TORONTO — Backup infielder Hanser Alberto singled home the go-ahead run in the 14th inning and the Texas Rangers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 Friday for a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five American League Division Series.
The underdog Rangers will try to sweep the Blue Jays at home in Game 3 Sunday. Martin Perez will start for Texas against Marco Estrada.
Alberto, batting last and only in the lineup because star third baseman Adrian Beltre was out with a strained back, made an error that led to Toronto's first two runs. He delivered an RBI single with two outs in the 14th, and Delino DeShields followed with an infield hit for another run.
Alberto, a 22-year-old rookie who made his big league debut this season, also had a sacrifice fly.
Texas shut out the highest-scoring team in the majors after the fifth inning. The victory for first-year manager Jeff Banister's team made road clubs 5-0 in the playoffs so far — the only previous time that happened in the postseason was the 1906 all-Chicago World Series, STATS said.
Keone Kela (1-0) worked one inning for the win, staying calm after a dustup with Toronto slugger Josh Donaldson.
Ross Ohlendorf, with an old-school, double-armed windup, finished for a save. The 33-year-old journeyman picked up the first save of his major league career earlier this year.
Mike Napoli hit a tying single for Texas in the eighth.
Another packed crowd at Rogers Centre that made a lot of noise early was quiet at the very end. Toronto, back in the postseason for the first time since winning the 1993 World Series, lost for the second straight day at home.
Rougned Odor hit a two-out single off LaTroy Hawkins (0-1) in the 14th but was nearly thrown out after going too far around second base on a single by Chris Gimenez, with the call confirmed by replay review. That call proved pivotal when Alberto lined a single to center, sending Odor tumbling home.
After Liam Hendriks replaced Hawkins, DeShields beat out his hit.
Donaldson was back in the lineup after taking a knee to the head trying to break up a double play in the opener. He homered in his return.
Both benches and both bullpens briefly emptied in the bottom of the 13th when Donaldson and Kela traded words after the slugger's deep foul went foul. Donaldson eventually struck out.
Toronto starter Marcus Stroman took a 4-3 lead into the eighth. He left after a leadoff single by DeShields, and Shin-Soo Choo put down a sacrifice bunt against Brett Cecil.
After Prince Fielder struck out, Napoli singled. Napoli had been 2 for 17 in his career against Cecil before the tying hit.
Napoli was caught in a rundown to end the inning, but Cecil suffered a strained left calf and had to be helped off the field by the trainer.
Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton finished 0 for 6 and is hitless in his past 30 postseason at-bats.
Toronto put runners at first and second with two outs in the bottom of the 11th, but Troy Tulowitzki grounded out on the first pitch he saw from Sam Dyson.
Choo hit an RBI single in the first and a second run scored on a throwing error by catcher Russell Martin. The Blue Jays escaped the jam when first baseman Chris Colabello turned an unassisted double play, tagging out Hamilton near the bag before sprinting across the diamond to retire Fielder, who was hung up between third and home plate.
Donaldson hit his first postseason home run in the bottom half of the first.
Odor walked and scored on a sacrifice fly to make it 3-1 in the second, Toronto tied it in the bottom half when Tulowitzki reached on Alberto's error, Colabello followed with a ground rule double, Martin hit an RBI single and the tying run scored when Kevin Pillar grounded into a double play.
Toronto took its first lead of the series in the fifth. Pillar led off with a bloop double, went to third on a sacrifice by Ryan Goins and scored when Ben Revere grounded a single through the drawn-in infield.
Estrada took the loss in his only start against Texas this season despite allowing just one run in six innings. Perez did not face Toronto this season.