The season series will be on the line Sunday afternoon when the Toronto Blue Jays host the Texas Rangers in a doubleheader at Buffalo, N.Y.
The doubleheader was scheduled after the second contest of the three-game series was postponed Saturday because of rain.
Toronto won the series opener 10-2 on Friday night with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. providing the first run with a solo homer and his team’s final runs with a three-run blast.
That tied the season series at two wins apiece. The Rangers won two of three from the Blue Jays at Arlington, Texas on April 5-7.
After the series with Texas, the Blue Jays will play three games against the Boston Red Sox starting Monday to end their stay at Buffalo. They will resume playing home games July 30 in Toronto, where they have not played since 2019 because of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.
It will give Toronto fans a live look at the excellence of Guerrero, who has 30 home runs and 77 RBIs. He also was MVP in the All-Star Game on Tuesday.
On Friday, Guerrero became the first player to hit a home run in the All-Star Game and go deep twice in the first game following it. At 22, he is the youngest Blue Jay to hit 30 homers in a season. Vernon Wells was 24 in 2003.
“He’s one of the best players in baseball right now,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “I’ve been saying that. He showed it (Friday), and he showed it in the All-Star Game. He didn’t really have a break. He flew to Colorado, did all of the stuff he needed to do and then he went off again (Friday). He’s been fun to watch. That’s what I like about going back to Toronto now. The fans from Toronto get to watch one of the best players in baseball.”
The fans in Buffalo were chanting “MVP” on Friday.
“They’re chanting MVP for a reason,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “This kid’s really special, he’s good. But I think top to bottom, they’re young, they’re talented. … Just seeing some of the at-bats. Watching (Bo) Bichette hit the ball the other way (and) with two strikes, battling, fouling some of those pitches off. (Marcus) Semien, I’ve seen for years in Oakland. I’ve watched this guy progress into an elite hitter. So some of it’s not surprising, but some of the younger guys, it’s pretty impressive to watch their growth.”
Texas left-hander Kolby Allard (2-6, 3.69 ERA) will oppose Toronto left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu (8-5, 3.56) in Game 1 on Sunday. Texas right-hander Mike Foltynewicz (2-8, 5.11) will face Toronto left-hander Steven Matz (7-4, 4.72) in Game 2.
In Allard’s only outing against Toronto, he earned the victory Aug. 14, 2019, allowing three runs in 5 2/3 innings.
Ryu lost his only career outing against Texas April 7 when he allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings.
Foltynewicz is 3-1 with a 4.67 ERA in six career games (five starts) against Toronto. He lost April 5 when he allowed Toronto four runs, four hits and three walks in four innings.
Matz will face the Rangers for the second time in his career. He allowed one run and two hits in 6 1/3 innings to earn the win April 5.
–Field Level Media