TORONTO – Jonah Heim hit twice from the safe and drove in three runs, including a two-run homer, as the Texas Rangers came back strong to win 12-6 over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday .
Brad Miller and Nick Solak also hit the long ball for the Rangers (1-2), who scored six runs in the fourth inning to take the lead for good. Solak finished the game with two hits on two at bats and four runs scored.
Rangers starter Spencer Howard struck out five batters but allowed six runs in just three innings of work. Brock Burke, Dennis Santana, John King, Josh Sborz and Joe Barlow took turns on the mound without giving the Jays an extra point.
In the Toronto camp, Matt Chapman hit his first homer in a Blue Jays uniform (2-1) as George Springer, Danny Jansen, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. all hit solo home runs for a quick 6 cushion -1 to the locals after three innings.
Starter Hyun Jin Ryu, however, allowed six runs on five hits in three and a third innings. He had struck out four batters and allowed only one run in the first three innings before things got bad.
Julian Merryweather, Ross Stripling, David Phelps, Tayler Saucedo and Trent Thornton came on as relief and conceded another six points for the visitors.
After patrolling center field the first two games of the season, Springer was the hitter of choice on Sunday. He stayed at the front of the batting lineup and sent the ball over the fence into the Jays’ bullpen on his first at bat.
Five batters later, Chapman powered the ball well over the fence to left field. A three-point slap that sent Teoscar Hernandez and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to home plate. The score was then 4-0 after one set.
Solak replied in second with a solo slap to the right.
Jansen restored the Jays to a four-run lead late in the inning when the ball just cleared the fence to the left. It’s the second homer in two games for the catcher.
Guerrero added in the third with a solo shot that reached the second balcony at Rogers Centre. Estimated at 467 feet from home plate, this slap would be the longest of Vladdy’s young career.
Ryu then had all sorts of problems in the fourth set, seeing his team’s lead slip away. The Jays allowed six runs in that inning alone.
Andy IbaInez led the charge for the Rangers with a double to center field that pushed Mitch Garver to the plate. Charlie Culberson drove in another run two batters later when his single scored IbaInez. Then, Heim saw his shot ricochet off Ryu’s leg, which allowed Solak to cross home plate.
Ryu left the game after the third point, but when it came time to enter the dugout, he waved to the trainer that he was fine. Merryweather came to the mound with two runners on the trails and allowed Miller a double to tie the two teams.
The Rangers circled their lineup in that inning when Corey Seager hit a single that sent Miller home with the game-winning run to give it a 7-6 lead.
In the fifth, Rangers scored two more runs on a Nathaniel Lowe single that sent Adolis Garcia to the plate as well as a sacrifice fly from Miller that allowed Solak to complete his round of bases.
The final dose came in the seventh, when Heim hit a two-run homer, followed by Miller with a solo slap to make it 12-6.