July 19: Toronto 4, Texas 2 (10 innings)
With Roy Halladay’s innings count creeping a little too high, Shaun Marcum made a spot start in his stead. Marcum drew a tough opponent in a particularly nasty Yu Darvish who recorded a season high 13 strikeouts, but Marcum traded zeroes with Darvish for the first six and a half innings. Texas finally opened the scoring in the bottom of the seventh on hits from A-Rod, I-Rod, and Mike Hargrove (M-Har?).
But then Darvish faltered in the top of the eighth when Jose Bautista and Fred McGriff drew back-to-back walks. Jon Wetteland relieved Darvish, and proceeded to walk the next two batters as well to force in Toronto’s first run. An RBI groundout by Shannon Stewart then tied the game, and Toronto put across the winning runs in the top of the 10th against Francisco Cordero. Carlos Delgado started things with a HBP, Lloyd Moseby doubled, and Roberto Alomar drove them both in with a single.
R H BB TOR 000 000 020 2 - 4 7 10 TEX 000 000 200 0 - 2 6 2 HR: none starters IP R ER HR BB SO S. Marcum 6.2 2 2 0 2 2 Y. Darvish 7.1 2 2 0 5 13 TOR 41-51, TEX 40-52
July 20: Toronto 5, Texas 1
Jimmy Key was wheelin’ and dealin’, allowing just a solo homer in seven strong innings. Gerald Perry on the other hand had a hard time locating the strike zone. Two of the six batters he walked came around to score, and Jose Bautista took him to the seats.
R H BB TOR 002 020 100 - 5 11 6 TEX 001 000 000 - 1 5 2 HR: J. Bautista (15), F. Howard (13) starters IP R ER HR BB SO J. Key 7.0 1 1 1 2 4 G. Perry 7.0 5 3 1 6 0 TOR 42-51, TEX 40-53
July 21: Texas 7, Toronto 3
The veteran version of Nolan Ryan that pitches for Texas seems to only get better as the season goes on. This was his first start of the year without allowing a walk, and there’s just not much stopping Ryan if he’s not handing out free passes. Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre also stepped up with big games to avoid a sweep. Hamilton sliced four singles, two RBI, two runs, and two stolen bases, and Beltre collected two singles and a dinger.
Doyle Alexander’s magical season finally hit a serious bump in the road as Texas slapped him around for seven runs in less than five innings. Seven earned runs was a season worst for Doyle.
Toronto had lost their last five series, going 3-13 in that stretch, before taking this set from Texas.
R H BB TOR 000 100 101 - 3 6 1 TEX 102 130 00x - 7 18 1 HR: A. Beltre (10) starters IP R ER HR BB SO D. Alexander 4.2 7 7 1 0 0 N. Ryan 6.0 1 1 0 0 8 TOR 42-52, TEX 41-53