Tagged in: Toronto Blue Jays

Marcus Semien, Toronto Blue Jays reach agreement on 1-year, $18M deal

Infielder Marcus Semien is in agreement with the Toronto Blue Jays on a one-year, $18 million contract, a source familiar with the deal told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Semien will become the second star and fourth free agent added by the Blue Jays during a slow offseason amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Toronto gave outfielder George Springer a $150 million, six-year deal. Toronto also agreed to one-year contracts with right-handers Kirby Yates ($5.5 million) and Tyler Chatwood ($3 million) and re-signed left-hander Robbie Ray to an $8 million, one-year contract.

Coming off a career year in 2019, Semien struggled in 2020 while dealing with a rib injury, as the shortstop hit just .223 with 7 home runs, 28 runs, 23 RBIs and 4 stolen bases for the Oakland Athletics. His production was down largely due to his strikeouts being up, as he fanned on 21.2% of his plate appearances.

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It was a different story for Semien in 2019, when he concluded third in AL MVP voting after posting personal bests with 33 home runs, 92 RBIs and a .285 batting average while playing in all 162 matches. His WAR (8.9) was third in the majors that season, and he parlayed that into a one-year, $13 million deal — more than double his contract after earning $5.9 million in 2018. He earned $4,814,815 in prorated pay for 2020.

Semien was tied for 190th among batters in WAR in 2020, with 0.5. Even with the decline in 2020, he is one of just six hitters to account for at least 9.0 WAR in the past two seasons combined.

Semien’s 151 runs scored since the start of the 2019 season rank second among all American League players, and his 100 extra-base hits rank fifth.

In eight MLB campaigns, Semien, who is above average when it comes to base running, has a .254 batting average with 115 home runs, 380 RBIs, 467 runs scored and 66 stolen bases — but with 731 strikeouts in 3,266 at-bats — for the Chicago White Sox and A’s.

Toronto went 32-28 during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, concluding third in the AL East behind the Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees and qualifying for the expanded postseason despite behind forced to play home matches in Buffalo, New York, due to Canadian government restrictions on travel. The Blue Jays were swept in two games by the AL champion Rays in a first-round series.

Toronto has an emerging young core and is adding major contracts, while younger players such as Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. have relatively low salaries because they remain shy of eligibility for arbitration.

It is not clear where the Blue Jays will play home games when the 2021 season starts.

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Toronto Blue Jays vs Detroit Tigers

Toronto Blue Jays vs Detroit Tigers

The surging Toronto Blue Jays hope to continue their winning ways at the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday.

The Toronto Blue Jays are taking aim at the top spot in the American League East and have won five of six on the strength of their solid starting pitching. The Detroit Tigers, who host the Blue Jays in the opener of a three-game series on Monday, are making their way up the standings as well and swept a three-game series over the weekend to reach .500.

Monday, 7:10 p.m.
J.A. Happ (6-2, 3.06) vs. Michael Fulmer (5-1, 3.24)


Tuesday, 7:10 p.m.
Aaron Sanchez (5-1, 2.99) vs. Matt Boyd (0-1, 3.94)


Wednesday, 1:10 p.m.
R.A. Dickey (3-6, 4.21) vs. Jordan Zimmerman (8-2, 2.58)

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The Toronto Blue Jays are the hottest team in the American League East and are right on the tails of Boston and Baltimore. The Blue Jays had won nine of eleven before taking one on the chin in an 11-0 defeat at Detroit on Monday night where both the arms and bats were nonfactors. Jays starter JA Happ was charged with six runs on six hits including a pair of homers over five frames before Gavin Floyd gave up three and Drew Storen two. Toronto had nothing going at the plate with three hits and four bases on balls with Michael Saunders smacking a triple while Darwin Barney singled twice. Aaron Sanchez toes the rubber against the Tigers for the first time in his career Tuesday. Sanchez comes off of a 7-0 win versus the Yankees with seven hits given up over 6.2 innings.

