ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Jose Bautista charged hard and reached down. Toronto’s right fielder quickly realized that the ball went under his glove and was rolling toward the warning track.
Bautista’s error in the seventh inning led to three Texas runs, as Delino DeShields kept running all the way home, and the AL East-leading Blue Jays closed an otherwise-impressive trip with a 4-1 loss Thursday. It ended their five-game winning streak.
“Obviously, the road trip was a successful one. It would have been a superb one if we’d been able to pull that one out,” Bautista said. “I opened up the score for them. But mistakes happen. I don’t think this loss is going to affect us in any way.”
Toronto went 6-2 on the trip, taking sole possession of the AL East lead from the New York Yankees by winning the first two games at the wild card-chasing Rangers.
“I’m very pleased with the way the guys played,” manager John Gibbons said, referring to the trip.
Yovanni Gallardo (11-9) threw 5 1-3 scoreless innings for his 100th career victory. The right-hander gave up three hits while striking out two and walking three on 101 pitches.
The Blue Jays lead the majors with 5.4 runs per game, and had outscored opponents 54-19 during their recent winning streak. Gallardo has thrown 13 2-3 scoreless innings in two starts against them this season.
Gallardo became the fourth native of Mexico to win 100 games, joining Fernando Valenzuela (173), Esteban Loaiza (126) and Ismael Valdez (104).
“It just shows a lot of hard work, throughout the years, and it’s definitely exciting,” said Gallardo, the right-hander who improved to 100-73 in 241 career games with Milwaukee (2007-14) and Texas.
DeShields had a part in every run even without an RBI. On the ball he hit in the seventh, slow-running catcher Bobby Wilson was going to be held up at third until the ball got past Bautista. Rather than bases loaded, Wilson and Hanser Alberto scored with the speedy DeShields following close behind.
“I just attacked the ball too hard. The outfield grass is cut kind of funky. You get a lot of balls that kind of snake around,” Bautista said. “I knew who was running at second. I knew they were going to stop him.”
Texas never trailed after DeShields drew a walk from Marco Estrada (11-8) in the first and scored on Mitch Moreland’s single. DeShields finished 2 for 2 with three walks.
Estrada struck out six in six innings, and has allowed only nine runs in his last six starts.
Edwin Encarnacion stretched his hitting streak to 22 games, the longest in the majors this season, with an RBI double in the Toronto eighth. He hit a scorching liner that got past DeShields in right-center as Bautista scored from first.
Shawn Tolleson worked the ninth for his 26th save in 28 chances. He had converted 12 straight before Tuesday night’s series opener, when he gave up two runs in the ninth inning of a 6-5 loss.
TULO THE DH
Troy Tulowitzki was the DH for the first time in his 10 major league seasons. Gibbons had planned to give him a day off, but Tulowitzki entered a .458 career hitter (11 for 24) against Gallardo. Tulowitzki was 0 for 5 in the series finale. His first three at-bats came against Gallardo before grounding into an inning-ending double play against Sam Dyson with the bases loaded in the seventh.
Ben Revere of the Blue Jays made a back-handed catch with his arm fully extended and running into the left-field corner to rob Alberto of a hit in the fifth. That was the second-best play by a left fielder in the game. Recently acquired Texas outfielder Will Venable made a long run, then leaped in the air to make a backhanded catch before falling flat to the ground in the left-center gap to end the second and strand a runner. “Really, if he doesn’t make that catch there, it’s a different story in this ballgame,” manager Jeff Banister said.
Rangers: 2B Rougned Odor missed his second straight game since splitting the nail on the middle finger of his right hand Tuesday night. Banister had said Odor could possibly pinch-hit or pinch-run, but wasn’t used Thursday.
Blue Jays: After an eight-game trip, Toronto opens a nine-game homestand Friday night against Detroit.
Rangers: Cole Hamels starts for the Rangers in the opener of a three-game series Friday night against fellow wild-card contender Baltimore, which has won five of its last six games in Texas.