TORONTO — Veteran shortstop Elvis Andrus had four hits and drove in two runs to help the Texas Rangers to a 7-3 victory against the Blue Jays on Wednesday.
The matinee victory enabled the Rangers (60-60) to avoid a three-game sweep after they were outscored 22-4 in the first two games of the series at Rogers Centre.
Andrus, 30, smashed three singles and a double to move closer to becoming the all-time hits leader in Rangers history. His 1,683 career hits are second to Rafael Palmeiro’s 1,692.
Texas lefty Kolby Allard (1-0) picked up his first win for the Rangers since he was acquired from the Atlanta Braves on July 30. He yielded three runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings.
The young Blue Jays (51-73) lost for only the second time in six games and have won 11 of their last 17 outings.
Toronto starter Sean Reid-Foley (2-3), who made his Major League debut a year and one day ago, lasted only 88 pitches and 3 1/3 innings. The Rangers went ahead 1-0 in the second inning. Outfielder Nomar Mazara led off with a double to left field and scored on Delino DeShields singled to centre.
Reid-Foley departed down only a run, but he issued back-to-back walks Texas third baseman Isiah Kiner-Falefa and DeShields to start the fourth inning. They were cashed in on a double to left field from Danny Santana off Blue Jays reliever Buddy Boshers.
Santana scored to push Texas to a 4-0 lead when Andrus singled to centre off Zack Godley, Toronto’s third pitcher of the game.
The Blue Jays finally checked in with a run in their fourth inning. Randal Grichuk led off with a triple to right field and scored on Brandon Drury’s fielder’s choice grounder to Andrus.
Andrus continued his solid outing with a double to right field in the sixth inning that scored Santana, who reached base on a fielder’s choice, for a 5-1 lead.
The Blue Jays scored twice in the sixth inning. Teoscar Hernandez walked to start the frame. He advanced moved to third on Rowdy Tellez’s single to right field and scored on a wild pitch. Tellez scored on catcher Danny Jansen’s single to left field.
Toronto rookie Bo Bichette kept the inning going with a double underneath the glove of Texas first baseman Santana. But Jansen and Bichette were left stranded at the second and third base, respectively, when Cavan Biggio struck out to end the rally.
Bichette’s hit extended his on-base streak to 17 games to start a career. That matches Bill Russell (Los Angeles Dodgers, 1969) for the second-longest streak to start a career. Rocco Baldelli (Tampa Bay Rays, 2003) has the record at 24.
The Rangers clubbed a pair of late solo homers from Mazara in the seventh and Santana in the eighth.
Tim Wharnsby, The Canadian Press