TORONTO (AP) — Corey Seager capped a six-run fourth inning with a go-ahead single, and the Texas Rangers rallied from a five-run deficit to overcome Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s 467-foot home run and beat the Toronto Blue Jays 12-6 on Sunday.
“We did a really good job,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “Offensively, that was our best game.”
Guerrero’s third-inning home run off Spencer Howard, the longest of Guerrero’s career, built a 6-1 lead. Guerrero’s home run had an exit velocity of 117.9 mph.
After blowing a seven-run advantage in a 10-8 loss in Friday’s opener, Texas turned this game around with its biggest road inning since a six-run first at Baltimore on Sept. 7, 2019. Brad Miller had four RBIs to key the Rangers, and Nick Solak scored four runs and homered.
“It’s great to get our first win of the season,” Solak said. “To be down and come back is big, too.”
Andy Ibáñez started the comeback with an RBI double, and Charlie Culberson and Jonah Heim followed with run-scoring singles that chased Hyun Jin Ryu.
Miller pinch hit and sliced the second pitch from Julian Merryweather (0-1) up the left-center gap for a two-run double that tied it 6-6 and, one out later, Seager dumped an opposite-field, broken-bat single into left.
Pinch-hitter Nathaniel Lowe’s RBI single and Miller’s sacrifice fly built a 9-6 lead in the fifth off Ross Stripling. Heim and Miller hit back-to-back homers in the seventh against Taylor Saucedo, the first a two-run drive.
Brock Burke (1-0) struck out five in two innings, one of five Rangers relievers who combined for six shutout innings Texas avoided its first 0-3 start since 2017.
The win was the first of Burke’s major league career.
“The stuff looked good. It was beating some really good hitters,” Woodward said. “That fastball was getting on them.”
Heim praised the work of the bullpen, which struck out nine and walked none.
“Six shutout innings is special, especially against those guys,” Heim said. “They put up runs, they know how to swing the bat.”
Matt Chapman hit a three-run homer, and Guerrero, George Springer and Danny Jansen all had solo shots for Toronto, which has not started 3-0 since 1996. Springer’s was the 44th leadoff homer of his career and his 12th against Texas, tying Rickey Henderson against Cleveland for most against one opponent.
Ryu retired nine of his first 11 batters, allowing a two-out homer to Solak in the second. Ryu gave up six runs and five hits in 3 1/3 innings.
“I just fell apart,” Ryu said through a translator.
Howard allowed six runs and six hits in three innings.
Seager’s bat split between his hands on his RBI single against the hard-throwing Merryweather.
“It was right on the barrel and it split between my hands,” Seager said. “It vibrated a lot. It slung me because I didn’t have the other hand. It was weird.”
Woodward liked the mix of patience and aggressiveness his hitters showed against the Blue Jays.
“We were so stubborn, so picky with what we wanted to swing at,” Woodward said. “When we did get one over the middle, we took a rip at it and hit some balls really, really hard.”
Blue Jays: Manager Charlie Montoyo said Ryu had a bruised leg but no serious injury after being struck by Heim’s fourth-inning hit. Ryu is expected to make his next start.
OF Bradley Zimmer, acquired in a trade with Cleveland last week, joined the Blue Jays Sunday. To make room on the roster, INF Gosuke Katoh was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo.
Rangers: LHP Taylor Hearn (6-6, 4.66 in 2021) starts Monday as Texas opens its home schedule against Colorado. LHP Austin Gomber (9-9, 4.53 in 2021) starts for the Rockies.
Blue Jays: RHP Alek Manoah (9-2, 3.22 in 2021) makes his season debut as Toronto opens a four game series in New York against Yankees RHP Jameson Taillon (8-6, 4.30 in 2021).
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