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The Detroit Tigers have been playing well enough to hang tough in the American League Central although making up ground has been a problem. The Tigers have now won four of five after Monday’s one sided affair where not one thing went wrong in any area. Detroit starter Michael Fulmer was at his best with two hits and three free passes issued through six scoreless innings that upped his record to 6-1 and lowered his ERA to 2.83. The Tigers amassed 15 hits and walked four times with James McCann going deep and driving in three with Justin Upton going 2-4 with a homer, three RBI’s and three runs. JD Martinez drove in two while Ian Kinsler and Nick Castellanos scored five times. The Tigers have scheduled Matt Boyd for Tuesday’s outing against visiting Toronto. Boyd comes off a 5-4 loss to the Yankees (ND) where he gave up four runs on six hits in 6.1 frames.


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Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles

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 Cleveland Cavaliers (59-25) at Detroit Pistons (44-39)

NBA Basketball: Friday, April 22, 2016 at 7:00 pm (The Palace of Auburn Hills)
The Detroit Pistons and the Cleveland Cavaliers collide in Game 3 on Friday at The Palace.

It is a celebration of a 44-win season that Pistons fans have waited seven years to see but comes against an onerous backdrop, a 2-0 deficit against the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 seed in a first-round playoff series.

Detroit Pistons do not fear the Cleveland Cavaliers. They have a young, talented team that is tremendously coached.

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The Pistons are giving the Cavs a real series and the team is responding. Despite questions about whether or not the Cavs were capable of flipping the switch in the playoffs, the Cavs have got out to a 2-0 series lead with impressive wins. Last season the Cavs were in a tight series with the Boston Celtics, and even though they swept them, the margin of victory for every game but the first one was eight. This Detroit team is much better than last year’s Celtics and game two was the largest margin of victory in round one for LeBron since he returned to Cleveland. This Cavs team is deeper, healthier and should be better this season and they are finally showing signs of that.

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The Cavaliers will be satisfied with their 2-0 series lead after taking down the Pistons by 107-90 on Wednesday. LeBron James led the charge with 27 points on 12 of 18 shooting, Kyrie Irving added 22 points with four assists while Kevin Love double-doubled with 16 points and 10 rebounds as the Cavaliers dominated the second half by 52-37 to pull away and hold onto home-court advantage. As a team, the Cavs shot 50 percent from the field and a ridiculous 20 of 38 from the 3-point line thanks largely in part to JR Smith who connected on seven treys en route to 21 points which really broke the backs of the Pistons, especially in the second half.

The Pistons really wanted to keep the pressure on with a win on Wednesday but they just didn’t have the weapons to keep up the pace with the Cavaliers. Andre Drummond had a solid game of 20 points but made just four of 16 free throw attempts, Reggie Jackson added 14 points with six assists while Tobias Harris and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope eached scored 13 points, but while the Cavs were doing a great job of finding the open shooter for the three, the Pistons struggled mightily from distance as they made just four of 17 three-point attempts.

In ATS trends, the Cavs are 16-7 ATS in their last 23 Conference Quarterfinals games and 1-5 ATS in their last six games following a win of more than 10 points, while the Pistons are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six games following a loss and 1-5 ATS in their last six Conference Quarterfinals games.

Head to head, the road team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings and the over is 5-2 in the last seven meetings.

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Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles

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Houston Astros (5-10) at Texas Rangers (9-6)
MLB Baseball: Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 8:05 pm (Globe Life Park)
D Keuchel (2-1) (2.18) vs. A Griffin (1-0) (3.27)
The Line: Texas Rangers +130 / Houston Astros -140

The Texas Rangers hope to sweep the Houston Astros late Thursday night.

The Houston Astros could use a nice victory after losing six of their last eight games. The issues for the Astros start is on the offensive end where they’ve scored three or less runs in seven of their last 10 games. The Houston Astros have the talent to get back on track, but it certainly doesn’t help that they’ve struck out 19 times in this series. Jose Altuve leads Houston with 18 hits, Tyler White has 12 RBI and George Springer has four home runs. Dallas Keuchel gets the ball, and he’s 2-1 with a 2.18 ERA and 17 strikeouts this season. Keuchel is 4-4 with a 3.88 ERA and 78 strikeouts in his career against the Rangers.

