Thursday was a big day for Texas baseball fans.
Both the Rangers and the Astros started their ALDS series with road wins against the favored Blue Jays and Royals, respectively.
The Rangers beat the Blue Jays and David Price, 5-3, with the help of a couple of home runs from unlikely sources. Robinson Chirinos hit a two-run homer off Price in the 5th inning and Rougned Odor hit a solo shot in the 7th inning, also off the Toronto starter.
"It means a lot to the team to come to Toronto and win that first game against a great pitcher," Chirinos said.
"I expect to have better results," Price told reporters afterward.
Not only did the Rangers taking game one potentially turn the series upside down, but by the end of the game, both teams locker rooms probably looked more like M.A.S.H units. Blue Jays 3B Josh Donaldson, the leading candidate for American League MVP, left the game in the 5th inning after taking a knee to the head while trying to break up a double play in the 4th inning.
Donaldson was lightheaded when he took the field defensively in the top of the 5th and was removed for precautionary reasons.
"They check for concussions, and apparently he passed all the tests. So that's good news," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.
Donaldson exited two innings after Texas 3B Adrian Beltre was forced to the bench with a muscle issue in his lower back.
Beltre went to the hospital for tests during the game and his status is more unclear than Donaldson's, who appears poised to play in Game 2.
"Obviously we want Adrian in there," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "He's the heart and soul of this ballclub."
Game 2 is Friday at 1245pm (MLB Network).
In Kansas City it was the visiting Astros who jumped on the Royals early, weathered a rain delay of nearly and hour, and then went on to earn a 5-2 win over KC in Game 1 of their series.
Jose Altuve had three hits and George Springer and Coulby Rasmus each homered to pace Houston, who has won their first two road games in the playoffs after struggling away from home during the regular season.
Collin McHugh started and stuck around after the rains came in the second inning. Astros manager A.J. Hinch checked with his right hander and stayed with him despite the delay and downtime.
"We checked in with him a couple times, but he was never really coming out of that game," Hinch said. "That wasn't even his best tonight, and he got through a pretty good lineup and battled."
McHugh won 19 games for Houston this season and Kendrys Morales of the Royals was about the only guy McHigh struggled with Thursday night.
Morales took McHugh deep twice to account for the Royals only two runs of the game.
The Royals aren't about to panic, even as Dallas Keuchel looms to face them in Game 3 Sunday in Houston.
"It's a five-game series," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "It's not a death sentence to lose Game 1."
It's not a death sentence. But the Royals are between a rock and a hard place for Game 2 Friday at 345pm (FS1).