ARLINGTON, TEXAS – Troy Tulowitzki hit a three-run homer to give the Blue Jays some breathing room, Marco Estrada pitched into the seventh inning and Toronto stayed alive in its American League Division Series with a 5-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Sunday night.
The Blue Jays, losers of Games 1 and 2 north of the border, came down to Texas and forced a Game 4 Monday, when 41-year-old knuckleballer R.A. Dickey is scheduled to make his postseason debut against one of his former teams.
Toronto's offense managed two runs through five innings against Rangers lefthander Martin Perez, the first coming on a double-play grounder in the third inning from Ryan Goins that scored Dioner Navarro, the second coming on a bases-loaded walk to Tulowitzki.
But the Blue Jays squandered their chances to score more, and it looked like they might blow another chance in the sixth inning when they loaded the bases with nobody out. Chris Colabello hit into a 3-2-3 double play against reliever Chi Chi Gonzalez, but Tulowitzki followed with a three-run blast to left field to give Toronto a 5-0 lead.
Estrada left with one out in the seventh inning and gave up one run on five hits. Relievers Aaron Loup, Mark Lowe, Aaron Sanchez and Roberto Osuna finished out the victory.
Osuna pitched the ninth inning in a non-save situation, retiring Prince Fielder on a line drive to center, Mitch Moreland on a line drive to first and Elvis Andrus on a deep fly ball to left field.
At 12, Osuna quit school to work with his father picking vegetables in the fields in Northern Mexico. Four years later, he was pitching against grown men in the Mexican League. The 20-year-old rookie closer wasn't even born when the Blue Jays made their last postseason appearance, winning the World Series in 1993 on Joe Carter's dramatic home run.
Osuna comes from a baseball family. His father, Roberto, pitched in Mexico during a career that spanned 22 years. And his uncle, Antonio Osuna, pitched in the majors for 11 years.