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2-1 Wins-Losses 1-0
20.2 Innings Pitched 11.0
2.18 Earned Run Average 3.27
11 Walks 6
17 Strikeouts 6
1.21 WHIP 1.36


The Texas Rangers look to keep rolling after winning six of their last eight games. The Rangers have scored five or more runs in six of their last eight games, including nine runs in this series. The Texas Rangers are 7-2 this season when scoring more than three runs. Adrian Beltre leads Texas with 17 hits, Rougned Odor has 13 RBI and Mitch Moreland has two home runs. A.J. Griffin takes the hill, and he’s 1-0 with a 3.27 ERA and six strikeouts this season. Griffin is 3-0 with a 4.88 ERA and 32 strikeouts in his career against the Astros.

The Astros are 1-4 in their last 5 Thursday games and 35-16 in Keuchels last 51 starts. The Rangers are 5-1 in their last 6 Thursday games and 31-15 in their last 46 home games. The Astros are 14-39 in the last 53 meetings in Texas.

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Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles

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Baltimore Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays – 4/20/16 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Toronto Blue Jays (7-7) at Baltimore Orioles (8-2)
MLB Baseball: Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at 7:05 pm (Camden Yards)
R Dickey (1-2) (6.75) vs. U Jimenez
The Line: Baltimore Orioles +100 / Toronto Blue Jays -110

The Toronto Blue Jays look for their fourth win in a row on Wednesday night as they continue their series at Camden Yards against the Baltimore Orioles.

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 It’s very difficult for any pitcher to keep Toronto sluggers Jose Bautista,Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson in check, but Ubaldo Jimenez seems to have found the formula.

Jimenez looks to continue his effectiveness against the Blue Jays on Wednesday night as the Baltimore Orioles try to rebound from their first home loss.

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The Blue Jays started the series on a high note last night as they outlasted a hard hitting Orioles side and got their ace Marcus Stroman another victory, which made it three wins in a row and head into Wednesday night looking to move two games clear of the .500 mark. Toronto hasn’t quite hit their stride yet and there is much concern with the offensive play of Russell Martin who has been on a cold streak to start the year and will be relegated to the DH spot at best with RA Dickey tossing in this one and Josh Thole setting up shop behind the plate. The Blue Jays are a very weak 6-15 in their last 21 starts by Dickey against the AL East but are 13-6 in their last 19 starts overall with the knuckleballer on the bump so we could very well see an improvement in both of those trends that favour the reigning AL East champions.

The Orioles meanwhile got off to a red hot start to the season and are still a very impressive 8-3 on the season and will look to get back in the win column against one of their main competitors standing between them and a potential playoff spot this season. Baltimore has a pretty high octane offense, much like the Blue Jays do, and while both teams are able to hit the cover off the ball it is the Jays that seem to have more situational, and contact bats than do the Orioles as their strikeout rate is a cause for concern. The Jays are always a tough team to figure out when Dickey takes the mound as even on his best days where the ball is dancing all over it doesn’t correlate into success for the team and now with Ubaldo Jimenez slated to take the bump the O’s could be in a good spot to get the win here.

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Toronto Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals – Game 5

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at 4:07 pm (Rogers Centre)

E Volquez (14-10) (3.52) vs. M Estrada (14-9) (3.13)

The Line: Toronto Blue Jays -152 / Kansas City Royals +130

The Jays, who were blown out by the Kansas City Royals in Game 4 of the American League, now need to win three straight games to make it to the World Series. That battle starts today at the Rogers Centre at 4 p.m. ET.

Great pitching and a potent offense led the Kansas City Royals to a 14-2 win at the Rogers Centre and a 3-2 lead in the ALCS. Starter Chris Young gave up both runs on three hits over 4.2 frames before four relievers held the Blue Jays off the scoreboard. The KC offense did the rest with a 15 hit, five walk attack that saw Alex Rios go solo with Ben Zobrist going deep and driving in two and scoring twice. Alcides Escobar and Lorenzo Cain combined for seven RBI’s as every starter drove in runs or scored. Edinson Volquez shoots for his second win of the ALCS against the Blue Jays Wednesday. Volquez defeated Toronto 5-0 on two hits and four BB over six innings pitched.

