TORONTO — Matt Boyd was taught a lesson in his major league debut on Saturday afternoon.
The 24-year-old left-hander went 6 2/3 innings and allowed four earned runs on nine hits — three of which were solo home runs — while striking out seven as the Toronto Blue Jays fell 4-0 to the Texas Rangers.
"If the ball is up, it gets hit. That’s one thing you can learn," Boyd said of his first big league start. "Just getting ahead in the counts. When I got hurt, I think it’s when the ball was up and when I was behind in the count."
Joey Gallocame came home for the Rangers’ first run, scoring on Rougned Odor’s sacrifice fly in the second inning.
Mitch Moreland led off the fourth inning with a solo home run, his 10th of the season. Robinson Chirinos then took a 1-2 pitch from Boyd over the left-field wall in the fifth for his seventh homer of the season to make it 3-0 Texas.
Odor took a Boyd offering deep for his third of the season in the seventh to cap the Rangers offence.
"Definitely something to build off of," said Boyd. "You have a goal at the start, you always want to get deep in the game and put your team in a position to win the game. Some of those home runs, I know I could’ve made a few pitches a little differently and just executed them a little better."
Yovani Gallardo (7-6) went a season-high 8 1/3 innings, allowing just three hits while striking out four and walking two as Texas (38-37) snapped a six-game losing skid. Gallardo extended his scoreless streak to a career-high 23 innings in the victory.
"Against this ball club, the first time they’ve been shutout in their ball park, against a group of guys that have been hot, and the performance they put together last night, any time you get an outing like that from your pitcher, when you’re on a six-game skid, you can call it a stopper type performance," said Rangers manager, Jeff Banister.
Right-hander Todd Redmond pitched parts of two innings for the Blue Jays (40-36) while left-hander Aaron Loup went two-thirds of an inning in relief.
Edwin Encarnacion got to Gallardo in the fourth with Toronto’s first hit of the game.
Kevin Pillar reached in the eighth with a single, extending his hit streak to career-high 11 games. Pillar entered Saturday’s contest hitting .400 in his last 14 games with two doubles, two home runs and eight RBIs.
"I thought (Boyd) did a great job out there being a debut," said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons. "We ran into Gallardo today, who was fantastic soâ€¦ normally you get to the seventh inning, you get three or four runs from your offence, and you’re feeling pretty damn good.
"(Boyd) had a bunch of strikeouts, I don’t think he walked anybody."
Notes: The Blue Jays announced pre-game that RHP Aaron Sanchez would begin throwing bullpen sessions off of a mound next Wednesday. â€¦ RHP Drew Hutchison (7-1) gets the ball in Sunday’s series finale with the Rangers. â€¦ Texas will counter with Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-2).<