ARLINGTON, Texas — Sure, R.A. Dickey was disappointed when he saw Blue Jays manager John Gibbons walking toward the mound.
The 40-year-old knuckleballer had a six-run lead and was one out shy of qualifying for a win in his first postseason start.
Dickey also knew he was handing the ball off to a fellow Cy Young winner, and Toronto went on to beat the Rangers 8-4 on Monday to force a deciding Game 5 at home in the AL Division Series.
"When you look over your shoulder and you've got a guy like this coming in behind you, it makes it a whole lot easier to give the ball to Gibby," Dickey said, with former Rays ace David Price — who earned his second career postseason victory, both in relief — seated to his right after the game. "It's amazing what you can accomplish when you don't care who gets the credit. … We're going back to Toronto with a chance."
Toronto led 3-0 before Dickey even threw his first pitch, with Josh Donaldson and Chris Colabello homering in the first inning.
"That's great. If you could script it, obviously, that's what you'd want," said Donaldson, who has reached safely in five of his past nine appearances, including two homers in the series.
The Blue Jays made it three homers in the first eight batters against Derek Holland when Kevin Pillar connected in the second for a 4-0 lead. Pillar's drive was caught by Price, who was playing catch in the bullpen with Marcus Stroman.
Game 5 is Wednesday.
After losing the first two games in the series at home, the Blue Jays won both games in Texas within 24 hours.
"Our mind-set the whole time has been you've got to win three games, however you do it, when you do it," said Pillar, who also had two RBI singles. "But it's definitely nice knowing flying home we've got another game."
Dickey, the 2012 NL Cy Young winner with the Mets, was pulled with a 7-1 lead and a runner on base. Shin-Soo Choo, already with two hits, was coming to the plate.
"It was hard for me to do, but I thought that was the best way to win the game, keep them from coming back," Gibbons said. "Probably not a relationship-building move, but a team win, that's what I was looking for."
Price needed one pitch to retire Choo to end the fifth then went three innings. The left-hander is 0-6 as a starter in the postseason.