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The Toronto Blue Jays had their offense going in game three’s victory but  couldn’t carry over the momentum in Tuesday’s one sided defeat. Neither the arms or bats came through with starter RA Dickey charged with five runs on two homers through 1.2 innings. Three of the next five relievers were tagged for nine runs and that was  far too much for the Toronto offense to overcome. The Blue Jays mustered seven hits and walked twice with Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson driving in runs while Ben Revere and Ryan Goins scored. The Blue Jays hope to keep their season alive when they send Marco Estrada to the mound. Estrada dropped a 5-0 decision to Kansas City in the ALCS with three runs scored on six hits over 5.1 frames.

Kansas City are 7-2 in their last 9 road games and are 7-3 in their last 10 games following a win while going  21-9 in Volquezs last 30 starts. The over is 7-0-4 in Toronto’s last 11 on astroturf and the over is 5-0-3 in their last 8 home games while going 6-1-1 in their last 8 games following a loss. Kansas City are 2-6 in the last 8 meetings in Toronto.

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Toronto Blue Jays at Atlanta Braves

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The Atlanta Braves snapped a 12-game home losing streak Tuesday, and now will try to give Shelby Miller his first victory in nearly four months when they host the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday

Miller’s winless streak sits at 21 and in 13 of those outings the Braves have not scored a run while he has been in the game, but Atlanta found a way in the series opener to keep the American League East-leading Blue Jays from extending their division lead. Miller faces David Price in a matchup of two of the better pitchers in baseball this season.

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Much like the last series, this three-game set between the Atlanta Bravesand Toronto Blue Jays features two teams trending in opposite directions. Toronto took three out of four from the New York Yankees over the weekend to open up a three-game lead in the American League East. Atlanta found a way to lose Sunday to cap off a four-game sweep at the hands of the New York Mets.

Before being shutout Sunday, the Blue Jays scored 11, 9, and 10 runs against the Yankees. Against a Braves pitching staff that has struggled mightily in recent months, this does not bode well. Toronto boasts three of the top nine home run hitters in the American League in Josh Donaldson (38), Jose Bautista (35), and Edwin Encarnacion (32). Encarnacion has been especially hot as of late, hitting .341 with 11 homers and 34 RBIs in the last month. Speedy outfielder Ben Revere has been going well in recent days too, hitting .435 (10-for-23) during the past week.

The Braves, on the other hand, are in the midst of a miserable stretch. They lead theMets 7-4 with two outs in the ninth inning and the bases empty on Sunday. Three batters, later, Daniel Murphy tied the game with a three-run homer. New York scored three more runs with two outs in the tenth inning, to win 10-7. Atlanta has lost what is believed to be a franchise record 12 straight games at Turner Field. On a brighter note, Andrelton Simmons is hitting .375 (9-for-24) over the last week, and Michael Bourn has reversed some of his bad luck, batting .333 (7-for-21) over that same time.

The Blue Jays lead the Yankees by three games in the AL East and are 37-16 since the All-Star break, fueled by a high-powered offense. Toronto’s top three home-run hitters (Josh Donaldson, 38; Jose Bautista, 35; Edwin Encarnacion, 32) have combined for 105 homers, while the Braves as a team have belted just 89. Encarnacion missed his second consecutive game Tuesday with an injured middle finger on his left hand, and the Blue Jays hope he will be available at some point in the three-game series.


Blue Jays LH David Price (6-1, 2.28 ERA) vs. Braves RH Shelby Miller (5-14, 2.86)

Price has been outstanding in eight starts since being dealt from Detroit to Toronto at the trade deadline, winning four of his last five outings. He beat the Yankees on Friday, striking out seven with two runs allowed on six hits in five innings, and has not allowed more than three earned runs in any start with the Blue Jays. Price has averaged 8.1 strikeouts in his Toronto starts, allowing only three homers in 55 1/3 innings. Miller has taken the loss in his past five outings, even though he has allowed more than four earned runs just once in that stretch. He held the Mets to three runs on seven hits in six innings last time out, but again got no support in a 7-2 defeat. The Braves have averaged 2.37 runs in Miller’s starts this season, the lowest total for any qualifying starter in the majors.


