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Troy Tulowitzki powers Blue Jays past Rangers in ALDS Game 3, avoiding elimination

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Troy Tulowitzki‘s three-run home run gave the Blue Jays all the breathing room they needed to stave off elimination in Game 3 of the ALDS against the Rangers at Globe Life Park on Sunday night. Tulowitzki had drawn a bases-loaded walk to push the Jays’ lead to 2-0 before ripping a Chi Chi Gonzalez offering on a line over the fence in left field in the sixth inning, making it 5-0. He finished 2-for-3 with four RBI on the night.

Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada shut the Rangers out over the first six innings, but ran into a bit of a pickle in the seventh, allowing back-to-back one-out singles to Elvis Andrus and Josh Hamilton before departing. Lefty Aaron Loup relieved him, allowing one of the inherited runners to score on an 6-3 ground out. Mark Lowe got the final out of the seventh, striking out Robinson Chirinos. Estrada ultimately allowed just the one run on five hits and no walks while striking out four in 6 1/3 innings.

Jays reliever Aaron Sanchez got two ground outs and a strikeout in a 1-2-3 eighth inning. Roberto Osuna took the mound in the ninth and retired the Rangers in 1-2-3 order to preserve the 5-1 victory.

Rangers starter Martin Perez was on the hook for four runs in total on six hits and three walks with two strikeouts in five innings of work. Gonzalez was charged with only the one run on Tulowitzki’s homer, tossing 1 2/3 innings. Ross Ohlendorf pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings following Gonzalez. Shawn Tolleson tossed a scoreless eighth inning.

The ALDS will continue on Monday, with Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey opposing Rangers lefty Derek Holland at 4:00 PM EDT. The Blue Jays will once again need to win to stave off elimination. If they do, the series will return to Toronto with a do-or-die game for both teams.

Dustin Pedroia suffers a “significant setback” in his recovery

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Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia has suffered “a significant setback” with his left knee, making his availability for spring training questionable. Abraham says that Pedroia is “discussing his options with his family, agents, and the Sox.”

Pedroia underwent “knee joint preservation” surgery last year, which is often used as an alternative to full knee replacement. As it was, he played in only three games in 2018 and appeared in just six games in 2019, accruing just three hits in 34 plate appearances.

In light of the severity of his injury, the severity of his surgery and all of the time he’s missed over the past few years, it was already something of a long shot for Pedroia play again as it was. Indeed, he himself was not even sure if he’d play again when asked at one point last season. But this sounds positively dire.