ARLINGTON, Texas - A slumbering Blue Jays offense had showed signs of life in Game 3. The sleeping giant announced itself fully awake in Game 4 and, as a result, this ALDS is going the distance.
Hitting three home runs in the first two innings, including a pair in the first, and using a tag team of former Cy Young Award winners on the mound, the Blue Jays beat the Rangers, 8-4, in front of a sellout crowd of 47,679 at Globe Life Park.
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"If you could script it, that's obviously what you'd want," Josh Donaldson -- who hit a two-run homer off lefthander Derek Holland in the three-run first -- said of the fast start by the majors' top offense this season. Chris Colabello homered later in the inning and Kevin Pillar added a home run in the second.
Game 5 is Wednesday night in Toronto, a game that will be started by former Patchogue-Medford star Marcus Stroman, who started Game 2.
"I know he's ready," David Price said of Stroman. "He's champing at the bit."
Former Met R.A. Dickey, entrusted with Monday's start by Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, who could have tabbed Price on three days' rest, nonetheless was on a short leash.
The 40-year-old knuckleballer, in his first career postseason outing, allowed one run and five hits in 42/3 innings. But with his club leading 7-1, Gibbons chose to bring in Price with one on and two outs in the fifth.
Price retired Shin-Soo Choo, who had two hits off Dickey, and the next three batters after that. But the lefthander, without a postseason win since 2008 -- and he earned that in a relief appearance with Tampa Bay -- was far from terrific, allowing three runs and six hits in three innings and departing in the eighth with his club ahead 8-4. Still, he was awarded the win.
"There's still that competitive nerve that runs through your body that doesn't want to ever come out of a game," said Dickey, who looked irritated in the dugout but not so much in the interview room afterward.
He mentioned that he and Price are natives of Nashville, Tennessee, and share the same agent and the same year (2012) in which they won the Cy Young Award.
"Has there ever been a game where one Cy Young has handed the ball to another one?" Dickey said. "That's kind of cool. We know each other well. I think that made it a little easier knowing this guy was coming in behind me. But I obviously would have liked to continue to go."
Gibbons, whose club had 12 hits, including seven extra-base hits, said that even with the six-run lead, he didn't want to take any chances.
"Choo had been on him all day and he's hit him his whole career," Gibbons said of the rightfielder, who was 4-for-11 coming in against Dickey.
Gibbons also referenced the first game of the day, Royals-Astros, in which Kansas City rallied from four runs down in the eighth to extend that series to a fifth game.
"It wasn't an easy decision, but I thought that was the best way to win the game, keeping them from coming back," he said. "He might have had an inning left anyway. Probably not a relationship-building move but a team win. That's what I was looking for."