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One of the most important series of the 2023 MLB regular season took place this week at Rogers Centre, and, to be frank, the Texas Rangers completely outclassed the Toronto Blue Jays. The Rangers wrapped up the four-game sweep with an authoritative 9-2 win Thursday night (box score). They outscored the Blue Jays 35-9 in the four games.

The four-game sweep moved the Rangers into the second wild-card spot and bumped the Blue Jays 1.5 games behind the third wild-card spot. Texas is a half-game behind the Houston Astros in the AL West. Here are the updated wild-card standings:

  1. Tampa Bay Rays: 91-57 (+9 GB)
  2. Texas Rangers: 82-64 (+1 GB)
  3. Seattle Mariners: 81-65
  4. Toronto Blue Jays: 80-62 (1.5 GB)

Texas tagged Blue Jays ace Kevin Gausman for four runs on six hits and six walks in 4 2/3 innings Thursday, including two home runs. Corey Seager opened the scoring with a first-inning solo homer. He went 9 for 17 (.529) with four doubles, a homer, three walks, and one strikeout in the series. That's an MVP-caliber player putting up an MVP-caliber performance in a crucial series.

The Rangers have won six straight games since the ghastly 4-16 stretch that knocked them out of the AL West lead. They will play seven of their final 10 games against the Mariners. Those games will be of paramount importance, if not in the AL West race then at least for wild-card seeding. For now, the Rangers went to Toronto and handled their business.

For the Blue Jays, this was about as poor a series as they've had all season. The pitching crumbled, the defense had lapses, and the offense was silent. George Springer, Bo Bichette, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. went a combined 7 for 44 (.159) in the four games. That simply is not good enough. Rather than rise to the occasion in an important series, the Blue Jays wilted.

The Blue Jays will lick their wounds and welcome the Boston Red Sox to Toronto for a three-game weekend series. The Rangers will head to Cleveland for a three-game set with the Guardians.