one in the seventh and two in the eighth, but they weren't able to erase the early deficit.

• Pillar had a three-hit night and also drove in three runs. Not bad at all for your No. 8 hitter. The only blemish was a caught stealing when he had the bag stolen but he overslid and was tagged out.

• Donaldson set the tone for the game with his first inning blast, but there were other Blue Jays that came up big, too. Colabello, Ben Revere and Edwin Encarnacion all had two hits. That's the kind of depth their opponents have to deal with.

• Adrian Beltre was a surprise late addition to the Rangers' lineup, and even though he still wasn't moving all that smoothly because of his niggly back, he still managed to go out there and pick up a couple hits. There's no doubt that Beltre is one tough dude.

• Shin-Soo Choo's game was another bright spot for Texas. He was 3-for-4 with a couple runs scored.

• Holland gave up two homers in the first and another in the second before getting a quick hook in the third after allowing the first two hitters he faced to reach base. His final pitching line looks like this: 2 IP, 6 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 0 SO's. Not good.

• David Price pitched three innings in relief and didn't finish strong. He gave up a run in the seventh and two more in the eighth.

Troy Tulowitzki followed up his Game 3 heroics by going 0-for-4 at the plate with a walk. At least the Blue Jays didn't need him in this one.

After Ben Revere led off the game with a bunt single, Josh Donaldson belted a two-run shot to right field off Holland to give the Blue Jays an early lead in the first inning and Toronto never looked back. It was the start of the huge offensive outburst we were waiting to see from this talented lineup in October.

We all remember Madison Bumgarner doing it just last year, but it's still rare to see an All-Star starter come out of the bullpen.

• Why did Holland start? The Rangers opted to go with Holland over veteran right-hander Colby Lewis in Game 4, even though Toronto had a had a league-best .818 team OPS against left-handers this season. It backfired on them.

• The Blue Jays are back. Over the two games in Texas, they've shown why they entered the postseason as the World Series favorite. They have to feeling good about themselves heading back home with a chance to win the series.

• Price's relief appearance. Coming out of the bullpen for three innings takes Price out of the equation to start Game 5. But he could possibly be available in relief again Wednesday? We'll see. At this point, though, it seems unlikely.

Game 5 will go down Wednesday in Toronto. Marcus Stroman will start for the Blue Jays, while Cole Hamels is expected to pitch for Texas. The winner advances to the ALCS to face either Kansas City or Houston. That series will also be decided in a Game 5 on Wednesday after the Royals rallied late to win Game 4.

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Israel Fehr is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at israelfehr@yahoo.ca or follow him on Twitter.

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