ARLINGTON, TEXAS – Sure, R.A. Dickey was disappointed when he saw Blue Jays manager John Gibbons walking toward the mound.
The 40-year-old knuckleballer had a six-run lead and was one out shy of qualifying for a win in his first postseason start.
Dickey also knew he was handing the ball off to fellow Cy Young Award winner David Price, and Toronto went on to beat the Texas Rangers 8-4 on Monday to force a deciding Game 5 at home in the AL Division Series.
"When you look over your shoulder and you've got a guy like this coming in behind you, it makes it a whole lot easier to give the ball to Gibby," Dickey said, with David Price seated to his right after the game. "It's amazing what you can accomplish when you don't care who gets the credit. … We're going back to Toronto with a chance."
Toronto led 3-0 even before Dickey threw a pitch, with Josh Donaldson and Chris Colabello homering in the first inning.
"That's great. If you could script it, obviously, that's what you'd want," said Donaldson, who has reached safely in five of his past nine plate appearances, including two homers, in the series.
The Jays made it three homers in the first eight batters against Derek Holland when Kevin Pillar connected in the second for a 4-0 lead. Pillar's drive was caught by Price, who was playing catch in the bullpen with Marcus Stroman.
After losing the first two games in the series at home, the Blue Jays won both games in Texas in a span of 24 hours.
Dickey, the 2012 NL Cy Young winner when he won 20 games for the Mets, allowed one run over 4⅔ innings and was pulled with a 7-1 lead, with a runner on base. Shin-Soo Choo, already with two hits, was coming to the plate.
"It was hard for me to do, but I thought that was the best way to win the game, keep them from coming back," Gibbons said. "Probably not a relationship-building move, but a team win, that's what I was looking for."
Price needed only one pitch to retire Choo to end the fifth, and went three innings to get the win after losing in the series opener. Texas dropped to 1-9 in division series games at home.
Adrian Beltre, who hadn't played since exiting early from Game 1 because of lower back stiffness, was a late addition to the Rangers' starting lineup. Beltre had two singles and a deep flyout, but the 36-year-old third baseman clearly was still having issues with his back he hurt sliding into second base Thursday. He moved gingerly going to first base after both hits, and did the same when advancing to second base on a wild pitch in the third.
Toronto has won nine of its past 10 postseason road games.