April 8, 2018 12:37 am
Updated: April 8, 2018 9:59 am

Blue Jays frozen by Rangers, lose 5-1

Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman (6) is pulled from the baseball game against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Arlington, Texas.

AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth
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ARLINGTON, Texas – Mike Minor didn’t think about Saturday’s significance until his parents texted him after the game.

Minor pitched two-hit balls over six innings to win a start for the first time since 2014 and the Texas Rangers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-1 in one of the coldest games ever at Globe Life Park.

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The 30-year-old Minor hadn’t started and gotten a victory since Aug. 24, 2014, while with the Atlanta Braves. He missed the 2015 and ’16 seasons with a torn labrum and was a reliever last year with the Kansas City Royals.

READ MORE: Blue Jays win first road game of 2018, beat Rangers 8-5

He didn’t realize it had been that long until he got the text from his parents.

“It was a big feat,” Minor Said. “At the time, I wasn’t thinking about it.”

It was five degrees Celsius when Minor threw the first pitch, and he froze up Toronto’s hitters throughout the game. Minor (1-1) took a no-hitter into the fifth before allowing a one-out triple to Kevin Pillar. Steve Pearce homered an inning later for Toronto’s final hit of the game. Minor had seven strikeouts and two walks.

Texas scored four two-out runs in the fifth inning, all charged to Toronto starter Marcus Stroman (0-1). Joey Gallo pulled a two-run double past first base, then scored when Jurickson Profar doubled to right in the next at-bat. Juan Centeno singled to right to break open what had been a 1-0 game.

The coldest start to a game at Globe Life Park was three degrees Celsius on April 7, 2007, when Texas beat the Boston Red Sox 8-4. The weather required Minor to essentially abandon his fastball, which he had little feel for, and rely on his breaking pitches and changeup.

“He stuck with what was working for him,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said. “It was electric stuff.”

“He was pounding the zone on a cold night for the most part,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.

Minor walked two of his first three batters. Yangervis Solarte then hit into a double play started by Profar, who played third base in place of Adrian Beltre – Banister said the 39-year-old Beltre in part because of the cold.

READ MORE: NHL teams honour Humboldt Broncos bus crash victims with pre-game tributes

Stroman allowed five runs, six hits and five walks.

“I’m the last one to ever blame anything on the weather,” he said. “I wasn’t good today.”

Kevin Jepsen and Jake Diekman closed out the game for Texas by combining for three hitless innings.

TAKING THE FIFTH

Gallo drew two walks after getting just one previous free pass this season. Gallo hit fifth in the lineup after hitting second in Texas’ previous nine game.

“Joey did a great job tonight taking some pitches, seeing some pitches and getting himself in some hitter’s counts,” Banister said.

Honouring HUMBOLDT

Stroman wrote “HUMBOLDT BRONCOS!” and “SK” on his cap to honour the victims of the Canadian youth hockey bus accident Friday that killed 15. A moment of silence was held before the game. Stroman said he will auction the cap.

SHORT HOPS

Profar got his first two hits of the season after starting 0 for 7. … Randal Grichuk went 0 for 3, extending his hitless streak to a career-long 22 at-bats. … Elvis Andrus, with two singles, has hit safely in nine of 10 games.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: SS Aledmys Diaz (back) played the entire game after leaving Tuesday’s game and went 0-for-3.

Rangers: RHP Tony Barnette (back) returned to the club after making back-to-back rehab appearances Thursday and Friday with Double-A Frisco. He is eligible to be activated at any time.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: LHP Jaime Garcia (0-0, 1.50 ERA) allowed one earned run in six innings in his season debut Monday against the White Sox.

Rangers: LHP Cole Hamels (1-1, 3.38) has 18 strikeouts, which led the American League going into Saturday’s play.

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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