Blue Jays start strong, hold on to beat Rangers – CBC Sports – Baseball

Darwin Barney’s two-run homer capped a big first inning and was just enough for the Toronto Blue Jays to earn a victory — and again get within one game of their first .500 record this season.

Still, the shot by Barney over the left-field wall that capped a quick six-run outburst in a 7-5 win Wednesday night wasn’t quite as exciting as Rangers slugger Joey Gallo’s drive that ricocheted off of it for an inside-the-park homer.

“It went up, I looked back to find the wall and when I looked back to find the ball again I had no idea where it was,” said Blue Jays left-fielder Steve Pearce, who crashed hard into the wall trying to make the play — and left the game an inning later with a bruised right knee.

Ryan Goins drove in three runs for Toronto, including a two-run double in the first that preceded Barney’s homer off Tyson Ross . Barney was 4 for 40 in his previous 15 games.

In the series finale Thursday, Toronto (35-36) will try for the ninth time this season to get to .500.

Gallo’s 19th homer, an opposite-field shot leading off the fifth, was among his career-high three extra-base hits — he also had two doubles and scored three runs. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound slugger was 6 for 50 over his previous 14 games before a night off Tuesday.

“As soon as it hit the wall and he went down, I thought I might have a chance at scoring. It was pretty exciting,” Gallo said.

“Day down I think freshened him up a little bit,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “It’s always fun to watch a big man like that run around the bases…It’s fun to watch when this guy is swinging the bat well.”

Joe Biagini (2-6) struck out five in 5 2/3 innings for his first win in seven starts since May 12.

Roberto Osuna worked the ninth for his 19th…

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