It was the Battle Of The Hyphenators.
Jays’ starter Sean Reid-Foley tangled with a tough Texas out in Isiah Kiner-Falefa, with their two elongated duels helping wear down the Toronto righthander before exiting after three and third innings.
Fouling off a bunch, the Rangers third baseman eventually poked a single that moved lead-off hitter Nomar Mazara to third, later scoring Wednesday’s first run. In the fourth, Kiner-Falefa dug in for another session and drew a walk rom Reid-Foley, scoring on Danny Santana’s two-run double. He reached base three times before striking out in the seventh, by which juncture Reid-Foley was on his way to his third loss in five decisions.
“I didn’t get through five,” lamented Reid-Foley of missing his longevity target while trying to keep his name prominent for a starter’s role as the Jays re-evaluate their staff. “It’s a pretty brutal feeling, but could’ve been a lot worse, it could’ve snowballed on me.”
He did get out of a bases-loaded jam in the second before walking two to start the fourth.
“He threw more strikes (56 of 88 pitches), but they kept fouling balls off and that got his pitch count high,” manager Charlie Montoyo said. “(Bullpen coach) Matt Buschmann has been working with him on that, but at the end of the day, it’s up to the kid.”
Santana’s two-run double off Bobby Boschers moved along Reid-Foley’s inherited runners. Later, reliever Neil Ramirez was tagged by Mazara and Santana for homers.
REMEMBERING JAY DAYS
Despite Toronto getting the better of Texas in two of three games this week, this was a happy homecoming for ex-Jay Chris Woodward, now the Rangers’ manager.
Twelve of his 19 seasons were spent in Toronto, where he met future wife Erin, made the city his winter quarters for a few years and was thought of highly enough as a local to have a TV appearance on DeGrassi: The Next Generation.
“My family (three kids) was started here,” he told the Dallas Morning News. “My daughter (Sophie) was born here. My first dog was from here. I was like three-quarters Canadian at that point.”
Woodward was a late round draft choice in 1994, arriving with the big team five years later. His first career home run came May 31, 2000, with a three-homer game in 2002.
“It was weird managing against them in Texas (earlier this year) and it will be weirder here,” Woodward said before the series. “I’ll always be grateful to this organization for giving me a shot and taking a chance on me. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the Jays.”
20/20 REARVIEW VISION
The Jays wrapped up 20 straight games on Wednesday, with a respectable 12 wins. It looked bleak at the start of the run in the gloom of having popular players traded, before Bo Bichette arrived and the bats warmed up.
“(Having Thursday off) is big,” manager Charlie Montoyo said. “It’s a grind. The good thing is we’re playing good baseball, but everyone deserves a day off. It’s good because we’re home and everybody can almost have 48 hours before Friday.”
Jacob Waguespack starts against the Mariners that night and Montoyo will formulate a weekend rotation for the series from there.
The Rangers had a second-inning boost to take an early lead, set in motion by hesitant left fielder Derek Fisher. On a Mazara bloop, he let a back-pedalling Bo Bichette try for it first, but it dropped in front of him. The Rangers’ lead-off hitter came around on Delino DeShields’ single … The Texas series was huge for Jays’ Randal Grichuk, who hit his third triple of the season and went 6-for-12 with a double, triple, two homers and five RBI … Kiner-Falefa is of Samoan-Hawaiian-Japanese descent, with his grandmother from Hiroshima. He had one of four stolen bases for Texas on Wednesday.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019