  1. Atlanta has won just four times in its past 28 games but held the top five hitters in Toronto’s lineup to one hit in 19 at-bats with eight strikeouts in the series opener.
  2. Toronto 1B Justin Smoak started for Encarnacion and homered Tuesday, the 95th homer the Blue Jays have slugged on the road this season – second in the majors to Seattle’s 96.
  3. Blue Jays CF Ben Revere is hitless in his past eight at-bats after going 10-for-19 in his previous four games; Revere is hitting .325 in 40 games since being traded from Philadelphia to Toronto.


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Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees

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The Toronto Blue Jays and Yankees square off for four games starting Thursday, separated in the American League East by 1.5 games, Toronto with the advantage.

After the rubber match Wednesday night against the Red Sox, the Blue Jays continue their 10-game road trip with a pivotal four-game series at Yankee Stadium against their closest rival.

Thursday, 7 p.m.: LH David Price (14-5, 2.43) vs RH Luis Severino (3-2, 2.04)

Friday, 7 p.m.: RH Marco Estrada (11-8, 3.36) vs. RH Ivan Nova (6-7, 4.50)

Saturday, 1 p.m.: RH Marcus Stroman (0-0, 0.00) vs. RH Michael Pineda (10-8, 4.15)

Sunday, 1 p.m.: RH R.A. Dickey (10-10, 4.01) vs. RH Masahiro Tanaka (11-6, 3.57)

This is the biggest series of the season for both clubs, who have been separated by fewer than two games for the better part of a month now. Prior to Wednesday night’s action, the Jays held a slim, 1.5 game lead atop the division. Despite a number of key injuries, the Yankees have showed no signs they are prepared to concede the pennant. The Jays and Yankees are first and second in runs scored this season, and first and fourth in run differential.

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On Thursday, New York rookie Luis Severino (3-2, 2.04) will face lefty David Price (14-5, 2.43).

Severino struck out nine Blue Jays on August 16 over 6.0 innings and Price, who the Blue Jays nabbed from Detroit at the trade deadline, has allowed three earned runs in 14.1 innings against New York this season.

But beyond Severino, the Yankees’ rotation is in flux. With Nathan Eovaldi out possibly the rest of the season with elbow trouble, New York hasn’t yet named any starters for the next three games, though they’re likely to stay in rotation

The Blue Jays sport among the league’s best offense; since August 1 they have baseball’s top on-base percentage (.348) with the third-most homers (56.)

But Yankees aren’t exactly slouching: they have 47 homers and the third-most walks, 127, in that time.

While it will likely feel like a playoff atmosphere at 161st street in the Bronx, Girardi said in terms of the rotation, it will be probably be decided in the next day or so. Losing the first two games wouldn’t effect Saturday or Sunday in that regard.

Rain began to fall late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning in New York City, and the forecast for the first of a four-game series between the Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays doesn’t look promising.

Several forecasts early Thursday morning have rain falling steadily through the morning and then picking up in the afternoon and evening.

That is not good news for those hoping to see some baseball. If the game is rained out, it would be the first Yanks’ washout all season.

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Detroit Tigers at Toronto Blue Jays

Detroit Tigers at Toronto Blue JaysRogers Centre
Aug. 28-30

Friday, 7:07 p.m.
LH Matt Boyd (1-2, 4.88) vs. RH R.A. Dickey (8-10, 4.26)

Saturday, 1:07 p.m.
RH Buck Farmer (0-2, 7.80) vs. RH Drew Hutchison (12-2, 5.06)

Sunday 1:07 p.m.
RH Alfredo Simon (11-8, 4.89) vs. LH Mark Buehrle (13-6, 3.45)

The Toronto Blue Jays return to the Rogers Centre after an eight-game road trip, having gone 6-2, outscoring their opponents 67–35 in the process.

Entering a weekend series against the Detroit Tigers, the Blue Jays are looking to add to their 1.5-game lead in the AL East with victories against a scuffling Tigers squad that has taken losses in six of their last seven outings.

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Toronto (71-56) totaled 54 runs while batting .347 in a five-game win streak that ended with Thursday’s 4-1 defeat to Texas. The Blue Jays went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position while nearly getting shut out for the first time in seven weeks.

Edwin Encarnacion saved his team from that fate with an RBI double in the eighth inning that extended his hit streak to 22 games, the longest in the majors this season. The Blue Jays had their division lead against the idle New York Yankees cut to 1 1/2 games after wrapping up a 6-2 road trip.

Toronto, easily the MLB leader with 689 runs and the winner in 21 of 26, will try to get back on track in its first matchup against Matt Boyd (1-4, 7.04 ERA). The left-hander was traded from the Blue Jays to Detroit on July 30 in the David Price deal.

The Tigers (60-67) have continued to struggle in close games lately and fell 2-0 to the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday. Detroit has dropped six of seven, with five losses by two runs or fewer.

Detroit took two of three from visiting Toronto in early July and dealt R.A. Dickey an 8-3 defeat in the middle game of the series. The knuckleballer gave up five runs and 11 hits in 5 2-3 innings.

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Toronto Blue Jays at Texas Rangers

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The Toronto Blue Jays and the Texas Rangers are two of the hottest teams in the American League and both are pushing their way toward postseason spots.

A night after Troy Tulowitzki’s late hit helped put Toronto alone atop the AL East, David Price looks to guide the Blue Jays to a fifth straight victory when he faces the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night in Arlington.

Toronto (70-55) has won 20 of 24 since Anthopoulos traded for Tulowitzki on July 28, and the club moved a game ahead of the New York Yankees with Tuesday’s 6-5 victory in the opener of this three-game series.

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Tulowitzki’s two-out RBI single in the ninth tied it before Josh Donaldson, a front-runner for the AL MVP after being acquired from Oakland in the offseason, hit a high chopper to Adrian Beltre. The Rangers’ third baseman made a wide throw to first, and his error allowed Ben Revere to score the go-ahead run.

“(Tulowitzki is) one of the best players in baseball, has been for a number of years,” manager John Gibbons said. “Right guy, right time.”

Chris Colabello, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion homered for the Blue Jays, who are poised to make their first postseason appearance since winning the second of back-to-back World Series titles in 1993.

Price (12-4, 2.40 ERA) has been doing his part, going 3-0 with a 1.78 ERA in four starts since coming over from Detroit at the non-waiver deadline. He gave up two runs and struck out nine in eight innings of Friday’s 9-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

The left-hander received three runs of support combined in his final three starts with the Tigers, the same amount he got before he even took the mound against the Angels. The majors’ top offense has provided him with an average of 6.82 runs per nine innings.

“When you have your go-to guy on the mound and you get three early runs, he was in cruise mode from there,” said Revere, who was acquired from Philadelphia at the trade deadline. “(Price) gets that edge. You look in his eyes, and he’s all about his game.”

Price is 2-2 with a 7.36 ERA in five career starts in Arlington, but he pitched a complete game the last time he was there to lead Tampa Bay over the Rangers 5-2 on Sept. 30, 2013, in a wild-card tiebreaker.

Elvis Andrus is 10 for 23 lifetime against Price and went 2 for 4 on Tuesday. Rougned Odor homered and had an RBI double, but he left with a finger injury suffered warming up before the start of the seventh inning.

The Rangers (64-60) had their three-game winning streak snapped and their lead for the second wild card trimmed to one-half game over the Angels and Minnesota.

“It’s not fun to lose, and it’s not fun to lose like this,” said closer Shawn Tolleson, who blew his second save in 27 chances

Texas has lost seven of the last eight home meetings with the Blue Jays and sends Colby Lewis (14-5, 4.29) to the hill looking to get back on track.

Lewis’ 6.95 run-support average – ranked fourth in baseball – is part of the reason he’s looking to become the AL’s second 15-game winner after Houston’s Dallas Keuchel beat the Yankees on Tuesday.

The right-hander hasn’t needed much offense lately, though. He gave up one run in a 12-4 win over Tampa Bay on Aug. 15 before giving up six hits over seven innings of a 2-0 win over Detroit in his first scoreless outing since May 1.

Lewis, though, has a 7.12 ERA in nine career starts against Toronto.

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